Wrestler Vinesh Phogat Joins Her Colleagues Malikkh, Punia In Protest; Decides To Return Awards

The trio including wrestlers Sakshee Malikkh, Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat had been at the forefront of the protests against BJP leader and MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.


Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik

Days after wrestler Sakshee Malikkh announced her retirement from wrestling and another wrestler Bajrang Punia returned his Padma Shri, Vinesh Phogat, the third top wrestler who was part of the protests against former Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, has announced that she will return her Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards.

BJP leader and MP Brij Bhushan had been accused of sexual harassment by many women wrestlers.

The trio including Malikkh, Punia and Phogat had been at the forefront of the protests against him.

The wrestlers' decisions have been taken in quick succession in a span of six days since a panel led by Sanjay Singh, a close aide of Brij Bhushan, won the elections to the Wrestling Federation of India by a landslide on Thursday.


The development was an indication to the protesting players about a continuity of leadership in the body. 

Later, the panel was suspended by the sports ministry.

Wrestler Phogat's Letter To PM:

"Sakshee Malikkh has quit wrestling and Bajrang Punia has returned his Padma Shri. The whole country knows why the players who won Olympic medals for the country were forced to do all this; and you are the head of the country, so this matter must have reached you too. Prime Minister, I am Vinesh Phogat, a daughter of your house and I am writing this letter to you to tell you about the condition I have been in for the past year," she said.


"I remember the year 2016, when Sakshi Malik won a medal in the Olympics, your government named her the brand ambassador of "Beti Bachao Beti Padhao". When this was announced, all the women players of the country were happy and were sending congratulatory messages to each other. Today, ever since Sakshi had to leave wrestling, I am remembering that year again and again. Are we women players made only to appear on government advertisements," she added.