International wrestling body United World Wrestling (UWW) on Tuesday condemned the treatment meted out to the protesting wrestlers and their detention following a scuffle with the Delhi Police on May 28. The wrestling body said in a statement that the events of these “last days are even more worrying that the wrestlers were arrested and temporarily detained by the police for initiating a march of protest.”
Expressing its disappointment over the “lack of results” of the probe into alleged sexual harassment by Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, UWW urged the authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations.
UWW said it will also hold a meeting with the wrestlers to inquire about their condition and safety and “reconfirm our support for a fair and just resolution of their concerns.”
“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,” the international wrestling body added.
The protesting wrestlers reached the city of Haridwar in the evening, sat on the banks of the river and tearfully clutched their medals as a crowd gathered around them. They changed their mind after Naresh Tikait reached the site and convinced the wrestlers to give the government five days to respond.