Their frustration is justified, with the reigning Asian Games and the CWG champion Vinesh Phogat – at the forefront of the fight against Singh – declaring on Tuesday that they intend to turn their agitation into a pan-India movement after the May 21 deadline – when the 15-day ultimatum from khap panchayats and farmers unions for the government take action against WFI’s disgraced boss expires.
“We plan to make it a pan-India movement. If the government does not act before the May 21 deadline, we will take this protest to the next level. Trust me, it will be much bigger than what you see today,” Vinesh said, issuing a warning to the authorities. Uttar Pradesh. We are not comfortable with the camp organized at the SAI center in Lucknow. We fear for our lives,” he added.
Jantar Mantar: Delhi police weld barricades together to ensure crowd control at site of wrestlers’ protest
The wrestlers reiterated their demands as a two-member sports ministry delegation convened Bajrang Punia and Satyawart Kadian at the protest site in the early hours of Tuesday. Late Saturday night, a two-member delegation including Sports Authority of India (SAI) director general Sandip Pradhan met with wrestlers at Jantar Mantar to negotiate a peace deal.
However, people familiar with the situation informed TOI that the ministry or SAI alone cannot act on the demands of the wrestlers for Singh’s arrest and disbandment of affiliated units as it is out of their purview. “As regards the arrest of Singh, it is up to the police and the judiciary to decide. Coming to the dissolution application, all state/district units of the WFI are registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860. The WFI is also registered under the same act. Only registrars under whose jurisdiction the states fall have the power to deregister affiliated units if found guilty of indulging in practices deemed contrary to the principles of the law. A registrar has the authority to take a call on the matter, otherwise it will become a very complex legal matter,” the officials informed.
Meanwhile, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) a two-member ad hoc committee decided to reschedule the Under-15 and Under-20 National Wrestling Championships in Pune, which circular was issued by the WFI on May 2.
“The 2023 Under 15 and Under 20 National Wrestling Championships were decided by the WFI in Pune. As the affairs of the WFI are now being handled by the ad hoc committee formed by the IOA, as such, the aforementioned leagues are being rescheduled. The new dates will be announced later,” ad hoc committee member Bhupender Singh Bajwa informed. Bajwa is the sole decision maker at the moment as other committee member, national rifle coach Suma Shiru, is in national service as part of the coaching staff for the ISSF World Cup for pistol and rifle in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku. The World Cup will conclude on May 15 and only then will Shirur be available in person to attend ad hoc meetings of the body.
The protesting wrestlers did not train at Karnail Stadium on Tuesday after training for an hour on Monday. It was learned that the wrestlers had planned to carry out their training activities in secret, but several media outlets gathered outside the stadium for video bytes and footage, resulting in the session being cancelled.