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Wrestlers to continue protest despite Supreme Court verdict

The protesting wrestlers are in no mood to move from the site and claimed that the SC closing their petition is not a setback.

Wrestlers to continue protest despite Supreme Court verdict

Wrestlers continue to protest at Jantar Mantar with no updates on complaint against WFI Chief. (PritishRaj/TheBridge)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 4 May 2023 1:20 PM GMT

Jantar Mantar, New Delhi: The protesting wrestlers refused to move away from the protest site claiming that the Supreme Court's decision to close proceedings on the plea of sexual harassment allegations against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is not a setback here on Thursday.

The wrestlers have been sitting on protest since April 23, demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan alleging that he has sexually harassed seven female grapplers, including one minor.

However, the top court on Thursday closed the proceedings on a plea by three women wrestlers, who have leveled sexual harassment allegations against Brij Bhushan, noting that FIRs have been registered and the seven complainants have been provided adequate security. "

"We respect the Supreme Court decision. The protest will continue despite everything and we thank the Supreme Court for supporting us. Supreme Court has directed us to reach out to High Court or Magistrate in case of ineffectiveness. This is not a setback," Vinesh Phogat said.

The wrestlers further said that they will decide on the future course of action after consulting their seniors. "We have all options open, will decide after consulting seniors," Vinesh Phogat said.

A bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud refused to entertain an oral plea by the counsel representing the wrestlers that the ongoing probe be monitored by a retired or a serving high court judge.

"You came here with specific prayers for registration of FIR and security for the complainants. Now both of your prayers have been addressed. "If you have any further grievances, you can very well approach the high court or the jurisdictional magistrate," the bench said, adding that it is closing the proceedings for now.

Vinesh further alleged that Delhi Police is working against us. "Delhi Police is just working against us. They are stopping our supporters and people who are coming to stand with us," Vinesh said.

"We also want peace protest as we have been doing since day 1. But if Delhi Police takes the extreme steps, then it will be responsible for any harm to the people," she added.

Delhi Police blocked the entry of wrestlers at the venue where their fellow grapplers have been protesting against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Even as Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia held a press conference at the protest site at Jantar Mantar here, the police refused entry of the wrestlers to the venue.

Vinesh's cousin Geeta Phogat, a former World Championships medallist and 2010 Commonwealth Games gold winner, tweeted that she and her husband have been detained by the police.

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