Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh was accused of issuing “job threats” by renowned wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik on Monday. Despite having returned to their government jobs with Indian Railways, they made it clear that they did not leave the current protest.
Olympic medalists Punia and Sakshi Malik stated earlier on Monday that they will continue their struggle for justice, claiming that none of the wrestlers had given up, and that any rumours to the contrary would be an attempt to “sabotage” the cause.
Punia remarked that the information about us leaving the movement was only a “rumour” and that the information on the female wrestlers reclaiming the FIR was also “false.”
Later, Punia, Vinesh, and Malik subtly criticised the WFI chairman, who had reportedly sexually abused female wrestlers, including a juvenile, in another tweet. The accusations against Brij Bhushan have been refuted.
“Those who said our medals were worth $15 apiece are now wanting our employment. A job pales in comparison to the fact that our lives are at danger. We won’t waste even 10 seconds leaving a job if we believe it to be a barrier to justice. Punia, Vinesh, and Malik tweeted in Hindi, “Don’t use our employment as leverage to blackmail us.
In a recent interview with a local broadcaster, Brij Bhushan was questioned about whether the wrestlers should refund the money. “They should return the money,” the WFI president is overheard stating. The cost of the medals is fifteen dollars.
In a demonstration against Brij Bhushan, Bajrang, Sakshi, and medal-winning World Championship and Olympian Vinesh Phogat have called for the latter’s detention.
Vinesh criticises people who are “spreading false” reports:
Asian Games gold medalist Vinesh unleashed a broadside against people “spreading fake news” about the wrestlers’ protest, accusing them of “trembling” in front of a “goon” and using a line from Urdu poet Abid Adeeb.
“Do those who promote false information even comprehend the anguish that female wrestlers experience? Vinesh tweeted, “Weak media has legs that tremble in front of a goon’s hunter, not a female wrestler.
The bronze medalist at the World Championships ended her message by quoting Abid Adeeb: “Where everyone’s steps have wavered to reach, from the same place will now have its way.”