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October 4, 2023 9:45 am

Wrestlers’ issue: Khap mahapanchayat under way in Haryana’s Kurukshetra

Kurukshetra, June 2

A “khap mahapanchayat” is under way in this Haryana district to deliberate on the next steps to be taken in the agitation pertaining to the wrestlers’ issue.

The representatives of various khaps and farmers’ outfits reached the Jat dharamshala from different places, including Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Farmer outfits had held a “khap mahapanchayat” in Uttar Pradesh and a series of protests in Punjab and Haryana on Thursday, showing solidarity with the wrestlers who have accused outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexually harassing women grapplers.

Talking to reporters here before the “mahapanchayat” started in the afternoon, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said the wrestlers are the country’s pride and all they are demanding is justice in the case.

Tikait said while they are meeting at Kurukshetra, many organisations and khaps are holding meetings in other states, including Maharashtra and Rajasthan, to press for action against the “injustice being done to the country’s daughters”.

He said the government would have to “bow down” in front of the genuine demands of the protesting wrestlers.

Tikait said specific charges had been leveled against the outgoing WFI chief and police must take immediate action against him.

He said even the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had condemned the manner in which the protesting wrestlers were treated by the Delhi Police over the weekend, describing it as “very disturbing”.

The wrestlers were allegedly manhandled by police personnel when they attempted to march towards the new Parliament building after its inauguration on Sunday.

Tikait said even though the outgoing WFI chief “is making different statements, there is no statement from the government’s side yet” on the issue.

Dalbir Singh, a khap leader, said they demand strong action in the matter, adding that “otherwise, our daughters will not be safe”.

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