Claiming that they were among well-wishers, the wrestlers protesting against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh have refused the security cover provided by the Delhi Police as per directions from the Supreme Court.
Mr. Singh is accused of sexually harassing women, including a minor.
Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik had alleged threats, leading the Supreme Court to direct Delhi Police last week to provide security to the minor victim and make a threat assessment to the other complainants and protesters.
On a day when heavy rain forced the wrestlers and others to remove their mats and stay huddled under minimal covers, even as supporters from various political parties continued to visit them, the protesters insisted on continuing their stay amid their well-wishers.
The Delhi Police had provided two personal security officers to Bajrang and one each to Vinesh and Sakshi but the wrestlers have declined it. “If we are not safe at Jantar Mantar with all our supporters, then we cannot be safe anywhere,” the wrestlers told the media but indicated they could accept security at a later date.
Interestingly, they had earlier welcomed the protection, asserting that Mr. Singh, with his “criminal record and strongman image”, could try anything in desperation.
Meanwhile, the wrestlers have also refused assent for the Ranking Series event in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, from June 1-4, the fourth event this year. The Indian Olympic Association had contacted the protesting wrestlers for consent before sending the entries.