After major clashes erupted between wrestlers, their supporters and Delhi police, the latter has now filed an FIR against protest organisers and others in connection with the incident at Jantar Mantar on Sunday.
Just two kilometers away from the inauguration ceremony of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, wrestlers were pushed, shoved and detained by Delhi police on the claims that they breached the security cordon while trying to move towards the building for a planned women's 'Mahapanchayat'.
Immediately after the wrestlers were pushed into buses and taken to different locations, the police officers began clearing the protest site by removing the cots, mattresses, coolers, fans and the tarpaulin ceiling along with other belongings of the grapplers.
Several videos on social media showed police personnel physically manhandling the wrestlers. Top grappler Sakshi Malik said the wrestlers' protest was not over yet and that they would return to Jantar Mantar as soon as Delhi Police releases them.
"Never thought a day will come when we will have to fight on streets for justice after fighting on the mat for medals. This country's daughters are strong, if they can win medals on foreign soil, then definitely they will not stop until the battle on the home soil is won," Malik wrote in another tweet and posted contrasting videos of her Olympic medal ceremony and Sunday's scuffle with police.
कभी सोचा नहीं था कुश्ती की रिंग में लड़ते लड़ते एक दिन इंसाफ़ के लिए ऐसे सड़कों पर भी लड़ना पड़ेगा…. देश की बेटियाँ बहुत मज़बूत हैं, जब विदेश में मेडल जीत सकती हैं तो अपने देश में इंसाफ़ की लड़ाई भी जीतके ही मानेंगी। #WrestlerProtest pic.twitter.com/eTHzERBUwb— Sakshee Malikkh (@SakshiMalik) May 28, 2023
The protest organisers and others have been booked for rioting and obstructing public servant in discharge of duty, Delhi police said.
The wrestlers, who have been sitting in protest at Delhi's Jantar Mantar, are demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Singh who, they alleged, sexually harassed several women grapplers. Several Opposition parties, including the Congress, have extended their support to the protesting wrestlers.
The police said 700 people were detained across Delhi, including 109 protesters at Jantar Mantar. According to a senior police officer, the FIR has been registered under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Sections 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation), 147 (rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC have also been invoked.
(With inputs from PTI)