NEW DELHI: International wrestling body United World Wrestling (UWW) has condemned the treatment and detention of Indian wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia, who have been protesting since April 23.
The Indian wrestlers have been protesting against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh over allegation of sexual harassment.
The UWW, in a statement, said that the events of these “last days are even more worrying that the wrestlers were arrested and temporarily detained by the police for initiating a march of protest”.
The UWW expressed disappointment over “lack of results” of the probe into sexual harassment allegations against WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
The UWW also urged the authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations, “failing to do so may lead UWW to suspend the federation, thereby forcing the athletes to compete under a neutral flag”.
The international wrestling body also informed that it “already took a measure in this situation by reallocating the Asian Championship planned in New Delhi”.
Meanwhile, the aggrieved wrestlers, on Tuesday, reached Haridwar to immerse their medals into the country’s sacred Ganga River as part of their protest.
However, they were pursuaded to postponed their action after farm union leader Naresh Tikait intervened.
The protest is being led by two women wrestlers — Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik and world championships medalist Vinesh Phogat — as well as Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia, who is male.