Solidarity with the Ongoing Protest of Wrestlers at Jantar Mantar Delhi

Demand immediate arrest of the accused President of Wrestling Federation and action against the police personnel who misbehaved with the women wrestlers.

Wrestlers' Protest : Ensure Justice for Women Wrestlers

Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary of CPIML joined the wrestlers’ protest at Jantar Mantar on 7 May. Expressing solidarity with the women wrestlers’ who have braved to speak against BJP’s MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and are courageous leading the fight for gender justice. Dipankar Bhattacharya added how the patronage and impunity extended to the likes of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh by BJP is only going to strengthen the resolve and support for the wrestlers’ battle for justice. He also expressed anguish at how “the Prime Minister is busy campaigning in Karnataka elections at a time when our women wrestlers’ are fighting for justice and people in Manipur are suffering and BJP government in centre does not have time for its own people.”

It has been two weeks in this second phase of wrestlers' dharna at Jantar Mantar. Ten days have elapsed since the FIRs were lodged against the BJP's MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh following the Supreme Court's intervention. Yet in these ten days there has been no interrogation of the accused, let alone arrest, despite serious allegations of sexual harassment of India's award-winning wrestlers.

One of the seven complainants is a minor and hence one of the two FIRs has been filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and yet Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is roaming free, holding press conferences to threaten the wrestlers and tell the whole world that he has the support of the Modi regime and the BJP top brass. He says he would readily resign if PM Modi or Home Minister Amit Shah or even BJP President Nadda asks him to resign, and yet these leaders are maintaining a supreme silence.

A team of CPI ML members along with AISA, AICCTU, RYA and AILAJ visited the protest site at Jantar Mantar and interacted with the protesters and their supporters including Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik along with CPI ML General Secretary.

The battle for justice for India's ace women wrestlers has the potential to ignite the spirit of all these popular struggles of the last one decade and grow into a decisive upsurge against the current reign of injustice and fascist aggression. The convergence of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western UP with workers, lawyers, students and other activists from Delhi at Jantar Mantar today offered glimpses of that potential. And the slogan "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Pahalwan" unmistakably conveyed the expanding scope and growing spirit of unity and determination among the protesters.

CPIML urges people of the country to stand behind our wrestlers’ and ensure Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is arrested and gender justice is guaranteed.

A protest was held by AIPWA at Bagodar, Jharkhand, on 8 May condemning brutal attack by Delhi police on the protesting wrestlers and survivors of sexual harassment and demanding immediate expulsion and arrest of the perpetrator BJP MLA Brij Bhusan Sharan Singh.

Protests in solidarity with wrestlers were held at many towns in the country by CPIML and its affiliated mass organisations.

On 7 May candlelight protests were organised in dozens of places in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Delhi, West Bengal, Assam etc.

Residents of Patna staged a protest on 6 May in support of the ongoing agitation of wrestlers at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, demanding arrest of the accused Brij Bhushan Singh, President of Indian Wrestling Federation. The solidarity meeting was presided by Com. K.D.Yadav, senior CPIML leader and convened by Samta Rai of Chorus.

The venue of the gathering, Buddha Park resounded with the slogans- ‘Arrest BJP MP and President of Wrestling Federation of India Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh‘, ‘Give justice to the wrestlers carrying on a peaceful protest’, ‘The slogan Beti Bachao, Beti Badhao is a sham, shame on Narendra Modi’, and ‘Why is the PM silent on this episode’ etc.

Addressing the gathering, poet Farid Khan said that the Government is hell-bent on normalizing rape as a part of culture. He enumerated various cases where this government sided with the rapists and said that the protesting wrestlers are fighting to thwart the attempt of the government to normalize rape. He recited a poem dedicated to the players titled ‘Maafee’.

Author Santosh Dixit questioned the silence of the PM on this serious issue and shamed him for the hollow slogan of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. Poet Gunjan Upadhyay said that we are living in difficult times where the self-respect of women is continually at stake. The president of PUCL, Patna and human rights activist Sarfaraz called these times as ‘dark’ and wondered why the entire state apparatus was shielding a rape accused MP. He expressed his resentment about the society being transformed wherein women are not secure. Student Runjhun expressed her gratitude toward the protesting wrestlers and said that she was shocked to see a rape accused roaming free and giving interview to the media. She recited a poem she had composed for the wrestlers.

Activists from ‘Chorus’, AISA, Jan Sanskriti Manch, Kisan Mahasabha also addressed the gathering besides CPIML CC member Prakash Kumar.