The Congress on Sunday attacked the Centre over the detention of protesting wrestlers by the police as former party chief Rahul Gandhi said that with the "coronation" over, the "arrogant king is crushing the voice of the people" on the streets.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also hit out at the government, saying that the "arrogance" of the BJP government has increased so much that it is "mercilessly trampling" upon the voices of our women sportspersons under its boots.
The strong attack by the opposition party leaders came after the Delhi Police detained ace wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia for violation of law and order after they breached the security cordon while trying to move towards the new Parliament building for a planned women's 'Mahapanchayat'.
The champion wrestlers had resumed their agitation against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on April 23, demanding his arrest for alleged sexual harassment of several women grapplers, including a minor.
Rahul Gandhi, in an apparent reference to the inauguration of the new Parliament building, said in a tweet in Hindi, "The coronation is over – the arrogant king is crushing the voice of the public on the streets!" Along with his tweet, he tagged a video montage of the police detaining the champion wresters.
Attacking the government in a tweet in Hindi, Priyanka Gandhi said the medals on the chest of the players are the "pride of our country".
"With those medals, due to the hard work of the sportspersons, the honour of the country increases. The arrogance of the BJP government has increased so much that the it is mercilessly trampling the voices of our women players under its boots. This is totally wrong," the Congress general secretary said.
The whole country is watching the "arrogance" of the government and its injustice, she said.
Slamming the Modi government, Congress general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh said, "Today, when the Prime Minister was inaugurating the new Parliament house and giving a discourse on democracy, the daughters who brought laurels to the country by winning medals were being detained just a short distance away from Parliament." "This is shameful and shows the real face of Modi government," Ramesh said in a tweet in Hindi.
Congress' media and publicity department head Pawan Khera said that when they celebrated the sceptre on Saturday, "we should have known they were celebrating the beginning of "protest-mukt-democracy".
Earlier, chaotic scenes were witnessed at Jantar Mantar as wrestlers and police officers shoved and pushed each other when Vinesh Phogat, her cousin sister Sangeeta Phogat and Sakshi tried to breach the barricades.
The police had warned the wrestlers not to move towards Parliament but they went ahead, leading to the scuffle.
Vinesh provided a strong resistance against her detention and Sangeeta clung on to her cousin sister while lying on the road as the struggle continued for a few dramatic minutes.
The police officials dragged and lifted them into buses along with several other wrestlers and their supporters.
"They have been detained for violating law and order. We will take legal action after inquiry in due course of time," said Dependra Pathak, Special CP (Law and Order).
Jharkhand CM Hemant condemns ‘manhandling’ of protesting wrestlers in Delhi
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Sunday condemned the alleged manhandling of the protesting wrestlers by Delhi Police.
Mr. Soren also criticised the detention of the athletes and demanded their immediate release.
“On a day when the new Parliament building is dedicated to the nation, it’s distressing to witness such brutal & shameful manhandling of India’s most celebrated champion wrestlers, our national pride. Their crime - seeking justice through peaceful democratic protests. I strongly condemn their detention & demand their immediate release,” he said.