Farmers Join Wrestlers' Protests, Cops Say 'Those in Hurry to Reach Site' Knocked Down Barricades

Wrestlers have meanwhile alleged that a SAI delegation has been unresponsive since meeting them last Saturday.

New Delhi: Top wrestlers protesting at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar against Wrestling Federation of India chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is facing serious sexual harassment allegations, were joined by farmers of various groups on Monday, May 8.

While some reports had it that the farmers had broken through barricades to join the protesters, the Delhi police tweeted that no altercations had taken place between farmers and law enforcers and that farmers who were in a “hurry to reach the site” had knocked down barricades.

“The protestors at Jantar Mantar are being facilitated. Entry is being regulated through DFMD [door frame metal detector] to ensure safety. Please remain peaceful and abide by the law,” it said.

Among farmers’ groups which have joined are two of the biggest in north India, the Bhartiya Kisan Union and the Samyukta Kisan Morcha.

The news agency ANI, meanwhile, has tweeted visuals of barricades being “welded together” after farmers managed to breach them earlier.

On the night of last Wednesday, the wrestlers had alleged that they were manhandled and abused by drunk policemen from the Delhi Police. The incident reportedly occurred when the wrestlers attempted to bring plank beds to the protest site.


Meanwhile, Indian Express has reported that while a two-person delegation, including the director general of the Sports Authority of India Sandip Pradhan, met with members of the nine-person advisory committee made by the protesting wrestlers late on Saturday night, there has been silence from SAI since then.

The wrestlers, including Olympic medal winners Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, and world champion Vinesh Phogat, have been seeking the arrest of MP Singh, who they have claimed has a leading role in the systematic exploitation and sexual harassment of women athletes. One of his victims is a minor, the wrestlers have said.