No matter how powerful...: Arvind Kejriwal on the fighters protest site

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met wrestlers protesting against sports federation chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over alleged sexual harassment and called on people to support the country's top athletes in their protest.

Saturday, April 29, 2023 - Austin Jacobs

Arvind Kejriwal meets with fighters protesting at Delhi's Jantar Mantar Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met wrestlers protesting against sports federation chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over alleged sexual harassment and called on people to support the country's top athletes in their protest. Delhi Police filed two First Information Reports (FIRs) against the head of the Indian Wrestling Federation yesterday following a Supreme Court order and after wrestlers including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat, among others, they approached the court alleging long-term police inaction.

The fighters did not call off their week-long protest at Delhi's Jantar Mantar; they want Singh, who is also a BJP MP, arrested.

"The athletes have made India proud on the international stage. But for a week they were forced to protest at Jantar Mantar. Why? Because a great politician would have done bad things to women and our sisters who have made the country proud." Kejriwal said. , standing among wrestlers at Jantar Mantar, told reporters.

"All the citizens who love this country are with the fighters," Kejriwal said, adding that the central government should help the fighters in their fight against the BJP MP.

"All these players who have brought laurels to the country are our daughters; they must get justice. No matter how powerful the defendant is, they must receive the harshest sentence," Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.

Singh denied the allegations and doubled down on his own defense by refusing to resign from the wrestling body, as it would mean he accepted the allegations.

"I am completely innocent. I will cooperate with any investigation... Their (protesters') demands are constantly changing. Resigning would mean accepting the charges. Resigning is fine, but not as a criminal, I am not a criminal," Singh told reporters. .

The wrestlers' protest was also seen as turning political with several opposition leaders and others from Haryana, most of the wrestlers' home state, turning up to show their support for Jantar Mantar.

Besides Mr. Kejriwal, they include Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of Congress, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik, khap panchayat leaders, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat and former minister Haryana chief Bhupinder Singh Hooda among others.

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had formed the committee to investigate the allegations against the WFI and its leader. The commission, in charge of presenting a report to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, had presented it on April 5. But the ministry has yet to make the six-member commission's findings public.

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