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Jantar Mantar scuffle: Opposition calls ‘manhandling’ of wrestlers ‘shameful’, Congress seeks court-monitored probe

NEW DELHI: The Opposition on Thursday attacked the Centre  (Narendra  Modi) over a scuffle between the Delhi Police and the wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar here and termed the incident as ”shameful”, with the Congress demanding a court-monitored investigation into the entire episode.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal attacked the BJP over the issue and highlighted the plight of the women wrestlers.

The Congress called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, against whom the wrestlers are protesting. The party urged the PM to show ”sensitivity” to the protesting grapplers by visiting them at Jantar Mantar.

Rahul Gandhi in a tweet condemned the ”manhandling” of female wrestlers. ”Such behaviour with the players of the country is shameful.” ”’Beti Bachao’ is just hypocrisy. In fact, the BJP has never shied away from committing atrocities on the daughters of the country,” Gandhi said in his tweet in Hindi, while sharing a video of the players in which they are seen accusing the police of beating them up.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tagged a video of wrestlers breaking down and said it was sad to see the tears of female sportspersons who brought laurels for the country with hard work and dedication.

”They should be heard and justice must be done,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

Congress general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh called the last night’s development ”embarrassing”.

”The Prime Minister talks about women power in Karnataka and in Delhi the daughters who bring laurels to the country are being tortured. Break your silence, take Brij Bhushan’s resignation!” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

Congress’ media department head Pawan Khera in a tweet said, ”Mr Prime Minister, it will take you just 15 min to visit these wrestlers at Jantar Mantar. Show some sensitivity.” ”Please don’t let the world say that Indian govt has betrayed India’s daughters,” he said.

Addressing a press conference along with Olympic bronze medal-winning boxer Vijender Singh, AICC secretary Amrita Dhawan said what the Delhi Police did with the noted wrestlers is ”unprecedented and shameful”. ”We demand that there should be a court-monitored investigation as there cannot be justice till Brij Bhushan Singh occupies the post of WFI chief and till the time he is not arrested the FIR against him will have no meaning,” Dhawan said.

Hitting out at the Centre over the scuffle, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said ”disrobing” the honour of India’s daughters in such a manner was utterly ”shameful”.

The nation was watching their tears, she said, asserting that the country would not forgive those ”assaulting” them.

”Disrobing the honour of our daughters in this manner is utterly shameful. India stands by its daughters, and I, as a human being, definitely stand by our wrestlers,” she tweeted.

”Law is one for all. ‘Law of the ruler’ can’t hijack the dignity of these fighters. You can assault them but can’t break their spirit. The fight is right and the fight will continue. Don’t dare to hurt our wrestlers, the nation is watching their tears and the nation won’t forgive you. I urge our wrestlers to stay strong, I share all my strength with them,” Banerjee said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin hit out at Prime Minister Modi over the alleged manhandling of protesting wrestlers in Delhi, saying contrary to the PM’s ”false promises” on empowering women, the BJP was ”shielding” accused persons.

Expressing shock over the ”gross injustice” being meted out to champion wrestlers, who have brought glory to the nation, Stalin said this is just not done.

”Our Hon’ble Prime Minister keeps giving sermons on empowering women. Contrary to these false promises, torturing the victims and shielding the accused has become the hallmark of BJP as we have witnessed in the cases of Kathua, Unnao, Hathras, Bilkis Bano, etc.,” he said in a tweet.

”I demand #JusticeForOurWrestlers!” he added.

Slamming the BJP, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal called the ruling party’s treatment of national sportspersons ”shameful and arrogant”.

Kejriwal in a tweet in Hindi said that arrogance has gone to the head of the BJP and it wanted to run the system through ”hooliganism”, as he called on people to throw it out of power.

Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti and Congress leader Deepender Hooda were among the people who were detained after the incident on Wednesday night, according to police.

Kejriwal, sharing a video of Jantar Mantar incident, tweeted that ”such behaviour with the champion players of the country? This is extremely unfortunate and shameful…” ”I appeal to all the people in the country…no more…do not tolerate BJP’s hooliganism, the time has come to uproot the BJP and chase them away,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Union Minister and BJP leader Meenakashi Lekhi said the credibility of the wrestlers’ protest at Jantar Mantar eroded after ”discredited” politicians joined it.

Hours after the scuffle, Lekhi at a press conference said the Centre was dealing with the wrestlers’ issue ”very sensitively” and pointed out that the matter was in court.

The Delhi Police has filed two FIRs against WFI chief Singh on allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by seven women wrestlers.

The wrestlers have asserted that they would not leave the protest site until Singh is arrested. They resumed their sit-in last week and demanded that the findings of the panel that probed the allegations be made public.


Source: Press Trust of India

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