In a powerful display of solidarity, farmers across Punjab and Haryana joined hands with protesting wrestlers, demanding the immediate arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief. Under the banner of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), these farmers held demonstrations at multiple locations, raising their voices against the alleged sexual harassment charges leveled against Singh.
Emphasizing the need for justice, the farmers submitted memorandums to deputy commissioners and sub divisional magistrates, urging the arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The SKM, which had called for nationwide protests, aimed to protect the democratic right to protest not just for Indian wrestlers but for all sections of society. Additionally, they demanded that the women wrestlers be granted permission to continue their sit-in at Delhi's Jantar Mantar, appealing to President Droupadi Murmu to direct the Union government accordingly.
In their memorandum, the SKM highlighted the urgency of the situation, calling for Singh's arrest and custodial interrogation to facilitate the speedy filing of charges and prosecution. They conveyed their deep concern over the negative impact this ongoing saga has had on the nation's reputation and urged immediate action to safeguard the honor of Indian daughters.
Voicing their outrage, representatives from various farmer unions demanded the immediate arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Protests were held at multiple locations, including Sangrur, Patiala, Mansa, Barnala, Moga, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Ludhiana, and Tarn Taran, where effigies of Singh and the central government were burned as symbols of discontent. Accusing the government of shielding Singh, protesters called for accountability and justice.
The demonstrations received support from different quarters, as Youth Congress activists in Chandigarh held a solidarity demonstration in support of the wrestlers. The protesters expressed their disappointment with the prolonged period of inaction against the WFI chief, who allegedly sexually harassed several women grapplers.
The movement has garnered widespread participation, with more than 30 farmer bodies, including BKU (Lakhowal), BKU (Ekta Ugrahan), All India Kisan Sabha, Punjab, Krantikari Kisan Union, Kirti Kisan Union, Jamhuri Kisan Sabha, and Punjab Kisan Union, standing united in their quest for justice.
Notable athletes, including Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat, expressed their support by visiting Har ki Pauri to protest against the alleged inaction of the WFI. However, after the intervention of influential khap and political leaders, they decided against taking any extreme steps and returned after spending an hour and 45 minutes at the site.
(With PTI Inputs)