Police Releases Wrestlers Including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik Hours After Detention


New Delhi: After several hours of detention, the Delhi Police released some of the detained wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, on Sunday. The women wrestlers informed the media that they had been released, while some of the other protesting wrestlers remain in jail, the news agency PTI reported.

Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia, along with their supporters, were detained on Sunday as they attempted to march to the new Parliament building as it was being inaugurated, with Delhi Police clearing their protest site at Jantar Mantar and saying they would not be allowed to continue their sit-in.

Opposition parties slammed the central government for “manhandling” the wrestlers, with former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi claiming that now that the “coronation” is over, the “arrogant king is crushing the voice of the people” on the streets.

The champion wrestlers had resumed their agitation against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on April 23, demanding his arrest for alleged sexual harassment of several women grapplers, and had called for a women’s ‘Mahapanchayat’ for which they did not have permission.

Wrestlers and police officers shoved and pushed each other when Vinesh Phogat, her cousin sister Sangeeta Phogat, and Sakshi Malik tried to breach the barricades at Jantar Mantar, just three kilometres from where the prime minister inaugurated the new Parliament building.

After the wrestlers were loaded into buses and taken to various locations, police officers began clearing the protest site by removing cots, mattresses, coolers, fans, and the tarpaulin ceiling, as well as other wrestlers’ belongings.

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