According to reports, there was a scuffle between some police officers and wrestlers who were staging a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and calling for the arrest of the head of the wrestling federation on suspicion of sexual harassment. The Delhi Police did not respond right away when asked about the situation. Some of the demonstrators can be heard accusing police officers in a video that is going around on social media platforms of attacking two wrestlers under the influence of alcohol.
In the video, the accused police officer can be seen sitting, despite the protesters’ claims that his colleagues were mute spectators. “The mattresses got wet due to rain so we were bringing folding beds for sleeping, but the police did not allow that. Drunk policeman Dharemendra abused Vinesh Phogat and got involved in a scuffle with us,” former wrestler Rajveer told to sources.
“They started hitting us. Bajrang Punia’s brother-in-law Dushyant and Rahul suffered head injuries. The police did not even let doctors reach the site. Even the women constables were misbehaving with us,” he said. “I was abused and pushed around by policemen. Where are the women police personnel?” asked Phogat.
Punia’s wife Sangeeta also claimed that she was pushed around by policemen. Punia has called for farmers and their leaders to assemble at the protest site on Thursday morning. “Delhi Police ki gundagardi ab nahi chalegi (Delhi Police’s high-handedness will not work anymore). We will call farmers to assemble here in numbers. We will not tolerate it anymore. Tractors or trolleys. Whatever you get, just come here,” he said.
The wrestlers have been staging a sit-in at Jantar Mantar since April 23. They have levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is also a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Uttar Pradesh. The protesters have been demanding criminal action against Singh for the alleged sexual harassment and intimidation of seven female wrestlers, one of whom is a minor.
The Delhi Police filed two FIRs against the WFI president on Friday on the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by the wrestlers.