Wrestlers’ protest: Sportspersons, writers, civil society organisations express solidarity in Bengaluru

May 28, 2023 09:13 pm | Updated 09:13 pm IST - Bengaluru

Members of Concerned Bengaluru Citizens staging a protest at Freedom Park on Sunday.

Members of Concerned Bengaluru Citizens staging a protest at Freedom Park on Sunday. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

Sportswomen, including swimmer Nisha Millet and athlete Reeth Abraham, condemned the treatment of protesting women wrestlers at Delhi, and were joined by historian and author Ramachandra Guha and writers Amandeep Sandhu and Sharda Ugra in demanding justice for the wrestlers at a solidarity event at Freedom Park here on Sunday.

Citizens, sports lovers, former sports journalists, and about 18 civil society organisations expressed solidarity with the wrestlers fighting against the alleged sexual harassment of women sportspersons for nearly a month at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

“The manner in which our Olympic stars were dragged and bundled up is a shame. They are the nation’s pride and politicians who enter sports should develop sports and not indulge in sexual harassment. Sports is no place for such things and perpetrators should be booked immediately,” said Ms. Millet.

“We take a stand on behalf of the wrestlers who brought glory to the country and support them in demanding justice for the victims. This should not happen to any girl, leave alone sportswomen. The minute we throw out politicians, everything will become alright,” said Ms. Abraham.

Mr. Guha said, “The wrestlers who brought laurels were protesting for a genuine reason and it was absolutely peaceful. But the paranoid, fearful and insecure government, instead of protecting the athletes, is protecting the perpetrators. It has dismantled and arrested the athletes with arrogance and its MPs are left scot free.”

A release said a resolution was passed and signed by 103 people and the same will be put online to continue the signature campaign.

The resolution said: “We, the concerned citizens and sports lovers of Bengaluru, express our solidarity with India’s national wrestlers who have been fighting against sexual harassment of women sportspersons and sitting in dharna for over a month at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Without any party or orgnisational affiliation, we strongly condemn the official apathy towards the agitating wrestlers and appeal for a harassment-free environment in sports in India. We demand: Stop sexual harassment and provide safe space for sportspersons; Release all the detained wrestlers and arrest sexual offenders; Stop punitive action against protesters.”

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