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Wrestlers stage protest against WFI president, vow to fight till end

Country's top wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia and world championship medallist Vinesh Phogat, staged a protest against the "dictatorship" of national federation President

Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshee Malikkh, Vinesh Phogat and others protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi

Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshee Malikkh, Vinesh Phogat and others protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), alleging "harassment of wrestler by WFI through it

Press Trust of India New Delhi
In an unprecedented move, the country's top wrestlers, including Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia and world championship medallist Vinesh Phogat, staged a protest against the "dictatorship" of national federation President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Wednesday.
The wrestlers did not share the exact details of their grievances or their demands but it was clear that they are fed up with the way the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is being run by Singh, who is also a BJP MP from Kaiserganj.
Bajrang, Vinesh, Rio Olympics medallist Sakshi Malik, world championship medallist Sarita Mor, Sangeeta Phogat, Satyawart Malik, Jitender Kinha and CWG medallist Sumit Malik were among 30 wrestlers who have assembled at Jantar Mantar.
"Our fight is not against the government or Sports Authority of India (SAI). This is against WFI. We will share details later in the day. 'Yeh ab aar paar ki ladai hai' (It's a fight to the finish)," Bajrang Punia told PTI.
Bajrang's support staff, including his coach Sujeet Mann and physio Anand Dubey have also joined the protest.
"The dictatorship will not be tolerated," said another wrestler.
Singh has been at the helm since 2011. He was elected President of WFI for the third consecutive time in February 2019.
"The players make every effort to win medals for the country but the federation has not done anything except downgrading us. Arbitrary rules are being framed to torture the athletes," tweeted Sakshi.
Anshu Malik, Sangeeta Phogat and other wrestlers also tweeted on the same lines with the hashtag BoycottWFIPresident and tagged PMO, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jan 18 2023 | 2:22 PM IST

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