Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

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Police Case Against Wrestlers After They Tried To March To New Parliament

The case was filed hours after the protesters were detained by the Delhi Police.

New Delhi:

The Delhi Police have filed cases against protesting wrestlers, accusing them of rioting, hours after visuals of its personnel manhandling Olympians and Commonwealth Games champions in the national capital shocked the country. The wrestlers have been accused of rioting, unlawful assembly and obstructing public servants from doing their duty.

The case was filed hours after the protesters were detained by the Delhi Police as they attempted a protest march. Chaos had unfolded less than two kilometres from the new parliament, as it was being inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Videos from the spot showed the champions being shoved, pushed, pinned down to the ground and dragged into buses — triggering outrage across the country. The tension had escalated when the wrestlers, led by Vinesh Phogat and her cousin Sangeeta Phogat, attempted to breach the security barricades set up by the police.

The athletes had planned a women’s assembly near the new parliament as part of their protest against BJP MP and chief of the country’s wrestling federation Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accusing him of sexually harassing some of the top wrestlers.

The protesters, who have been camping out at Jantar Mantar — Delhi’s designated protest site — for nearly a month, have been demanding his removal.

Earlier this month, the ace wrestlers alleged that a group of drunk Delhi Police personnel targeted them when they wanted to bring in mattresses to sleep on a rainy day. The policemen beat them up and abused the women wrestlers, they had said.

Several grapplers were hit on the head and two of them sustained injuries. One person had to be taken to the hospital.

The Delhi Police had denied any wrongdoing and said no force was used against the protesters. The police also claimed that five police personnel sustained injuries in the altercation.

Today’s events drew strong condemnation from the Opposition, which boycotted the ceremony at parliament, accusing the BJP-led government of insulting the President of India by having PM Modi inaugurate the building.

The Delhi Police, which had ramped up security measures at Jantar Mantar, ahead of today’s protests, later cleared the site.

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