‘Dictatorship’: Protesting Indian wrestlers charged with rioting

Several top Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, have been charged with rioting and disorder by police in New Delhi after their arrests during a march to the new parliament building following its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The wrestlers and their supporters were arrested on Sunday after scuffles broke out in front of parliament as they intensified their protests demanding the arrest of their federation chief over sexual harassment allegations.Police released some of the protesters late on Sunday but filed first information reports (FIR), or formal complaints, against others under multiple articles of the Indian Penal Code, ranging from rioting to “causing an obstruction in the duty of a public servant with the use of assault and criminal force”.

The wrestlers have been protesting in the capital for more than a month over the lack of action against Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, a member of parliament belonging to Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

The protesting athletes have demanded his “immediate arrest” and sought the intervention of the Supreme Court, which directed the police to register a case against the 66-year-old. The MP has been accused of harassing several female athletes while leading the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). He has denied all the allegations.

Related Articles

Back to top button