Our protest is not politically motivated: Sakshi & her husband
NEW DELHI: Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik and her wrestler husband Satyawart Kadian on Saturday insisted that their protest was not politically motivated and they kept mum for years despite facing harassment because the wrestling fraternity was not united earlier.
In a video posted on Twitter, Kadian said a false narrative was being created around their protest and they wanted to clear the air. The country’s top wrestlers including Malik, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia, accused outgoing Wrestling Federation of India chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment and intimidation.
Leaders from different political parties, including Congress’ Priyanka Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik visited the protest site, extending their support to the wrestlers before they were removed from Jantar Mantar on May 28.
Kadian, sitting beside Malik, said rumours were being spread about their protest. “Let me make it clear that our protest is not politically-motivated. We came (to Jantar Mantar) in January, and permission was taken by two BJP leaders seeking police permission,” Kadian said and asked Malik to show the letter, seeking permission for the protest. It was written by former wrestlers Babita Phogat and Teerath Rana, who are both associated with the BJP.
Malik said they were silent for years because wrestlers were not united. “You have seen that the minor has retracted her statement. Her family was intimidated. These wrestlers come from poor families. It’s not easy to muster the courage to take on a powerful man,” the Rio Games bronze medallist said.