Rama Krishna Sangem
Narendera Modi led BJP government at the Centre has bought a temporary peace with agitating wrestlers -at least till June 15. Whether it will be able to sort out the problem – taking action against its six time MP Brij Bhushan Saran Singh – accused by wrestlers of sexual harassment – is to be seen. This peace is the outcome of talks Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakuar with striking Olympian wrestlers in Delhi on June 7, Wednesday.
The Centre has sought time till June 15 for the investigations to conclude, but the wrestlers’ protest is not over yet, grappler Sakshi Malik on Wednesday said. Malik’s statement comes after she and her fellow wrestlers met Union sports minister Anurag Thakur. “We have been asked to suspend our protest till police completes its investigation by June 15”, she added.
Wrestler Bajrang Punia said, “We had a discussion on some issues. Police investigation should be completed by 15th June and the minister has requested us not to hold protests until then. He also said the security of female wrestlers will be taken care of. We have requested that all FIRs against wrestlers should be taken back and he has agreed to it”.
“Not suspension, but a pause”
“Government has assured us that police investigation will be completed before 15th June. We have requested that all FIRs against wrestlers should be taken back and he has agreed to it. If no action is taken by 15th June, we will continue our protest”, Punia added. “It’s not suspension of agitation, but a pause in the stir,” made it clear the wrestler.
The meeting with Thakur comes days after wrestlers met home minister Amit Shah on Saturday night. During the meeting which went on till midnight, the grapplers pressed their demand for the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Punia said he was told by home minister Shah that the investigation was underway. Punia also said the government told the wrestlers not to reveal about their meeting with Shah, but they later leaked it to the media.
Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat have resumed their duties in the Railways, but reiterated that the protest has not died down and the movement will continue. The wrestlers also declared they will not hesitate to resign from their government jobs if needed.