Protest spills over to selection trials venue in Sonepat
The protest, however, seems to have spilled over to the SAI centre in Sonepat where four-day selection trials to pick up the U-15 and 20 teams for the Asian Championships started on Monday.
CHENNAI: The day began with reports emerging about the withdrawal of wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia from the protest. The duo rubbished the reports later in the day claiming they will continue their fight for justice. They also held such malicious reports as an attempt to sabotage their movement.
The protest, however, seems to have spilled over to the SAI centre in Sonepat where four-day selection trials to pick up the U-15 and 20 teams for the Asian Championships started on Monday. The trials are being conducted by the ad-hoc committee formed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
Sources in the know of things informed this daily that it all started when a woman coach from Punjab started clicking pictures of the ongoing bouts. "One of the male coaches present at the venue stopped the woman from clicking pictures. Terming her close to the beleaguered WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the male coach engaged in a scuffle with the woman. He even took her phone. The ad-hoc got to know about the incident. Its members along with others present at the venue handled the situation. They even made the male coach return the mobile phone to the woman," said the sources.
The day saw selection trials in all 10 weight categories of U-15 and 20 age groups. Around 450 wrestlers competed on Day 1. Trials to select Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestlers for the championships will begin on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Bajrang also tweeted claiming people now want them to lose their jobs with Indian Railways. "Those who said our medals were worth `15 each are now after our jobs. Our life is at stake, a job is a very small thing in front of that. If the job appears to create an obstacle in the way of justice, then we will not take even ten seconds to quit it. Do not threaten us with a job," the Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist tweeted in Hindi. Vinesh Phogat, the two-time World Championships medallist, also tweeted the same message in Hindi.
The trio is employed with the Northern Railway. Rumours started flying thick and fast when it was reported that Sakshi has resumed her work in the Railways. But Northern Railway sources confirmed to this daily that the three wrestlers resumed their work on May 30 and 31.