With the developments around the wrestlers' protest exploding with every passing day, the United World Wrestling (UWW) has come forward and issued a statement. In a groundbreaking statement, the UWW has threatened to suspend the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) if they don't conduct an election in 45 days' time.
Wrestlers dragged relentlessly outside New Parliament building:
The protesting Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, suffered ill-treatment from the police officials as they were dragged on the streets after their decision to protest near the new Parliament building, which was being inaugurated by Prime Minister on Narendra Modi on May 28th (Sunday). The athletes have been protesting for over a month to have the WFI chief Brij Bhushan Singh arrested over allegations of sexual harassment of female wrestlers, including a minor.
Meanwhile, UWW came forward and condemned the treatment meted out to the wrestlers, including destroying the wrestlers' tents at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, where the wrestlers started their initial protests.
"For several months, United World Wrestling has followed with great concern the situation in India where wrestlers are protesting over allegations of abuse and harassment by the President of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). It has taken due note that the WFI President has been put aside at an early stage and is currently not in charge. The events of these last days have been worrying that the wrestlers were arrested and temporarily detained by the police for initiating a march of protest. The site where they had been protesting for a month has also been cleared out by the authorities."
The apex body also ordered a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations.
"UWW firmly condemns the treatment and detention of the wrestlers. It expresses its disappointment over the lack of results of the investigations so far. UWW urges the relevant authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations."
Furthermore, it has also set a 45-day deadline for the elective assembly or WFI will cease to exist and wrestlers have to compete under a neutral flag.
"UWW will request further information about the next elective general assembly from the 10A and the Ad-hoc Committee of the WFI. The 45-day deadline that was initially set to hold this elective assembly shall be respected. Failing to do so may lead UWW to suspend the federation, thereby forcing the athletes to compete under a neutral flag. It is reminded that UWW already took a measure in this situation by reallocating the Asian Championship planned in New Delhi earlier this year."
Wrestlers decide to push back their plan to discarding their medals into Ganga river:
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the wrestlers reached Haridwar to immerse their medals in Ganga to further their cause against the WFI chief. However, they issued a five-day ultimatum to the government after a conversation with farmer leader Rakesh Tikait.
Following his meeting with the wrestlers, Tikait said, "Five days have been given to the government to sort out the demands of the wrestlers. They will go ahead with the decision to throw away their medals into the Ganga, if the government does not meet their demands."