Several student organizations and students of Delhi University have come out to express solidarity with the ongoing wrestlers’ protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Many of the protesting students have been detained by Delhi Police.
On May 3, 2023, members of student organisations like the All India Students’ Association (AISA), the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), and other students of Delhi University staged a protest in front of the Arts Faculty, demanding the arrest of WFI President and BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexual harassment and intimidation. The rally, “Students for Wrestlers,” was organised in support of the ongoing wrestler’s sit-in, and wrestler Bajrang Punia had been invited to address students.
30 protestors were detained later by Delhi Police, who said that prior permission had not been given for the protest.
“They were asked to disperse from there and maintain the peace and tranquillity in the area. When they did not leave, they were peacefully removed from there and around 30 of them have been detained.” – Sagar Singh Kalsi, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP North)
The Students’ Federation of India (SFI), in its press release, alleged police brutality against the protesting students.
“Before the students could even gather at Arts Faculty, before they could even start sloganeering – the police came with heavy deployment and started to brutally detain students. The guards of Delhi University administration were particularly brutal.”
– read SFI’s press release
In its press release, the All India Democratic Students’ Organisation Delhi (AIDSO) also claimed manhandling and called for an All India Solidarity Day on May 4th, 2023, demanding the expulsion of WFI Chief from the federation.
Top Indian wrestlers such as Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia have been staging a sit-in since April 23rd, 2023, at Jantar Mantar, accusing Federation officers of financial impropriety and mental harassment. They have also called for criminal action against WFI President Singh for the alleged sexual harassment of several female athletes.
“Students of DU went on a march in support of the protesting female wrestlers. The harasser is roaming free but instead of arresting him, the police is catching those who are coming out in support of the wrestlers. The agitating female wrestlers condemn this.”
– Sakshi Malik, Indian wrestler and Olympic bronze medalist commented in a tweet in Hindi
Read also: Student Protesters at Arts Faculty Brutally Detained by Delhi Police
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