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"We will participate in Asian Games only when...", Sakshi Malik at Sonipat 'Mahapanchayat'
Sonipat: Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik, who has been part of the protest against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment allegations, on Saturday said that protesting wrestlers will participate in the Asian Games only after their "issues get resolved".
"We will participate in Asian Games only when all these issues will be resolved. You can't understand what we're going through mentally each day," Sakshi Malik said at the Mahapanchayat held today in Sonipat, Haryana. Asian Games 2023 will take place in the coming September in China, however, wrestlers' withdrawal from the tournament can heavily affect India, as Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat were the gold medallist in the last Asian Games 2018.
Earlier this morning, Olympian Bajrang Punia said that they will put forward their discussions with the government before the people supporting them during the Mahapanchayat.
"Whatever talks we had with the government, we will discuss that with the people who are supporting and standing with us...," Punia told ANI.
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had said on Thursday that the talks with protesting wrestlers were positive and decisions were taken on various demands.
"It was a very positive discussion with the agitating wrestlers. All the issues that came from their side were discussed seriously. We have said that the chargesheet will be filed by June 15 and the Wrestling Federation of India's elections will be held by June 30. For the players, the Internal Complaint Committee will be formed and a woman player or an official will be made its chairperson," Thakur told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
He said that the names of two coaches have also been proposed by wrestlers for the ad-hoc committee of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). "They will be made its members," he said.
Thakur said that the wrestlers conveyed that they will apprise their supporters about the talks.
"We also want the players to return to the mat soon and participate in competitions ahead," he said.
The wrestlers had met Anurag Thakur on Wednesday following a fresh offer by the government for talks.
Delhi Police is conducting a probe into the sexual harassment allegations against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a BJP MP, following the registration of the FIR.