Wrestlers detained, protest site cleared while trying to march to new Parliament


New Delhi: Khap panchayats of various states, farmers and supporting wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar, have announced a call for a ‘mahila samman mahapanchayat’ near the Parliament building on Sunday. The protesting wrestlers, who were marching towards the new Parliament building, were detained at Jantar Mantar and barricades were also broken.

Launching a crackdown on the protesting grapplers, the police removed the tents from Jantar Mantar from the protest site.

Delhi Police had ramped up security measures at Jantar Mantar, the designated protest site located about two kilometres from the parliament building, ahead of the planned ‘Mahapanchayat’. Despite the increased security, the wrestlers remained adamant about going forward with their protest.

The tension escalated when the wrestlers, led by Vinesh Phogat and her cousin sister Sangeeta Phogat, attempted to breach the security barricades. The clash was followed by shoving and pushing between the protesters and police officers.

“All protesters were detained and forcefully boarded in buses by Police,” said Dependra Pathak, Special Commissioner of Police, Law and Order. He added that the athletes were “detained for violating law and order,” and assured that legal action would be taken “after an inquiry in due course of time”.

Following the detentions, police officers proceeded to clear the protest site, which had been active since the wrestlers resumed their protest against Mr Singh on April 23.

The protesting athletes, which include Olympic medallists and Asian Games gold winners, have been unwavering in their demand for Mr Singh’s arrest. The use of force by the police, they insisted, would not deter them from carrying on with their peaceful protest and assembly.

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