Commonwealth Games medalist Vinesh Phogat on Tuesday said that she has pulled out of the upcoming Asian Games in China's Hangzhou.
On Sunday Delhi Police detained several wrestlers including Olympic medalists as well as dozens of their supporters. The wrestlers attempted to march to India’s new parliament as it was being inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but they were stopped by hundreds of police personnel.
Among those some of the athletes detained and hauled away were Olympic bronze medalists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia nd two-time World Championships medalist Vinesh Phogat.
Vinesh Phogat, a professional wrestler who has led the large-scale protest with wrestlers at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, claimed democracy was “being murdered openly at Jantar Mantar” on Monday while the prime minister unveiled the new Parliament building.
At a time when people are dying in the nation and numerous women wrestlers have been sitting out competitions for more than a month in protest of sexual harassment, the gold medalist from the Commonwealth and Asian Games accused the Centre of a “false pretense” in a video message posted on Twitter.
She claimed that the Mahila Samaj and Kisan leaders who had travelled across borders to participate in the “Mahila Mahapanchayat” march to the new Parliament building had been detained by the police.
जंतर मंतर पर सरेआम लोकतंत्र की हत्या हो रही
एक तरफ़ लोकतंत्र के नये भवन का उद्घाटन किया है प्रधानमंत्री जी ने
दूसरी तरफ़ हमारे लोगों की गिरफ़्तारियाँ चालू हैं. pic.twitter.com/ry5Wv9xn5A
— Vinesh Phogat (@Phogat_Vinesh) May 28, 2023
“On one hand the Prime Minister has inaugurated the new building of democracy. On the other hand, the arrests of our people are on,” her tweet translated from Hindi read.
Protest wrestlers organised a “Mahila Mahapanchayat” close to the new structure after a month-long demonstration in Jantar Mantar, around two kilometers from Parliament, and declared they would push through with their plan no matter what. No protester will be permitted to approach the new Parliamentary building, according to the police, because authorization to host the “Mahila Mahapanchayat” has not been obtained.
The protesting wrestlers, led by Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia, as well as Commonwealth and Asian Games champion Bajrang Punia, have called for the arrest of Brij Bhushan Singh, the president of the Wrestling Federation of India, whom they claim sexually abused many female athletes.
In order to maintain peace and order, security has been increased by increasing police deployment, erecting several barricades and police pickets, and intensifying patrolling across the national capital and its surrounding areas.
In order to show their support for the protesting wrestlers, thousands of farmers from Uttar Pradesh would assemble at the Ghazipur border of Delhi on Sunday morning, according to farmer activist Rakesh Tikait. From other border crossings, farmers were expected to travel to Delhi.