On Friday, Rakesh Tikait, the leader of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), stated that the government should be given a period of seven to 10 days to address the matter concerning Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. This statement came after “khap mahapanchayat” was held in Kurukshetra, Haryana. The purpose of the meeting of Rakesh Tikait was to discuss and decide on the next step of action regarding the ongoing protest related to the wrestlers’ issue.
Rakesh Tikait delivered a strong message during the Khap Panchayat in Kurukshetra. He said that a significant message should be sent from Haryana to the government. Rakesh Tikait requested the government to be given 7-10 days to take action on the wrestlers’ protest matter. He mentioned that the June 5 meeting, which was supposed to be a big rally in Ayodhya led by Brij Bhushan, got canceled because of pressure from the Khap Panchayat.
Rakesh Tikait said, “Our only demands to the government is that they must listen to the complaints of the wrestlers, and arrest Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh immediately. If this doesn’t happen, we will join the wrestlers’ protest and go to Jantar Mantar in Delhi on June 9, where we will hold panchayats across the nation.”
He further stated, “If we are not permitted to sit at Jantar Mantar on June 9, then we will an announcement of Andolan.
The meeting took place one day after the farmer organized a ‘Khap Mahapanchayat’ in Soram village, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. Additionally, there were protests in Punjab and Haryana on Thursday to show support for the wrestlers.
‘We will meet President’: Rakesh Tikait after Khap Mahapanchayat
On Thursday, representatives from various khaps in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Delhi gathered in Uttar Pradesh to discuss the ongoing protests led by women wrestlers. Rakesh Tikait had stated that these representatives will meet with the President and the government to support the wrestlers who are protesting, and they will continue the fight until the wrestlers receive justice.
Farmers, organized under the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, carried out protests at the offices of deputy commissioners and sub-divisional magistrates in Haryana and Punjab. They submitted memorandums addressed to President Murmu during these protests.
A panchayat was also held at wrestler Vinesh Phogat’s hometown, village Balali in Charkhi Dadri district on Thursday. Many people came together to show their support for women wrestlers.
What is the Wrestlers’ demand?
The wrestlers and Rakesh Tikait demands to arrest Brij Bhushan Singh, the BJP MP from Gonda who has been a prominent figure in Indian wrestling for 12 years. They accuse him of sexually harassing athletes, including a minor. In response Brij Bhushan has denied these allegations and responded to the wrestlers by belittling their achievements, claiming that their medals are worth only ₹15 each.