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No more protest on roads, legal fight against WFI Chief continues: Wrestlers

The protesting wrestlers have confirmed that the battle for justice against WFI Chief will continue in court instead of the roads.

No more protest on roads, legal fight against WFI Chief continues: Wrestlers

Wrestlers observe Black Day at Jantar Mantar (Bajrang Punia/Twitter)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 27 Jun 2023 1:44 PM GMT

A day after asserting that they could hit the streets again to resume their agitation against the WFI chief, the protesting wrestlers on Sunday said the fight against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh would be fought in the court and not on roads.

Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia posted identical tweets where they said the government had fulfilled its promise of filing a chargesheet against Singh.

"In this case, the wresters' will continue till we get justice, but it (fight) will be in court and not on the road," the statement on Twitter read.

"Regarding the reform in WFI, the election process, as promised, has begun. We will wait for the fulfillment of promises made by the government regarding the July 11 elections."

A few minutes after posting the statement, Vinesh and Sakshi tweeted that they were taking a break from social media for a few days.

On Saturday, in a live address on social media, the trio of Vinesh, Sakshi, and Bajrang had attacked former wrestler and now BJP leader Yogeshwar Dutt for questioning the IOA ad-hoc panel's decision to exempt them from Asian Games trials.

In that nearly 40-minute address, the wrestlers had asserted that their fight against Singh would continue, and they would deliberate how to continue this fight after evaluating the chargesheet filed against Singh.

"People are asking us why we are silent. The time (to suspend the protest) was till June 15. This fight will continue, whether it is on the mat or off the mat, but the fight for justice will continue," Vinesh said, "Till Brij Bhushan is not put behind bars, he doesn't pay for his sins, it will continue. We are waiting for a copy of the charge sheet. We will evaluate if it is strong enough for justice. Whether we will sit on the road or put our lives at stake, we will decide. That's why we are silent. Our fight has not ended," she had said.

Vinesh also alleged that Dutt was targeting them because of his self-interest. "You (Dutt) had scared wrestlers. That's why they did not come to the second protest (on April 23). You put pressure on them that they will lose their jobs. People told us that they were with us, but they have compulsions that they can't come," said Vinesh.

"I will tell you why you are doing this. Brij Bhushan might have offered you the post of WFI President, and that's why you have sided with him." After being removed from Jantar Mantar on May 28, the wrestlers suspended their protest till June 15 after getting assurance from Sports Minister Anurag Thakur that a chargesheet would be filed against Singh by then and none of his family members would be allowed to contest WFI elections.

The wrestlers, who got massive support from farmer leaders, khap panchayats, and several other organizations, sat on Jantar Mantar for 38 days before Delhi Police detained them for violating law and order on May 28.

They first came to Jantar Mantar on January 18 and suspended their three-day sit-in after Thakur promised to probe their allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation against 66-year-old Singh, who is a six-time BJP MP.

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