The protesting wrestlers that reached Haridwar to discard their medals into the Ganga river have now given the government a five day ultimatum so that their demands for justice are met. The wrestlers have vowed to immerse their medals in the gushing waters of the Ganga if the ultimatum is not met.
After earlier announcing that they would discard their medals at 6 PM today, the turn of events took place after Bharatiya Kisan Union member Naresh Tikait convinced the wrestlers to postpone the dharna, which has resulted in the wrestlers giving the government a five day ultimatum .
Wrestlers including Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Poghat, and Satyawart Kadian have been protesting for over a month seeking Brij Bhushan Singh's arrest over sexual allegations of female athletes, including a minor. On May 28, all the wrestlers were manhandled by police officials and dragged relentlessly, prompting an outrage among social media users over the behaviour towards the athletes.
On the same day, the police officials entered the wrestlers' tents at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to destroy them. Sakshi Malik, an Olympic Bronze medalist and one of the protestors condemned it by posting a clip on Twitter. "After arresting all the wrestlers and old people, the cops have started to destroy our march. Our things have been started lifting. What kind of hooliganism is this?" she tweeted.
Malik on Tuesday issued a lengthy statement on Twitter in Hindi, announcing to dispose of their medals in Ganga river. "These medals are our lives, our souls. There would be no reason to live after throwing them in the Ganga today. So, we will stage a hunger strike until death at India Gate after that," she noted.
While Malik has an Olympic bronze medal won in 2016, wrestler Vinesh Poghat has two commonwealth golds, one Asian Games gold medal. She was also crowned Asian Champion in 2021 and won the World Championships Bronze in 2021.
Bajrang Punia won a bronze in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. He also went on to win bronze in 2013, silver in 2018, and bronze in 2019.
Police officials blocked the wrestlers' march towards the parliament on Sunday:
On the day of the new Parliament building's opening, the protest produced devastating images as Delhi Police cracked down on them in the middle of their march.
Hundreds of police officers and paramilitary people obstructed the wrestlers' protest march as they attempted to proceed towards the new Parliament House. A violent altercation between wrestlers and police officers occurred as the demonstrators attempted to break through the security perimeter.
Leading members of the opposition, such as Rahul Gandhi of the Congress, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi, and Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal, have criticised the Central government for their silence over Brij Bhushan Singh sexual harassment issue.