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Sakshi Malik accuses Babita Phogat of siding with government

Sakshi Malik has accused former CWG medalist Babita Phogat of siding with the government and using wrestlers for selfish motives.

Sakshi Malik accuses Babita Phogat of siding with government

Sakshi Malik and Babita Phogat.



Updated: 18 Jun 2023 12:56 PM GMT

Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik on Sunday accused BJP leader and former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Babita Phogat of trying to use the wrestlers for her selfish motives.

Sakshi and her husband Satyawart Kadian had posted a video on Saturday claiming that it was Babita and another BJP leader Teerath Rana who had helped them take permission for their protest at Jantar Mantar as they tried to prove their point that Congress was not behind their agitation.

Sakshi, in a tweet on Sunday, wrote, "In the video (posted on Saturday), we had commented how Teerath Rana and Babita Phogat were trying to use wrestlers for their selfish motives and how when the wrestlers were in trouble, they went and opted to sit in the lap of the government."

"We are definitely in trouble, but the sense of humor should not become so weak that a joke cracked on the powerful could not be understood," she added.

Rana, however, denied allegations that he had used the wrestlers for selfish motives. "The wrestlers came and met me (before staging the protest) and they told us that they were being exploited. We said we are with our sisters and daughters. I am with the athletes in the fight for justice. I was there with them before and am now as well," added Rana.

"Look, wrestlers are the pride of the nation and the respect of sportspersons is uppermost on the mind of the BJP, and I also respect them a lot. I have always supported sportspersons," said Rana in a video.

The video was shared in the WhatsApp group that was created to disseminate information about the video and was later deleted. The country's top wrestlers including Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia have accused outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment and demanded his arrest.

Kadian and Malik also furnished a letter, which showed Babita and Rana had taken permission from the Jantar Mantar police station for the wrestlers to stage a sit-in.

A day after they were detained by police for trying to march towards the new Parliament building on its inauguration date, the protesting wrestlers reached Haridwar to drown their medals but were persuaded not to do so amid chaotic scenes. Kadian had claimed that if they had taken the extreme step it would have led to violence.

Responding to that, Rana said, "Well, there was no such talk that it (immersion of medals) would lead to violence. There was anger among the sportspersons and they took a decision that they would immerse their medals in river Ganga...but the country's sentiments were that the athletes should not take such a step."

On 15th June, Delhi Police filed a chargesheet against the WFI Chief in the offenses of sexual harassment and stalking.

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