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PT Usha calls wrestlers' protest indiscipline, who said what so far!

Kapil Dev, Neeraj Chopra, and Sania Mirza, along with other high-profile names have spoken in support of the wrestlers

Wrestlers, Indian wrestlers

Wrestlers rest under mosquito nets following a night stay at Jantar Mantar amid their protest, in New Delhi, early Wednesday, April 27, 2023. (PTI Photo/Atul Yadav)

BS Web Team New Delhi
Talking about the ongoing protests by the country's ace wrestlers at Jantar Mantar, the president of the Indian Olympic Association and Rajya Sabha member from BJP, PT Usha, said that wrestlers staging protests on streets amounts to indiscipline and tarnishes the country's image.

Notably, the country's top wrestlers have been protesting since Sunday, April 23. They are demanding public disclosure of the findings of the panel that investigated the sexual harassment allegations against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Following PT Usha's remarks, a number of prominent personalities have expressed their views on the matter. Among these high-profile names are former Indian cricket team captain Kapil Dev, Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra and Neeraj Chopra, and MPs Mahua Moitra, and Shashi Tharoor.

 
Kapil Dev

The captain of the 1983 cricket World Cup-winning Indian team, Kapil Dev, shared a story on his Instagram handle on Thursday, April 27 asking, "Will they ever get justice?"
 

Shashi Tharoor

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted in support of protesting wrestlers. He said, "It is does not become you to disparage the justified protests of your fellow sportspersons in the face of repeated & wanton sexual harassment. Their standing up for their rights does not "tarnish the image of the nation". Ignoring their concerns — instead of hearing them out, investigating them & taking just action — does."

 

Neeraj Chopra

Olympic gold medallist and ace Javelin thrower, Neeraj Chopra also expressed his support for protesting wrestlers. He said, "It hurts me to see our athletes on the streets demanding justice. They have worked hard to represent our great nation and make us proud. Neeraj Chopra added, "pertaining authorities must take quick action in order to ensure that justice is served."


Abhinav Bindra

2008 Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra posted a tweet and said, "As athletes, we train hard every day to represent our country on the international stage. It is deeply concerning to see our athletes finding it necessary to protest on the streets regarding the allegations of harassment in the Indian wrestling administration. My heart goes out to all those who have been affected. We must ensure that this issue is handled properly, with the athletes' concerns heard and addressed fairly and independently. This incident highlights the crucial need for a proper safeguarding mechanism that can prevent harassment and ensure justice for those affected. We must work towards creating a safe and secure environment for all athletes to thrive in."


Sania Mirza

Tennis star Sania Mirza also tweeted in support of protesting wrestlers. In her tweet, she said, "As an athlete but more as a woman this is too difficult to watch .. they’ve brought laurels to our country and we have all celebrated them , with them .. if you have done that then it’s time to now stand with them in this difficult time too .. this is a highly sensitive matter…"



Sonu Sood

Bollywood Actor Sonu Sood also tweeted today, April 28, early morning about the protest. In his tweet written in Hindi, he said, "Country's athletes will prevail in the fight against injustice."



Satyapal Malik

BJP leader and former governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Satyapal Malik, visited the wrestlers sitting at Jantar Mantar and supported their cause. He said this government invites athletes over for tea after they win medals but does not care when they are spending nights out on the roads.


Sakshi Malik

Sakshi Malik, one of the protesting wrestlers, said, "We feel hurt by P T Usha's comment. She is not supporting us despite being a woman herself. What indiscipline have we done? We are sitting here peacefully. If we had got justice, we would not have done this."


Bajrang Punia
 
Champion wrestler Bajrang Punia, an active participant in the ongoing protests, called Usha's statement "shocking". "She herself was an athlete and she is also a woman. We did not expect this harsh reaction from her, we expected support."


Vinesh Phogat

Wrestler Vinesh Phogat also highlighted the silence of star cricketers and other sports personalities, saying she was disappointed to see that "they don't have the courage" to stand up to those in power. She went on to say that the high-profile sports star may be afraid of losing brand endorsements and thus wanted to stay away from the protest. She has been a leading face of the protest.

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First Published: Apr 28 2023 | 1:14 PM IST

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