Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia along with other protesters were booked for rioting and obstructing public servant in discharge of duty on Sunday after a scuffle with security personnel who tried to stop them from marching to the new Parliament building as it was being inaugurated. Soon after, the Delhi Police cleared the site of their over-month-long sit-in at Jantar Mantar and said they will not be allowed to return there.
The police said that 700 people were detained across the national capital. As many as 109 protesters, including the three wrestlers, were detained at Jantar Mantar. Women detainees were released later in the evening.
Opposition parties slammed the central government over the “manhandling” of wrestlers, who had resumed their agitation against 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.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said that the “arrogant king is crushing the voice of the people” on the streets as the “coronation” is over and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said it is “shameful our champions are treated in this manner”.
Elaborate security measures had been made after the wrestlers’ call for a women’s ‘Mahapanchayat’ outside the Parliament for which they did not have permission.