To address the recent protests by some of the finest wrestlers in the nation who have accused the head of their federation of sexual harassment, a significant gathering of farmers has been organised for Thursday in the town of Sauram in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) and Balyan Khap leader Naresh Tikait has said that the wrestling protest will be the main topic of discussion during the mahapanchayat at the venerable Sauram Chaupal.
The wrestlers, who started their protest in New Delhi in January of this year, want the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to take action against Brij Bhushan Singh, who has been accused of harassing female athletes sexually.
Top wrestlers, including Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and Asian Games winner Vinesh Phogat, congregated on the banks of the Ganges River in Haridwar on Tuesday in a stunning turn of events.
They had threatened to toss their Olympic and World medals into the sacred river in protest at the BJP’s member of parliament Mr. Singh’s treatment.
By promising a solution in five days, Mr. Tikait and other Khap and farmer leaders were able to persuade them to wait.
In his statement to the media, Mr. Tikait congratulated the athletes, stating, “Thanks to them, we can stand tall in the world of international sports. They won’t have to hang their heads in shame, we’ll make sure of that.
In order to decide the next measures in the wrestling protest, representatives of several khaps and their leaders from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Delhi are anticipated to attend the mahapanchayat.
Following the detention of numerous wrestlers on May 28 and the filing of FIRs against them for violating law and order, this has happened. When the athletes attempted to march towards India’s new parliament building, their camping was evacuated.
The United World Wrestling (UWW), the sport’s global governing body, criticised the “lack of results” in the investigations into Mr. Singh and denounced the arrest of the wrestlers.
The UWW warned the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in its statement that failure to hold new elections for the WFI within 45 days could result in the suspension of the federation. The UWW also reminded the IOA of its promise to hold new elections for the WFI.
The UWW intends to meet with the wrestlers to talk about their conditions and has also expressed concern for the athletes’ safety.