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Priyanka criticises govt on wrestlers’ protest; says when arrogance of party is sky high, voices are crushed

Priyanka criticises govt on wrestlers’ protest; says when arrogance of party is sky high, voices are crushed

New Delhi: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, a senior in the Congress, criticised the government on Wednesday for its response to the protests held here by prominent wrestlers, and questioned whether it intended to protect those responsible.

Asserting that "when the arrogance of a party and its leaders" is sky high, such voices are crushed, the Congress general secretary further claimed that the cries of athletes who uphold the nation's honour were being disregarded.

Her remarks came after India’s top wrestlers on Tuesday intensified their protest against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and asserted that they won’t leave the protest site until the WFI president, who is facing sexual harassment charges, is arrested.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Delhi government and others on a plea by seven women wrestlers alleging non-registration of an FIR over their sexual harassment allegations against the WFI president, saying these are “serious allegations” requiring its consideration.

Expressing support for the protesting wrestlers, Gandhi said that sportspersons are the pride of the country as when they win medals despite all the difficulties and after working tirelessly, “their victory is our victory” and the whole country smiles.

“The victories of women players are bigger than the rest. They are sitting on the road next to Parliament with tears in her eyes. No one is listening to their complaint against exploitation that has been going on for a long time,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

“These girls with strong arms and pure hearts believed the government when it told them that there would be an inquiry. But the investigation did not happen. The question of punishment did not arise at all. Does the government want to save the culprits?” the Congress leader said.

Whose pressure is there on the Delhi Police, Gandhi asked.

She also questioned why Opposition leaders are being questioned by the same police on hearing the pain of a girl during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, but the pleas of the sportspersons who enhance the country’s honour are ignored.

Her remarks were in reference to a Delhi Police team last month querying Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at his residence over his remark made during the Bharat Jodo Yatra that “women are still being sexually assaulted”. The police team had asked him to provide information about the “victims” to take up their complaints.

“When the arrogance of a party and its leaders touches the sky, then such voices are crushed. Let’s support these sisters of ours. It is a matter of honour for the country,” Gandhi asserted.

The wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, have also alleged that the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief is now resorting to strong-arm tactics and trying to break the “victims” by issuing threats and offering bribes.

Former Haryana Chief Minister and senior Congress Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Congress leader Udit Raj and CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, who was stopped from joining the stir by the wrestlers in January, were welcomed by the wrestlers, at the protest site on Tuesday, a day after they had sought support from all quarters.

With PTI inputs

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TAGS:sexual assualtwrestlersIndia
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