Abhinav Bindra ‘haunted’ by disturbing visuals of wrestlers’ ordeal | More sports News


NEW DELHI: Abhinav Bindra, India’s first individual Olympic gold medalist in shooting, has strongly criticised the police action taken against the country’s top wrestlers at Jantar Mantar. He expressed deep concern over the distressing images and stated that they had left him sleepless and haunted.
The incident involved Olympic and world championship medalists, such as Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, and Sangeeta Phogat, along with their supporters, breaching the security cordon as they marched towards the new Parliament building for a planned women’s ‘Mahapanchayat’.

The wrestlers are demanding the arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the outgoing president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), on allegations of sexually harassing several women wrestlers, including a minor.
They had scheduled the women’s Mahapanchayat at the new Parliament building during its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Abhinav Bindra’s denouncement of the police action highlights his concern for the treatment of the wrestlers and his empathy for their cause, reflecting the significance of athletes speaking out against injustice and supporting their fellow sportspeople.
“Last night was sleepless, haunted by the horrifying images of my fellow Indian wrestlers protesting,” tweeted Bindra, even as India’s most successful footballer Sunil Chhetri and former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan too criticised the action against the wrestlers.
“It’s high time we establish independent safeguarding measures across sporting organizations. We must ensure that if such situations arise, they are dealt with utmost sensitivity and respect. Every athlete deserves a safe and empowering environment,” added Bindra, the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist in air rifle.

On Sunday, as the wrestlers tried to breach the barricades and march towards the new Parliament building from Jantar Mantar, the police personnel shoved and pushed them before detaining them and taking them to different police stations in Delhi.

Vinesh provided a strong resistance against her detention and Sangeeta clung on to her cousin while lying on the road as the struggle continued for a few minutes. The police officials dragged and lifted them into buses along with several other wrestlers and their supporters.”

Though they were released after seven hours of detention, it left several athletes in other disciplines anguished.
“Why does it have to come down to our wrestlers being dragged around without any consideration? This isn’t the way to treat anyone. I really hope this whole situation is assessed the way it should be,” said India football captain Chhetri.

Pathan said a solution to the issue should be found immediately.
“I’m so sad to see the visuals of our Athletes…. Please solve this ASAP,” Pathan tweeted.

(With PTI inputs)

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