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Amid wrestlers' protest, Ayodhya rally in support of Brij Bhushan postponed
Gonda: Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexually harassing some women wrestlers, on Friday said that a June 5 "mega rally" in Ayodhya in his support has been postponed for a few days in wake of the ongoing investigation against him.
Several ace grapplers including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik have been protesting against the BJP MP accusing him of sexual harassment and demanding his arrest. A group of seers had extended support to Singh and announced a 'Sant Sammelan' in Ayodhya. Taking to Facebook, Brij Bhushan cited the ongoing police investigation against him and Supreme Court directives to announce the postponement of the rally.
"With your support, I have served as a member of the Lok Sabha for the last 28 years. I have tried to unite people of all castes, communities and religions, both in power and in opposition. It is for these reasons that my political opponents and their parties have levelled false allegations against me," Singh wrote on Facebook.
He further said that the purpose of the rally was to discuss the "evil forces" of the society but in view of the ongoing police probe and directions of the top court, the rally has been postponed.
"In the present situation, some political parties are trying to disturb social harmony by promoting provincialism, regionalism and caste conflict by holding rallies at various places. The purpose of holding a 'Sant Sammelan' at Ayodhya on June 5 was to discuss about the evil forces that are spreading in the entire society," he said.
The WFI president added, "But since the police are investigating the allegations. To respect the serious directions of the Supreme Court, the 'Jan Chetna Maharally, June 5, Ayodhya Chalo' program has been postponed for a few days".
Previously, Singh had said that he would be addressing a rally on June 5.
The WFI president also thanked and expressed gratitude to all his supporters and well-wishers.
"Lakhs of supporters and well-wishers from all religions, castes and regions have supported me in a humble way on this issue. That's why I express my gratitude to everyone and assure that I and my family will always be indebted to you," he stated.
On Thursday, Brij Bhushan Singh had alleged that the protesting wrestlers are changing their "demands and language" continuously and added that he still stands by his statement that he will hang himself if even one of the allegations against him is proven to be true.
"...First they (protesting wrestlers) had some other demand and later they demanded something else. They are changing their demands and language continuously. I had said that if even one case against me gets proven, I will hang myself...I stand by my statement..," the BJP MP told reporters in Gonda.
On Tuesday, Olympic medalist wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik alongwith Vinesh Phogat arrived in Uttarakhand's Haridwar to immerse their all medals including Olympic ones in the river Ganga, as a mark of their protest.
However, on the intervention of farmer leader Naresh Tikait the wrestlers held off immersing their medals and said that a Khap meeting would be held on the issue.
The wrestlers later issued a five-day ultimatum to the authorities to act against the WFI chief.
On May 28, wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia along with Vinesh Phogat and Sangeeta Phogat were detained by Delhi Police while attempting to march to the new Parliament building where they planned to stage a demonstration. FIR has been filed under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 147, 149, 186, 188, 332, 353, Section 3 of the PDPP Act, said Delhi Police. (ANI)