Mahila Panchayat Resolve to Intensify Movement in Solidarity with Wrestlers Protest

Women’s organisations organised a Mahila Panchayant on June 14 at Delhi’s Constitutional Club in solidarity with the Wrestlers Protest. Lambasting the patronage and impunity given by Modi government to ex-WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accused in sexual harassment case, the Mahila panchayat said that the struggle for justice for wrestlers will intensify.

Shweta Raj of AIPWA, speaking at the panchayat said, “We all remember the day May 28 when police unleashed brutal violence against the Mahila Panchayat in front of the parliament called by protesting women wrestlers. Today’s Mahila Panchayat is a strong rebuttal to the Modi government and its police machinery that the struggle for gender justice will not stand down.”

“Let it be clear. The laws against sexual harassment are not given to women as a freebie, these laws has a long history of struggle on the streets and sacrifice. These laws were clinched by women through fight. But what we witnessed today is that these laws are being diluted and the perpetrators are provided impunity. We have resisted and we will continue to resist such patriarchal onslaught on gender rights.” added Com. Shweta.

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 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. Demanding immediate arrest of Brij Bhushan, the Mahila Panchayat said the wrestlers’ struggle has paved way to strengthen the struggle for gender justice.

Patna: In a statement issued by AIPWA from Patna on 15 June, the decision of Delhi police to remove POCSO on Brij Bhushan from the chargesheet was strongly condemned and demanded his immediate arrest. Mina Tiwari, General Secretary of AIPWA, said that the way in which this charge sheet was filed clearly demonstrates the sorry and humiliating fact of how the Modi government is fully involved in protecting this accused. The government has used every possible means to protect Brij Bhushan during the last six months, he was not arrested despite the gravity of the charges, nor was he questioned by the police for a whole 45 days. Under pressure of the movement the government had to agree to file a charge sheet but it took enough time till 15 June only to prepare itself to diffuse the whole situation in favour of the accused, this is shameful. The Modi government has given enough time to the accused BJP MP so that he can freely use his power to intimidate the complainants and also to hold public rallies. The minor complainant’s father apparently was pressured to take back his complaint to save Brij Bhushan from POCSO charges.

The Modi government is using its position of power and state machinery to repress women wrestlers in order to protect the sexual harassment accused. This has again raised the big question of safety of women at workplaces. The women wrestlers’ struggle has taken the shape of a countrywide movement which is bound to transform into a much bigger struggle of India’s women, said Mina Tiwari.

Solidarity with Wrestlers Protest