The Opposition on Sunday attacked the Modi government over the detention of protesting wrestlers by the Delhi Police as former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said with the ”coronation” over, the ”arrogant king is crushing the voice of the people” on the streets.
While Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge attacked the government over the ”forcible” removal and ”manhandling” of wrestlers protesting at the Jantar Mantar as they were trying to march towards Parliament, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the ”arrogance” of the BJP government has increased so much that it is ”mercilessly trampling” upon the voices of our women sportspersons under its boots.
The party sought a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the allegations of the wrestlers.
The strong attack by the opposition party leaders came after the Delhi Police detained ace wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia for violation of law and order after they breached the security cordon while trying to move towards the new Parliament building for a planned women’s ‘Mahapanchayat’.
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The champion wrestlers had resumed their agitation against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on April 23, demanding his arrest for alleged sexual harassment of several women grapplers, including a minor.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also condemned the police detention of wrestlers. ”Such treatment to the sportsperson who brought laurels to the country is grossly wrong and condemnable,” he said.
Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee strongly condemned the way the Delhi Police ”manhandled” Malik, Phogat and other wrestlers.
”It’s shameful our champions are treated in this manner. Democracy lies in tolerance but autocratic forces thrive on intolerance and quelling of dissent. I demand they be immediately released by police. I stand by our wrestlers,” she said.
The Left parties also hit out at the central government over the police action against the protesting wrestlers.
CPI MP Binoy Viswam said the salutations to the Sengol came at the cost of ”beatings to wrestlers”.
CPI (M-L) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said, ”Massive crackdown is going on in Delhi on women wrestlers and other citizens assembling for the Mahila Samman Panchayat even as the inauguration of the new Parliament building resembles the coronation of a king. Brutal assault on democracy and the constitutional spirit and vision.” Rahul Gandhi, in an apparent reference to the inauguration of the new Parliament building, said in a tweet in Hindi, ”The coronation is over — the arrogant king is crushing the voice of the public on the streets!” Along with his tweet, he tagged a video montage of the police detaining the champion wresters.
Attacking the government in a tweet in Hindi, Priyanka Gandhi said the medals on the chest of the players are the ”pride of our country”.
”With those medals, due to the hard work of the sportspersons, the honour of the country increases. The arrogance of the BJP government has increased so much that the it is mercilessly trampling the voices of our women players under its boots. This is totally wrong,” the Congress general secretary said.
The whole country is watching the ”arrogance” of the government and its injustice, she said.
Slamming the Modi government, Congress general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh said, ”Today, when the Prime Minister was inaugurating the new Parliament house and giving a discourse on democracy, the daughters who brought laurels to the country by winning medals were being detained just a short distance away from Parliament.” ”This is shameful and shows the real face of Modi government,” Ramesh said in a tweet in Hindi.
Addressing a press conference here, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate took a swipe at the new Parliament inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and said, ”When a dictator was carrying out his raj tilak, women were being dragged. Delhi was converted into a cantonment. You will follow ‘raj dharam’ if you throw out Singh.” ”It is a black day. History is witness that a prime minister was thinking himself to be king, Parliament was inaugurated while women were dishonoured nearby and he remained blindfolded,” Shrinate said.
She accused Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah of trying to save Brij Bhushan Singh.
Mahila Congress chief Netta D’Souza alleged that the BJP has lived up to its ”tradition” of atrocities on women.
”Women had flags in their hands, the national flags were insulted. Action should be taken against police personnel for insulting the national flag,” she said.
In a dig at the Modi government over the detention of wrestlers, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary said ”down with dictatorship”.
Earlier, chaotic scenes were witnessed at Jantar Mantar as wrestlers and police officers shoved and pushed each other when Vinesh Phogat, her cousin sister Sangeeta Phogat and Sakshi tried to breach the barricades.
The police had warned the wrestlers not to move towards Parliament but they went ahead, leading to the scuffle.
The police dragged and lifted them into buses along with several other wrestlers and their supporters.