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Wrestlers' protest: "Democracy being killed, Mahapanchayat will definitely happen," says Bajrang Punia
New Delhi: The ongoing wrestler protest in the national capital has taken a new toll as star grappler Bajrang Punia said the Mahila Mahapanchayat will definitely take place in front of the new Parliament building which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.
Security personnel stopped and detained protesting wrestlers as they try to march towards the new Parliament from their site of protest at Jantar Mantar. Several ace grapplers including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshee Mallik have been protesting at the Jantar Mantar accusing the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment and demanding his arrest.
Wrestlers were trying to march towards the new Parliament as they want to hold a women's Maha Panchayat in front of the new Parliament.
"Democracy is being killed in the country, no one is getting the justice they deserve", Bajrang Punia told reporters ahead of the protesting wrestlers' march towards the new Parliament building.
Punia said, "Many people are very cooperative with us but there are few police officials who are misbehaving with us, they are not allowing our family members to go inside."
Asked about whether the Mahapanchayat will take place or not, the 29-year-old wrestler said, "Mahapanchayat will definitely take place. We have given a letter to seek permission. Police are just making a fool out of us and are constantly keeping us under pressure."
Without naming Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Punia said, "The one, who is accused of offences, is roaming freely. He banters about changing the law, defaming POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act controlling the government, no harm is done to that person, whereas, those who are peacefully protesting are getting ill-treated."
Further attacking WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Bajrang Punia said, "He is only doing politics, he wants to change the POCSO Act."
Punia stated that about 2,500 persons have been detained by police.
"Police are camping at the home of our coaches, players, and leaders of Kisan Union and Khap Panchayat. Whether it be Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, or Rajasthan," he said.
"I request to the government and to the police department to release our people who have been detained because we want to establish this as a peaceful protest and carry it on in the same manner. We are protesting for the self-respect of our sister and daughter, we are not protesting for any political motive," the Olympic Bronze medalist added.
In view of protesting wrestlers' call for women Maha Panchayat in front of the new Parliament building in the national capital, Delhi Police have increased the security in the national capital.
Khap Panchayats called for a Mahila maha panchayat in support of wrestlers who have been protesting against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP accusing him of sexual harassment. Seven women wrestlers have filed a police complaint against him.
Delhi Police barricaded all the borders of the national capital in order to prevent any protest or gathering.
"Delhi Police are prepared for such situations. We have enough force to deploy. Last time the border was closed for months because of the protesters (farmers' protests). We have prepared our forces so that such situations do not arise again. We will convince the protesters to return," Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Delhi Amrutha Gugulot told ANI.
Barricades have come up near ITO road, the Tikri border, Badarpur border, Ghazipur border and the Singhu border area as Khap Panchayat leaders and farmers have said they will join the march to the new Parliament building by the protesting wrestlers.
Delhi Police Special CP Deepender Pathak told ANI that adequate police deployment would be made for maintaining the law and order situation during today's event.
"Our focus is to maintain law and order situation and carry out the programme (inauguration ceremony of the new Parliament building). We will ensure enough police deployment for tomorrow's event," he said.
Notably, Delhi Police has received inputs that on the day of the inauguration, some miscreants may put up "anti-national and anti-PM" slogans on the walls of the campus.
Regarding this, Delhi Police deployed heavy security around the new Parliament building throughout the 24 hours.
According to Delhi Police's top sources, no permission has been given for this panchayat. The protestors will not be allowed to hold Khap Panchayat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building, which is part of the Central Vista redevelopment project. (ANI)