'Willing To Have A Discussion', Says Anurag Thakur As Centre Invites Protesting Wrestlers For Talks

Earlier, wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat met Union Home Minister Amit Shah amid their ongoing protests against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh. 

Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik at the protest site in Delhi

Amid the ongoing row over the wrestlers' protest against Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the government has invited the protesting wrestlers for talks on their issues, days after they met Home Minister Amit Shah.

In a tweet post-midnight Tuesday, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said the government was "willing to have a discussion with the wrestlers on their issues". 

"I have once again invited the wrestlers for the same," he said.

Earlier, the Olympian wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and international wrestling champion Vinesh Phogat met Shah amid their ongoing protests against Singh. 

As per media reports, the meeting at Amit Shah's residence went on till midnight when the protesters pressed for an early chargesheet against Brij Bhushan.

Meanwhile, as rumours spread that the wrestlers have withdrawn their names from the protest, Sakshi Malik and others slammed the media for reporting misinformation. Although the wrestlers have joined their work at the Railways, they said that their support for the protest will continue. 

"We had given time till June 9 for the government to talk to us; they called us for a discussion. It is not a crime to stage protest while continuing with your job, the movement will continue," said farmer leader Rakesh Tikait on Tuesday on protesting wrestlers returning to their government jobs.

What is the protest all about?

The wrestlers have been agitating against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a BJP MP, and demanded his arrest. Some women wrestlers have accused him of sexually harassing them.

Earlier, the Delhi Police recorded the statements of Singh's associates and those working at his residence in Uttar Pradesh's Gonda as part of the investigation, officials said.

They also said a minor complainant whose statement was the basis of a case registered against Singh under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has recorded a fresh statement under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) section 164.

(With PTI Inputs)