Chandigarh, June 4, 2023- With the date of next ‘mahapanchayat’, only of wrestlers, to be announced in three-four days, a ‘mahapanchayat’ was held on Sunday at Mundlana in Haryana’s Sonipat, a third in a series in four days and the second in Haryana, to express solidarity with wrestlers protesting against WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over charges of sexual harassment.
Top wrestlers comprising Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia have been protesting since April 23, demanding action against Brij Bhushan.
Speaking at the ‘mahapanchayat’, Bajrang Punia said, “When we go out in the public, we get new energy. People’s cooperation is our strength. Today our daughters (wrestlers) are mentally shattered. On May 28, you people tried to reach (at our protest site) but the police stopped you. We can’t win by being different and we appeal to all organisations to unite. We will hold a ‘amahapanchayat’ and will take a major decision in it. You will be informed about the place and time of the ‘mahapanchayat’ of wrestlers in three-four days.”
Beside Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni, it was attended by former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, among other prominent people.
Earlier, Malik visited the Jantar Mantar in Delhi and interacted with wrestlers on April 26 and said “the support needs to grow because this fight is not just theirs — it is for all women in our country.”
Farmers and representative of Khap panchayats, from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh gathered in numbers in Sonipat to expressing solidarity and to send out a message to the BJP government in the Centre to arrest Singh.
Two days ago, farmers and representatives of Khap panchayats (community courts) gave the BJP government in the Centre an ultimatum to arrest Singh by June 9 or prepare for a larger protest.
A collective and unanimous decision in this regard was taken at the ‘mahapanchayat’ held in Haryana’s Kurukshetra town on the future strategy of wrestlers’ protest.
On June 1, a ‘mahapanchayat’ was held in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar where it was decided that a delegation would meet President Droupadi Murmu to seek justice for the wrestlers.
In Kurukshetra, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait warned the Central government that if no action is taken against Brij Bhushan by June 9, they will hold a larger protest along with the wrestlers.
“We have taken a decision that the government must address the grievances of wrestlers and he should be arrested, otherwise we will go with wrestlers to Jantar Mantar, Delhi, on June 9 and will hold panchayats across the nation,” he had said.
At the same time, Tikait warned the Central government that if they aren’t allowed to protest at Jantar Mantar on June 9, “there will be an announcement of agitation.”
The farmer leader also demanded that cases against the wrestlers, who were manhandled and detained during their march towards the new Parliament building, should be withdrawn. (Agency)