‘Some People Trying To Take Our Protest In Different Direction’: Wrestlers

New Delhi: As the country’s top wrestlers have been protesting since last Sunday, wrestlers Vinesh, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia said that attempts are being made to misdirect their protest, reported ANI.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, they denied the allegations that they did not want to play the nationals, adding that the allegation was baseless and the real issue was of sexual harassment.

“Some people are trying to take our protest in a different direction so I want to tell you that we deny such things and we are here to fight for justice. We are here to fight for women. They are trying to twist the meaning of our protest. people who are here to support us they are here to ask for justice for women. There is no politics going on here because women come first, politics comes after that,” Bajrang Punia said at the press conference.

“We were accused of not playing nationals. I just want to say that the change in rules of national (competition) he is talking about are baseless, they are false and they are trying to break us,” Vinesh Phogat said at the press conference.

“This is not about nationals it is about sexual harassment. Sports is different from it. You are facing allegations you should answer those questions,” she added.

Meanwhile, a war of words broke out on Saturday between Phogat cousins Vinesh and Babita with the former asking the latter not to “weaken” the ongoing protest, reported PTI.

“If you are not standing for the rights of aggrieved female wrestlers, Babita sister, I request you with folded hands not to weaken our movement. It has taken years for female wrestlers to speak up against their abusers. You are also a woman, try to understand our pain,” Vinesh tweeted.

Her remarks came after Babita tweeted about Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s visit to Jantar Mantar to meet the protesting wrestlers.

“Priyanka Vadra reached Jantar Mantar with her personal secretary Sandeep Singh to seek justice for women wrestlers, but this person himself has been accused of misbehaving women and insulting a Dalit woman,” Babita, who contested and lost in the last Haryana Assembly elections from BJP ticket, said in her tweet.

Earlier, World Wrestling Federation Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said that wrestlers are trying to come up with new demands.

“Every day they (wrestlers) are coming with their new demands. They demanded FIR, FIR was registered and now they are saying that I should be sent to jail and resign from all posts. I am MP because of the people of my constituency and not because of Vinesh Phogat. Only one family and Akhara (are protesting). Why not people from any other place complaining? Why players from other states Himachal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and other states are not coming forward? 90 per cent of players of Haryana are with me,” said WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh while speaking with media.