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Jantar Mantar Protest: Wrestlers Take Legal Route, Leave Streets

Wrestlers protesting against the chief of WFI at Jantar Mantar have called off the street protest and taken a legal route.

Vivek Singh
File Photo (Photo Courtesy: @SakshiMalik/Twitter)
File Photo (Photo Courtesy: @SakshiMalik/Twitter)

Wrestlers have announced that they will patiently await the fulfilment of the promised changes to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Over six months after initiating their protest at Delhi's Jantar Mantar, where they accused Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the sidelined chief of WFI, of sexually harassing female wrestlers, the wrestlers have decided to end their demonstration.

Through a statement shared on social media, they have expressed their intent to continue their fight against Singh in the court rather than on the streets. Additionally, they have mentioned their willingness to await the realization of the assurances provided by the government, particularly in relation to the upcoming election for WFI's new president and executive committee, scheduled for July 11th.

The wrestlers who were protesting against the sexual harassment of female wrestlers have acknowledged the government's commitment to their cause. The Delhi Police have conducted an investigation based on the FIRs filed by six female wrestlers and filed a chargesheet on June 15. The wrestlers have stated that they will now pursue justice through the legal system rather than on the streets. They expressed their satisfaction with the progress in reforming the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), as the election process has commenced as promised. 

The election is scheduled for July 11, and the wrestlers have indicated their willingness to wait for the government's assurances to be implemented. The charge sheet against the sidelined chief, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, includes offences such as assault, sexual harassment, and stalking, while the POCSO charges have been dropped following a second statement from a minor wrestler. Vinod Tomar, the suspended assistant secretary of WFI, has also been booked on charges of abetment and criminal intimidation.

Protesting Wrestlers Had Urged Sports Minister To Allow Time To Prepare for Trials

Prior to ending their protests, the wrestlers sent a letter to the Sports Minister, Anurag Thakur, requesting time to prepare for the upcoming trials for the Asian Games and World Wrestling Championships.

The ad-hoc committee of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) recently declared that the wrestlers who were protesting will participate in "single-bout" trials. This implies that they will only need to win a single match against the winner of the first round to secure their spot.

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