Wrestlers protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar have alleged that they were manhandled by Delhi Police personnel on Wednesday night. With police barricading the area, several journalists were allegedly stopped from entering the protest site.
The wrestlers had resumed their protest on April 23, demanding the arrest of WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for alleged sexual harassment of seven wrestlers.
On the sequence of events, DCP Pranav Tayal said that AAP leader Somnath Bharti had reached the spot with foldable beds but was not allowed to enter the venue. A scuffle began as some protesters breached the barricades and tried to take away the beds, the officer said. “Some police personnel and wrestlers were injured. We are requesting the wrestlers to go to hospital but they are not agreeing,” Tayal said, adding that action will be taken against a policeman who the protesters have alleged was drunk and misbehaving with them.
However, protesters said they had asked for the beds. “The criminal is sleeping in peace and we are being harassed…we are fighting for our dignity, and a policeman is pushing us…on our chest…did we win medals for the country to see this day?” said wrestling champion Vinesh Phogat.
Freelance journalist Sakshi Joshi said she was stopped from reporting on the protest even though she stood far away from the barricades. “Women police staffers grabbed me and snatched my phone. My clothes were torn.”