Protesting wrestlers criticize apathy of ‘politicians’ Usha, Mary

Delhi Police is yet to question the outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on a First Information Report (FIR) of sexual harassment even as the next hearing in the Supreme Court is two days away, protesting wrestlers said on Tuesday. expressed anger over the delay. In investigation.

Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik address the media during their protest at Jantar Mantar (PTI)

He also expressed surprise that Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president PT Usha, a former track great, and its Athletes Commission (AC) chairperson MC Mary Kom, a boxing icon, have “abandoned” him.

Usha had last week said that the wrestlers should have shown more discipline while Mary, who heads the sports ministry’s monitoring committee, has not commented on the ongoing protest. The AC has not yet reached out to the wrestlers with its members saying a public statement to express solidarity with the protesters was held up in the drafting stage.

Rio Games bronze medalist Sakshi Malik said, “It has been a taxing battle, but the way people like PT Usha and Mary Kom have treated us has hurt us the most.” “It is a matter of deep concern and shame that former athletes of such a stand cannot support us. Such adversities give us strength. We do not want them to side with us. All we want is for them to speak the truth.”

Usha and IOA joint secretary and Football Federation president Kalyan Choubey criticized the wrestlers for bringing the country into disrepute with their strike. Usha is a Rajya Sabha MP nominated by the BJP and Choubey is a BJP member since 2015. Mary, a six-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist, was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the BJP in 2016.

“I have been hearing since childhood that a politician cannot be trusted. They (Usha and Mary) have proved it. These are the people I grew up watching and aspire to be. Perhaps I was destined to learn the ways of the world this way.

“I always looked up to Usha. Growing up, we wondered if we would ever see people like Usha, Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza etc in the flesh. It hurts more if a female athlete doesn’t understand your pain Is.’

Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Bajrang Punia also criticized Usha.

“Usha should know that she got the IOA post because of her sporting achievements, but now she has become a full-fledged politician,” he added.

The wrestlers criticized the delay in the police investigation.

The police have not yet called Brij Bhushan for questioning. The statements of the complainants have not been sought. What kind of investigation is this? Malik asked. It was the tenth day of the strike.

Punia said: “Singh keeps saying that he welcomes the investigation and trusts the court and the police. If he is so serious then he should come to Delhi and surrender. Two FIRs are registered against him.

Singh continued his media comments against the protesting wrestlers, accusing them of moving the goalposts and reiterating that he would resign if found guilty.

Singh has completed a maximum term of three to four years as WFI president and is ineligible for re-election under the government’s sports code. An IOA ad-hoc committee has been mandated to decide on new elections.

“Police investigation is going on but these people want me to be hanged already. If he does not trust the Delhi Police investigation, then perhaps he should demand a CBI inquiry. If any of his allegations are proved to be true even at the stage of investigation, I will happily resign,” he told India TV.

Singh had on Monday alleged that the protests were politically motivated, hinting at political leaders going on strike. Punia dismissed his remarks as a “wild, baseless allegation” and Malik said it was an attempt to break his resolve.

“Our sport tests us mentally and physically. We do not feel stressed despite the fact that we are fighting such a dangerous person. It is because we know we are doing it for a noble cause,” said Malik.

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