UWW issues statement of concern about WFI and the wrestlers' protest

UWW condemned police action against the wrestlers and reminded IOA and the WFI Ad-Hoc Committee that the Federation may be suspended if elections are delayed.

The wrestlers don black headbands and armbands in protest (photo: Vipin/NH Photos)
The wrestlers don black headbands and armbands in protest (photo: Vipin/NH Photos)

NH Digital

United World Wrestling issued an official statement on the evening of May 30, expressing concern over and condemning the protesting wrestlers' detention and arrest over a peaceful protest.

The statement urged an impartial investigation and fair resolution by the concerned authorities, and expressed disappointment at the lack of results so far.

It also asked the IOA and the WFI Ad-Hoc Committee about election dates, as the 45-day deadline approaches — failing to respect which would result in suspension of the WFI, forcing Indian athletes to participate under a neutral flag.

The Asian Championships to be held in New Delhi had already been reallocated earlier this year over this matter, and the erstwhile WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accused of sexual abuse (including of a minor) has been set aside.

Meanwhile, the protesting wrestlers' yesterday offered to consign their medals to the waters of the Ganges, but were dissuaded by the BKU farmers' union leader Naresh Tikait, who instead urged issuing the Union government a 5-day ultimatum to take action.

Thus far, police have questioned Singh, but no charges have been filed.

Cases have, however, been filed against the wrestlers for 'rioting', amongst other charges, since they broke the barricade around the new parliament building on the day of its inauguration. Their protest camp at Jantar Mantar was also dismantled and their belongings removed while they and their supporters — many of them women and/or students, as a women's assembly was called — were detained on the day until late evening. 

The wrestlers have since stated their intention to go to India Gate to sit in on a hunger strike.

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