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CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat and her sidekick asked to get off the stage by wrestler Bajrang Punia and others even as they argue to display AIDWA poster

Wrestler Babita Phogat arrived at the protest location on behalf of the government, promising an impartial investigation into the situation. "I have assured them that the government is with them. I will try that their issues are resolved today," Phogat said after addressing the gathering in Delhi.

On Thursday, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat was asked to step down from the stage during a wrestlers’ protest against Wrestling Federation of India coaches and officials at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. The video of the incident went viral over the internet where wrestler Bajrang Punia could be seen requesting Karat not to “politicize” the protest and to leave the platform.

“Madam, I request you to please come down. Please don’t politicise the protest. This is the wrestler’s protest. Please get down from the stage,” Punia could be heard saying to the CPI (M) leader.

In a video shared by ANI, Brinda Karat was seen being insistent on getting to the podium and speaking. However, Bajrang Punia, who was speaking, was alerted by other wrestlers about her presence. The Olympian then asked Brinda and others to get off and not to politicise the protests.

Olympians and renowned wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia and many others have levelled harassment allegations against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) officials and coaches on Wednesday and staged a sit-in protest against the national federation President’s dictatorship at Jantar Mantar, which entered its second day today.

Wrestler Babita Phogat arrived at the protest location on behalf of the government, promising an impartial investigation into the situation. “I have assured them that the government is with them. I will try that their issues are resolved today,” Phogat said after addressing the gathering in Delhi.

According to the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the Union Sports Ministry has also requested an explanation from the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) about claims of sexual exploitation levelled by wrestlers including Olympic and Commonwealth Games medalists. The Ministry has asked WFI to respond to the wrestlers’ allegations within 72 hours, it added.

Meanwhile, WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh denied claims of sexual misbehaviour and stated that pressure was put on some wrestlers to conduct sit-in protest against him over allegations of sexual harassment.

He said that wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malikkh met him a week earlier and they had no problem then. “Maybe, they didn’t like some of the decisions I took as President but I only took those decisions in the interest of the sport,” he said. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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