The Centre has urged the wrestlers to wait till June 15 to resume their protests. Both Bajrang Punia and Sakshee Malikkh told the media that the meeting has ended with Union Minister Anurag Thakur and they have stated their demands to the government and they will resume their protests after June 15 if the demands are not met.
#WATCH | Government has assured us that police investigation will be completed before 15th June. We have requested that all FIRs against wrestlers should be taken back and he has agreed to it. If no action is taken by 15th June, we will continue our protest: Wrestler Bajrang… pic.twitter.com/1hi9Qp0RFY— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2023
According to reports, Bajrang Punia said that the Union Minister told them to wait till the police investigation regarding the sexual harassment case is over. Sakshee Malikkh has reportedly told the media, "The Delhi Police will withdraw FIRs filed against wrestlers on May 28."
Union Minister Anurag Thakur had invited the protesting wrestlers for further talks on their issues. Earlier on June 3, a meeting went on till midnight at Home Minister Amit Shah's residence where the wrestlers asked for an early chargesheet against WFI chief Brij Bhushan.
Key points from the meeting
1. Appointing a woman chief for the WFI - The protesting wrestlers demanded that the organisation be headed by a woman chief pertaining to their earlier experience where complaints of sexual harassment remained unheard and abuse came from the top. The wrestlers hope that a woman on top may change the patterns.
2. Free and fair elections in the WFI - With reference to the earlier warning by the United World Wrestling to the ad-hoc panel of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) that is overseeing the functioning of the WFI to conduct a fair and impartial election of the WFI, the protesting wrestlers asked the union minister to make sure this happens.
3. Brij Bhushan or his family cannot be a part of WFI - To make sure that the experience with Brij Bhushan not be repeated through nepotism, the protesting wrestlers demand that he and his family be cut out from the federation.
4. Revoking FIR on wrestlers - On April 28, when the wrestlers marched towards the new Parliament building for their demands to be heard as the Prime Minister of the country was inaugurating the building, the wrestlers found themselves in a scuffle with the Delhi Police who also filed an FIR against them. The wrestlers now demand the FIR to be revoked as they did not break any rules that day.5. Arrest of Brij Bhushan - There were seven women including a minor who filed sexual harassment complaints (the minor complainant has withdrawn her name recently) against the WFI chief and the Delhi Police has filed two FIR against him regarding the case, yet nothing has been done about it so far, wrestlers demand the arrest of Bhushan be done as soon as possible.
According to reports, Bajrang Punia said that they will wait till June 15 to see if their demands are met. Sakshee Malikkh has reportedly told the media, "The Delhi Police will withdraw FIRs filed against wrestlers on May 28."
Earlier, as rumours spread that the wrestlers have withdrawn their names from the protest, Sakshee Malikkh 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.
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.
(With PTI Inputs)