After ex-IPS officer warns protesting athletes of 'bullet', wrestler Bajrang Punia dares him: 'Bata kaha aana hai...'

After ex-IPS officer warns protesting athletes of 'bullet', wrestler Bajrang Punia dares him: 'Bata kaha aana hai...'

Punia's reply came after Asthana cautioned that the police might use bullets if necessary against the protesting grapplers.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, May 29, 2023, 12:17 PM IST
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Ace wrestler Bajrang Punia and former Kerala director general of police (DGP) NC Asthana had a confrontational exchange on the internet on Monday. This occurred after Asthana cautioned that the police might use bullets if necessary against the protesting grapplers. In response to Asthana's tweet, Punia stated that he was prepared to face gunfire directed at his chest.

A verbal clash ensued between the two individuals following a tumultuous situation at the protest site at Jantar Mantar. This incident occurred merely three kilometers away from the newly inaugurated Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday. Chaos erupted as protesters, police personnel, and notable figures such as the Phogat sisters and Sakshi Malik attempted to breach the barricades, resulting in shoving and pushing.

Right after the wrestlers and other protesters were forcibly escorted onto buses and transported to various destinations, the police personnel initiated the process of clearing the protest site. They started by removing items such as cots, mattresses, coolers, fans, and the tarpaulin ceiling, along with other belongings belonging to the wrestlers.

Asthana, later on Sunday night, retweeted a news report and wrote in Hindi, “Will even shoot if necessary. But not because of your saying. Right now, they have just been dragged and thrown away like a sack of garbage. Article 129 gives the police the right to shoot. Under proper circumstances, that wish will also be fulfilled too. But to know that it is necessary to be educated. See you again at the postmortem table!”

The former DGP did not stop at that warning. In a separate tweet, he wrote:  “Some fools doubt the right of the police to shoot. If you can read English, then read the decision of the Supreme Court in Akhilesh Prasad's case. Those illiterate who cannot read, it is good advice not to test this right. Wives will be widowed and children orphaned without any reason! stay fit.”

Seemingly displeased with the tweet from the former IPS officer, Punia, a prominent Indian wrestler involved in the demand for the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on allegations of sexual harassment of female wrestlers, issued a direct challenge to Asthana.

“This IPS officer is talking about shooting us. Brother, I am standing in front here. Tell me where to come to get shot… I swear that I will not show my back, I will take your bullet on my chest. This is what has remained, now it is right to do with us,” Punia wrote on Twitter in Hindi.

Rajya Sabha MP and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi also slammed Asthana for his comments.

“Former IPS officer, now a full time foul mouthed human. Where & When did our country’s training for such noble services go so wrong?” she tweeted.

Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Punia, and other protesters found themselves facing charges of rioting and obstructing public servants in the line of duty following a scuffle with security personnel. The altercation occurred as they attempted to march towards the newly inaugurated Parliament building.

Authorities stated that a total of 700 individuals were detained throughout the national capital, with 109 protesters, including the three wrestlers, being apprehended at Jantar Mantar. The female detainees were subsequently released later in the evening.

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