bajrang punia

“Bajrang Punia, an Olympic medallist, expressed his protest by announcing his intention to return his Padma Shri award to the Prime Minister, citing his disagreement with the election of Sanjay Singh, a supporter of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, as the Wrestling Federation of India’s president.”

sakshi mallick

Bajrang, using X (formerly Twitter), penned a lengthy letter directed to PM Narendra Modi, notifying his decision to relinquish the award due to the lack of justice for female wrestlers. In his letter, he conveyed, ‘Dear PM Ji, while acknowledging your occupied schedule, I wish to highlight the plight of our country’s wrestlers.'”

It’s notable that earlier this year, female wrestlers in the country initiated a protest against Brij Bhushan Singh, alleging sexual harassment, a movement in which I also actively participated. The demonstration ceased following the government’s commitment to take stringent actions in response to the issue.”

Expressing his disillusionment, the prominent wrestler further remarked, ‘Despite three months passing by, there was no filing of an FIR against Brij Bhushan. In April, we once more mobilized for protests, urging the authorities to at least register an FIR against him.'”

Initially, in January, there were 19 complainants, but by April, the number reduced to 7, indicating that Brij Bhushan might have wielded his influence over 12 women wrestlers during that period.”

Stopped at the Kartavya Path by Delhi Police officials while attempting to reach Parliament and meet PM Modi, Bajrang clarified, ‘I don’t possess any permission. Should it be feasible, kindly transmit this letter to the PM as I find myself unable to gain access,” Bajrang expressed, seeking assistance in delivering his message.I’m not protesting or being confrontational,’ he conveyed while being restrained by the authorities.

In his communication to the PM, he elaborated, ‘Our protest persisted for 40 days, enduring immense pressure. Our protest site suffered vandalism, and our right to continue protesting was curtailed. Feeling at a loss, we resorted to immersing our medals in the Ganga. However, our action was interrupted by farmer leaders and coaches. At that juncture, a minister from your cabinet contacted us, guaranteeing justice. Additionally, we met the Union home minister, who too pledged justice, prompting us to halt our protest.’

bajrang punia

However, in the recent WFI election on December 21, the federation once again fell under Brij Bhushan’s leadership. He openly declared his dominance over the federation, causing tremendous pressure. Under this strain, Sakshi Malik, too, declared her retirement from wrestling.”
“The entire night was consumed in tears, our hearts burdened by a sense of aimlessness and despair.”. We were at a loss, not knowing what steps to take or where to turn. The government has honored us immensely. I was bestowed with the Padma Shri in 2019, alongside the Arjuna and Khel Ratna awards.””When I received these accolades, I was overjoyed. However, today, the sorrow outweighs the joy. The reason behind this anguish is a female wrestler leaving the sport due to concerns for her safety,” the wrestler lamented.

Sakshi Malik, Bajrang, and Vinesh Phogat convened a press conference subsequent to Sanjay’s election, during which Sakshi, a bronze medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, declared her decision to step away from the sport in protest.”
“In January of this year, Bajrang, Vinesh Phogat, and Malik initiated a protest against Brij Bhushan, advocating fervently for a change in leadership within the Wrestling Federation of India. Despite their persistent efforts, a close confidant of the BJP MP currently assumes the leadership position.”Sanjay Singh, the vice-president of the UP Wrestling Association from Varanasi, secured 40 votes in contrast to his rival, 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anita Sheoran, who garnered only seven votes.”

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