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October 4, 2023 9:43 am

Wrestlers’ issue to come up at khap mahapanchayat in UP’s Muzaffarnagar today

Muzaffarnagar, June 1

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has convened a ‘mahapanchayat’ at Sauram village in Muzaffarnagar district on Thursday to discuss the ongoing protest by wrestlers and evolve a strategy for the same.

Khap and farmer leaders from UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Punjab will be attending the event.

The protesting wrestlers, however, will not attend the mahapanchayat.

Sarv khap (an umbrella body of khaps) secretary Subhash Balyan said, “As many as 365 khaps are there in India, and we have informed all of them over phone and also on Facebook. A total of 28 khaps from western UP — such as Balyan, Deshwal, Rathi, Nirwal, Panwar, Beniwal Hudda, Latian, Ghatian, Ahlawat, etc — will join the panchayat.”

Naresh Tikait, who is also the chief of Balyan khap, said, “If the government wants, this dispute can end immediately. The khaps want BJP MP and WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh arrested and the court of law should decide the matter.”

On Tuesday, some of the country’s top wrestlers — including Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, and Asian Games champion Vinesh Phogat — accompanied by hundreds of supporters had gathered on the banks of the Ganga in Haridwar, threatening to immerse their World and Olympic medals in the holy river, but refrained after khap and farmer leaders convinced them not to do so. The khap leaders have sought five days’ time to address their grievances.

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