New Delhi. Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had dinner at his residence with the wrestlers sitting on strike against the Wrestling Federation of India. During this, he also talked about the whole matter. After being invited by Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Ravi Dahiya and other wrestlers reached the Union Minister’s residence and then after some time all came out of the residence. For the first time on Wednesday, the Sports Minister gave a statement on this whole controversy and said that the government is serious about this matter.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur kept trying to end the deadlock till late Thursday night amid the demand of the country’s top wrestlers to dissolve the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) with immediate effect. Several Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, World Championship medalist Vinesh Phogat, have been staging a sit-in at Jantar Mantar here for the past two days alleging sexual harassment and threats against WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Protesting wrestlers including Vinesh, Bajrang, Sakshi, Anshu Malik, Ravi Dahiya, Sarita Mor met Thakur at his residence on Thursday night and demanded immediate action. The meeting between the two sides continued till late night in which both the sides have so far failed to find any concrete solution. According to sources, the government wants the wrestlers to end their protest but the players are adamant that the WFI should be dissolved first.
A source close to the wrestlers told PTI, “The government can sort out other issues later…but it should first dissolve the WFI.” Three-time Commonwealth Games medalist and BJP leader Babita Phogat on Thursday became the ‘messenger’ of the government and assured the fulfillment of their demands to the wrestlers sitting on the dharna, who are demanding the dissolution of the Wrestling Federation of India.
The team of wrestlers, which included three-time Commonwealth champion Vinesh Phogat and Olympic bronze medalist Bajrang Punia, and Sakshi Malik and her husband Satyavrat Kandyan, were then called for a meeting with the government. All of them also discussed their issues with Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi, Director General of Sports Authority of India Sandeep Pradhan and Joint Secretary (Sports) Kunal.
On Wednesday, a sudden storm arose in Indian wrestling. Around 30 wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, sat on a dharna at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar against the Wrestling Federation of India, accusing union president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and several coaches of sexual abuse. Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had called the wrestlers for dinner on Wednesday regarding this matter.
Tags: anurag thakur, Sakshi Malik
FIRST PUBLISHED : January 20, 2023, 02:44 IST