Wrestlers meet Amit Shah; To stay united, wrestlers to hold own mahapanchayat soon, Bajrang Punia

The wrestlers put forward their demands before Amit Shah who assured them that the probe will be impartial, a source told TNIE.

Published: 05th June 2023 08:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th June 2023 09:07 AM   |  A+A-

Wrestlers protest

Wrestlers (from L) Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  India’s top wrestlers, who are protesting against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the sidelined chief of the Wrestling Federation of India, met Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday night.

It is learnt that Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik along with two-time World Championships medallist Vinesh Phogat had a meeting with Home Minister Shah at his residence in New Delhi. The meeting lasted for more than an hour, sources told TNIE. 

“The meeting started at around 11 PM. It continued till midnight. The wrestlers put forward their demands before Shah who assured them that the probe will be impartial,” a source in the know things told TNIE. Notably, the wrestlers met Shah in the past as well.

A day before their march towards the new Parliament on May 28, Sakshi, along with her husband Satyawart Kadian and a few Khap leaders, had met Amit Shah. However, the meeting could not fetch desired results as wrestlers tried to breach the security cordon put in place at Jantar Mantar the next day. The Delhi police later detained all the protesting wrestlers and even registered FIRs against them. The protest site was also cleared barring the grapplers to return to the place to continue the protest. “Wrestlers once again demanded immediate arrest of Brij Bhushan but the Home Minister told them that arrest could only be made by police after completion of the investigation,” added the source.

Wrestlers’ mahapanchayat

Meanwhile, a mahapanchayat was held in Mundlana, Sonepat (Haryana) on Sunday to express solidarity with protesting wrestlers. Bajrang attended the meeting. Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satyapal Malik, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Chaudhary, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, Bharat Rashtra Kisan Samithi’s Gurnam Singh Chaduni and others also attended mahapanchayat.

Speaking on the occasion, Bajrang urged the Khap leaders and farmer organisations not to hold multiple mahapanchayats. “Bajrang said these panchayats are sending wrong messages and developing a perception that the wrestlers have been pushed to the background. He instead announced that the wrestlers will soon hold a mahapanchayat to discuss the future course of action,” said a source who attended the mahapanchayat.

Referring to their earlier plans to immerse their medals in the Ganga river, Punia said: “These have left our wrestler sisters and daughters broken. We will hold one mahapanchayat and will give a call for that. We will decide on the venue. We want to bring everyone together for that panchayat, we don’t want us to be divided.”

He said their battle was not for any particular caste but for honour and respect. “If we remain divided, we cannot win.”


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