A little over one month after they had began protesting at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar demanding the arrest of former WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over allegations of sexual harrassment, India’s top wrestlers including Olympic and World medallists Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik were on Sunday detained by Delhi Police and their protest site cleared.
The wrestlers had been planning to march to the site of New Delhi’s new parliament building and conduct a ‘women’s mahapanchayat’ to coincide with the inauguration of the building by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The wrestlers left Jantar Mantar – where they had been sitting in protest since April 24 th – but as soon as they crossed protective barricades placed around the protest site were detained by the Delhi Police.
With section 144 in place in New Delhi to prevent disruptions to the Parliament innauguration, Delhi Police picked up the wrestlers who’s march only made it until the end of Jantar Mantar road before they were stopped.
Ironically the wrestlers were detained in front of the Ashoka Road residence of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the five-time member of Parliament against whom allegations of sexual harrassment had originally been made.
The protesting wrestlers were sent to detention in separate police stations across New Delhi. Punia was sent to Mayur Vihar Police station, Malik to Burari while Vinesh and Sangeeta were detained at Kalkaji Police station. Other protesters were detained at Singhu Border.
Within half an hour of the wrestlers being detained, their protest site at Jantar Mantar which included a tented structure, mattresses and air coolers was dismantled by Delhi Police.
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