Wrestlers sitting on dharna at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar put Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani in the dock for not registering an FIR against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Rio Olympics bronze medalist Sakshi Malik questioned the silence of the Union Minister.
Speaking with media, Sakshi Malik said, “I want to ask Smriti Irani (Union Minister) why is she silent now? It’s been four days, we are sleeping on the road, suffering mosquito bites. We are not being given permission (by Delhi Police) to cook and train, why are you silent?”
According to Sakshi Malik, she believes that her message may not be effectively reaching the Prime Minister. Sakshi Malik said, “Perhaps our truth is not reaching him, so we want to meet him. We want to inform him about our issues.”
World Championship medalist Vinesh Phogat said, “We don’t even have telephone numbers (of the people concerned) so that we can reach them, so we are appealing through the media to take up the issues with Prime Minister Modi. Perhaps then he will hear our cry. Our soul is almost dead, maybe he will see.”
Phogat said that they would take out a ‘candle march’ in the evening. She said, “Perhaps the officials are not seeing, so we will take out a candle march to give some light. Maybe they can see that the daughters of India who are not just wrestlers but represent the sentiments of many women are on the streets.”
Tokyo Olympics medalist Bajrang Punia said, “We had brought wrestling mats for practice, but we were not allowed. Even we cannot cook our own food here as permission is not granted. Now do we have to take permission even to breathe?”
He also said that efforts are being made by the people of the WFI chief to intimidate us. Bajrang Punia said, “Some people are trying to discourage us. They are scaring us by telling stories of how Brij Bhushan killed the opponent, but let me tell you that we are not scared.”
Vinesh Phogat appealed to all the players to stand united with us. He said, “Can’t we put greed, fear and selfishness behind? I appeal to all the sportspersons of the country, Olympic medalists, national medalists and world championship medalists to come together and stand united.”