On Wednesday, family members and friends of Indian wrestler Vishal Kaliraman protested the direct entry of Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia into the Asian Games, which begin on September 23 in Hangzhou.
Punia was exempted from the Asian Games trials in July and sent to Kyrgyzstan to prepare for the continental showpiece. Vishal, on the other hand, won the 65kg freestyle trials in Delhi but was left on the sidelines for Hangzhou. (More Sports News)
Protesting Punia's exemption, residents of Sisai gathered at Krantiman Park and marched to the mini-secretariat, raising slogans.
They also burned an effigy of Punia.
They requested justice for Vishal in a memorandum delivered to Haryana's chief minister through the deputy commissioner.
Krishan, the wrestler's elder brother, stated that supporters held a "black day" on Wednesday.
"We will protest, go on hunger strike, go to court and do whatever is possible," Krishan said.
Krishan challenged Punia to a battle with Vishal, with the winner going to the Asian Games. "If Vishal wins, he should be sent to Hangzhou," Krishan suggested.
Vishal's mother, Rajbala, claimed that her son had been treated unfairly.
"He has been training since the age of eight. Now, when the opportunity came, injustice was done to him. He is also the son of the country and should get justice," she said.
A khap panchayat meeting was held a few weeks ago in the Jat Dharamshala in Jind, Haryana, to explore the matter. The Khap panchayat rejected the issue, claiming that it was not their duty to take any action in the matter as the selection was the responsibility of WFI.
(With PTI inputs)