Wrestlers and Delhi police clashed at Jantar Mantar, injuring two protesters in the head
Assault by a “drunk policeman,” according to wrestlers, left one protester injured.
A scuffle between Delhi police and wrestlers
Late on Wednesday, there was an altercation at Jantar Mantar between wrestlers protesting Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the president of the Wrestling Federation of India, and officers of the Delhi Police.
Social media users shared numerous videos of the incident, one of which showed protesters accusing a police officer of being intoxicated.
VIDEO | "The way they have made us suffer, I would not want any athlete to win a medal for the country," says wrestler Vinesh Phogat. pic.twitter.com/EpSk6dc3ZL
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) May 3, 2023
New Delhi’s Deputy Commissioner of Police’s statement
“Mr. Somnath Bharti, an Aam Aadmi Party legislator, allegedly entered the protest site with folding beds without permission. In response to the intervention, his supporters were aggressive in their attempts to remove the truck’s beds. Following a brief altercation, Mr. Bharti and two other people were taken into custody,” according to Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Pranav Tayal.
Police officers were struck with sticks and abused
One of the agitation’s leaders, Bajrang Punia, told reporters that while some wrestlers were sleeping outside in the rain on wooden cots, a few police officers “attacked” them with batons.
Vinesh Phogat, a famous wrestler, was seen sobbing and declared that “no women police personnel” were present at the scene. “Why were policemen pressuring us?” she demanded of the media. In a different widely shared video, Ms. Vinesh claimed that a wrestler “suffered head injuries” and that police “misbehaved and pushed” female protesters.
Mr. Punia told the populace to bring their tractors and travel to Delhi as early as possible to support the protesters. Sisters and daughters are being mistreated by them.
The police intimidated wrestlers
A police officer was discovered drinking in a lavatory before the altercation, according to Gopal Tiwari, one of the protest’s organizers, and people demanded that a medical examination be performed on him. But the police intimidated us and removed him.
In response to the rain and waterlogging, he told the news agency, “We brought cots, but the police started throwing them around. A three-star officer started abusing Bajrang and Vinesh as soon as they arrived, mostly by pointing at Vinesh.”
“In the ensuing chaos, some policemen kicked, hit [wrestler] Rahul Yadav with sticks, and hit him in the head with a foldable cot. He sustained head and leg wounds.
Adding that some police officers had also misbehaved with women, Mr. Tiwari claimed that the protesters had not even been permitted to transport Mr. Yadav to the hospital.
Wrestlers demand an action
Olympic wrestler Geeta Phogat, who is also Ms. Vinesh’s cousin, tweeted about a police attack at Jantar Mantar that left one wrestler with injuries and my younger brother Dushyant Phogat’s head broken. It is extremely shameful.
The Union government came under fire from Delhi Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, who also called for the medical examinations of the wrestlers and the allegedly intoxicated policeman.