India’s champion wrestlers brutalised by cops as Modi opens new parliament with democracy pledge


The Delhi Police on Sunday faced widespread condemnation for its brutal act against India’s champion wrestlers, who’ve been staging protests in the country’s national capital against BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Olympic medal-winning athletes have accused Singh of sexually assaulting athletes and demanded his sacking both as the President of Wrestling Federation of India and a BJP MP. Visuals of celebrated wrestlers such as Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat being brutalised by the Delhi Police came amidst Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the new parliament with a democracy pledge.
new parliament

Police detained Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Sangeeta Phogat and Bajrang Punia among others during wrestlers’ protest march towards new Parliament building.

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Visuals of celebrated Indian athletes being dragged and physically assaulted evoked angry reaction on social media. A tweet from Sakshi’s official Twitter account read, “This is how our champions are being treated. The world is watching us! #WrestlersProtest.”

In another tweet, she asked, “Was it our crime to bring medals for the country by shedding blood and sweat? if yes, then hang us.”

Reacting to police brutalities on athletes, Congress leader Deependra Hooda wrote, “In the tradition of a country where enemy’s sister-daughter is also considered as its own sister-daughter, in that country @SakshiMalik, @Phogat_Vinesh including the pride players of seven countries, the respect of the sisters on the basis of politics, religion, caste or region How can be seen? Is this Rajdharma?”

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “Strongly condemn the way Delhi Police manhandled Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and other wrestlers. It’s shameful our champions are treated in this manner. Democracy lies in tolerance but autocratic forces thrive on intolerance and quelling of dissent. I demand they be immediately released by police. I stand by our wrestlers.”

Activist Shbnam Hashmi tweeted, “@CPDelhi Where did the police take wrestlers? We are worried for their safety . They were dragged and manhandled at jantar mantar , which we strongly condemn. Please inform about their whereabouts.”

Ironically, just when wrestlers were facing the brute force of the Delhi Police, Modi was busy speaking about India’s rich tradition of democracy as he inaugurated the new parliament building. He said that India was the mother of democracy and also the foundation of global democracy. Modi said that democracy is India’s ‘Sanskaar’, idea and tradition.