New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) The members of the 1983 Cricket World Cup team have come out in support of the ongoing protest by wrestlers against the Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) sidelined chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accusing him of sexual harassment.
Prominent Indian wrestlers including Olympians Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat have been demanding the arrest of Brij Bhushan, over sexual harassment of female athletes, including a minor.
The 1983 team, which includes Kapil Dev, Mohinder Amarnath, and Kris Srikkanth among others, said that they were “distressed and disturbed” by the “unseemly visuals” of the wrestlers being manhandled.
“We are distressed and disturbed at the unseemly visuals of our champion wrestlers being manhandled. We are also most concerned that they are thinking of dumping their hard-earned medals into the river Ganga. Those medals have involved years of effort, sacrifice, determination and grit and are not only their own but the nation’s pride and joy,” the statement read.
Last weekend, the protesting wrestlers were detained by the Delhi Police during their march towards the new Parliament building.
As the protesters tried to breach the security cordon, a fierce tussle broke out — the wrestlers and cops pushed, shoved and grappled with each other.
A couple of days later, the wrestlers went to Haridwar to discard their medals into the Ganga River and go on an indefinite hunger strike at the India Gate. With many prominent personalities urging them, they deposited their medals with a prominent farmers’ leader asking him to take a call on the medals.
They are also “most concerned” that the wrestlers are thinking of dumping their hard-earned medals into the river Ganga.
“We urge them not to take any hasty decision in this matter and also fervently hope that their grievances are heard and resolved quickly. Let the law of the land prevail,” the statement further read.
The wrestlers’ protest has gained significant attention from both sporting enthusiasts and the general public, with several prominent personalities and athletes from other disciplines expressing their solidarity with wrestlers.