A file photo of Olympian Abhinav Bindra. Olympic gold medalist shooter Abhinav Bindra has condemned the police action against the country’s top wrestlers at Jantar Mantar, saying the “horrifying images” have left him “sleepless” and “haunted”. | Photo Credit: PTI
India’s first individual Olympic gold medalist shooter Abhinav Bindra condemned the police action against the country’s top wrestlers at Jantar Mantar, saying the “horrifying images” left him “sleepless” and “haunted”.
Unprecedented scenes of police dragging away Olympic and world championship medalists, including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sangeeta Phogat, were witnessed as the wrestlers and their supporters breached the security cordon during their march towards the new Parliament building for the planned women’s ‘Mahapanchayat’.
The wrestlers are demanding the arrest of outgoing WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for allegedly sexually harassing several female wrestlers, including a minor.
They called for a women’s Mahapanchayat in the new Parliament building when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated it.
“Sleepless last night, haunted by horrific images of my fellow Indian wrestlers protesting,” Bindra tweeted, even as India’s most successful footballer Sunil Chhetri and former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan also criticized the action against the wrestlers.
“It is time we establish independent safeguards in sports organizations. We must ensure that when such situations occur, they are dealt with with the utmost sensitivity and respect. Every athlete deserves a safe and empowering environment,” added Bindra, the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medalist. on the air rifle.
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati also tweeted in support of the wrestlers.
“Our daughters who have brought success for the country on the international stage have been forced to protest and demand action against the head of the Wrestling Federation of India on allegations of sexual harassment. I urge the central government to come forward and provide justice to these children,” Mayawati tweeted.
Another former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav also accused the center of making hollow promises on women’s safety.
“The incident at Jantar Mantar (on Sunday) makes it clear that BJP’s slogans on women’s safety and security are hollow and a means of trying to grab votes,” he tweeted.
On Sunday, as the wrestlers breached the barricade and marched towards the new Parliament building from Jantar Mantar, police personnel pushed and shoved them before they were detained and taken to various police stations in Delhi.
Vinesh put up a strong resistance against his confinement and Sangeeta clung to her cousin lying on the road as the struggle continued for several minutes. Police officers dragged and carried them to buses along with some other wrestlers and their supporters.
Although they were released after seven hours of imprisonment, it left some athletes in other disciplines sad.
“Why does it have to come down to our wrestlers being dragged without any consideration? This is not the way to treat anyone. I hope this whole situation is looked into properly,” Indian football captain Chhetri tweeted .
Pathan said that a solution to the issue should be found immediately.
“I’m so sad to see the visuals of our Athletes…. Please solve this ASAP,” Pathan tweeted.