The country’s top wrestlers have gathered at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar to protest against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the President of Wrestling Federation of India, who has been accused of sexually harassing female wrestlers. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi visited the protest site on Sunday alongside Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik. However, Babita Phogat accused Gandhi of exploiting the platform of wrestlers for political gain. Vinesh Phogat promptly addressed Babita’s accusation, leading to a heated exchange on Twitter between the Phogat sisters.
On her official Twitter handle, Babita expressed, “As athletes who have fought their way to the top from scratch, we are capable of fighting our own battles. The platform of players should not be exploited for political gain. Certain leaders are using the platform of athletes to further their political agendas. As athletes, we must remember that we belong not to any one nation but to the entire nation.”
Babita took aim at Priyanka Gandhi in her second tweet, stating, “Priyanka Vadra reached Jantar Mantar with her personal secretary Sandeep Singh to seek justice for women wrestlers, but this person himself has been accused of misbehaving women and insulting a Dalit woman.”
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Following this, Vinesh delivered a fitting response to her sister Babita and shared on Twitter, “If you can’t stand for the rights of aggrieved female wrestlers, Babita sister, I request you with folded hands not to weaken our movement. It has taken years for female wrestlers to speak up against their abusers. You are also a woman, try to understand our pain.”
Mandeep Poonia, a freelance journalist who supports women wrestlers, started replying to all of Babita’s anti-dharna tweets in the comments. Babita blocked him immediately.
On Friday, the Delhi Police filed two FIRs against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh after receiving complaints of sexual harassment from female wrestlers. The wrestlers have been provided with a copy of the FIR.