Centre Expresses Concern Over Olympics, Asian Games as Wrestlers Protest Escalates

NEW DELHI: As protests against Wrestlers Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, deepens the centre expresses concern over the future of Olympics and Asian Games in the country.

The protests garnered attention at the Khelo India University Games in Lucknow. Sports administrators from all over the country have come together, and talks underway on the future of the dispute between the wrestlers and the wrestling federation. Players denied to take coaching at Sai Center in Uttar Pradesh or the training centre in Gonda.

In response to the tension the sports ministry is facing, Union Minister of State for Sports Nishit Pramanik said that India’s medal tally will not be affected as the players are doing their training and will win more medals this time again.

Notably, the Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8 this year, while the Paris Olympics will take place in 2024. India has won six medals in the last four Olympic games.

Earlier on Friday, slogans were raised against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The protests in Balrampur followed his arrival in the district for a rally of seers to be held in Ayodhya on June 5.

On the same day, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev came out in support of the protesters, saying that Singh must be “put behind bars.”

Speaking to the media in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara on Friday, 26 May, Ramdev said: “The allegations of harassment against the Wrestling Federation chief by the country’s wrestlers, who are sitting and protesting at Jantar Mantar, are shameful. Such a person should be arrested and put behind bars.”

Prominent wrestlers, including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia, have been protesting in New Delhi for over four weeks, seeking action against the WFI chief who has been accused of sexually harassing seven wrestlers, including a minor.

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