The protesting wrestlers also hailed the Indian Olympic Association decision of the panel (IOA) to conduct the selection trials for the U-17 and U-23 Asian Championships, which will be held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, from June 10-18.
Speaking to the media after visiting Raj Ghat in the evening with Vinesh Phogat, Sakchi MalikkhSangeeta Phogat and their supporters, Bajrang said they would not move until the former Indian Wrestling Federation (WFI) leader Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is arrested for alleged sexual harassment of female grapplers, including a minor.
“Our fight for justice will continue. We have great support from all over the country. The motto of the government is Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save girl Educate girl), so keep in mind that these are the girls of the country,” Bajrang said.
Asked if the protest, which has been going on for 26 days in Jantar Mantarhindering their preparation for this year’s Asian Games, Bajrang said bringing justice to the victims was now their priority.
“If we get justice for the girls, that is our biggest medal. We are ready to sacrifice ourselves. The fight is for the good people of WFI and not for people like Brij Bhushan or his supporters who will continue to attack the wrestlers,” he said.
Wrestlers during their protest march in New Delhi. (IANS Photo)
India’s U-17 and U-23 team selection trials for the Asian Championships are being held at NIS Patiala and India Sports Authority Regional Center in Sonepat, and Bajrang welcomed the move .
“We welcome the decision to restart the game with tries. We said before that the game should be taken care of by the committee and not by Brij Bhushan. We never objected to the committee.
“We don’t call other wrestlers here, we don’t want their practice to be affected,” he said.
Bajrang said, as previously discussed, that they will hold a “grand panchayat” (village council) on May 21 if a decision on Brij Bhushan’s arrest is not made by then.
He added that their future course of action will be decided by the panchayat elders.
“If nothing happens by tomorrow, whatever the decision of our elders in the khap panchayat, we will follow. On the 21st, the next move of our protest will be made.”
Protest fighters have withdrawn their agitation from Jantar Mantar by visiting prominent locations like the Hanuman Mandir near Connaught Place, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara and Raj Ghat over the past three days, seeking to garner massive support for their movement.
“We plan to go to important places in the city every day to raise awareness of our plight.”
(With PTI entries)