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‘Wrestlers won't be allowed to protest at Jantar Mantar’: Delhi Police

The tensions heightened on Sunday as wrestler Vinesh Phogat, along with other players, made an attempt to breach the security barricades at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was inaugurating the new Parliament building.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal New Delhi Updated on: May 29, 2023 12:53 IST
‘Wrestlers not allowed to protest at Jantar Mantar’
Image Source : PTI ‘Wrestlers not allowed to protest at Jantar Mantar’

Wrestlers protest: A day after a scuffle between wrestlers and Delhi police personnel escalated, the city police today said that wrestlers will now not be allowed to protest at Jantar Mantar as they broke the law in a frenzy despite repeated requests.

“The dharna and demonstration of the wrestlers were going on smoothly at the notified place of Jantar Mantar. Yesterday, the protesters broke the law in a frenzy despite repeated requests. Hence the ongoing dharna has been called off,” the Deputy Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, tweeted in Hindi.

'Wrestlers allowed to protest at any suitable place other than Jantar Mantar'

"If the wrestlers apply for permission to stage a sit-in again in the future, they will be allowed at any of the suitable, notified places other than Jantar Mantar," it added.

Speaking on the FIR registered against protesting wrestlers, DCP Suman Nalwa said that wrestlers were informed that the protest(march to the new Parliament building cannot be allowed on the said date and time. "We informed them (protesting wrestlers) beforehand that the protest (march to the new Parliament building) cannot be allowed on the said date and time but they remained stubborn on their demand," she said.

Earlier on Sunday, a scuffle broke out between the wrestlers and the security personnel who tried to stop them from marching to the new Parliament building as it was being inaugurated. Following which, wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia along with other protesters were booked for rioting and obstructing public servant in the discharge of duty after some of them were detained while marching to the new Parliament building. 

 700 people were detained across Delhi

The police said 700 people were detained across Delhi, including 109 protesters at Jantar Mantar. Women detainees were released later in the evening on Sunday. Soon after, the Delhi Police cleared the site of their over-month-long sit-in at Jantar Mantar and said they would not be allowed to return there.

Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the dharna site at Jantar Mantar as protesters and police personnel shoved and pushed each other when the Phogat sisters, Sakshi Malik and others tried to breach the barricades.

FIR against wrestlers 

The FIR was also registered at Parliament Street police station under New Delhi district against the organisers of the protest, including wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sangeeta Phogat, and others who were part of the scuffle that took place at Jantar Mantar today with the police.

The FIR has been registered under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the officer said. Sections 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation), 147 (rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC and Section 3 (mischief causing damage to public property) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act have also been invoked.

The wrestlers had been protesting at Jantar Mantar since April 23 against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh demanding his arrest for alleged sexual harassment of several women grapplers, including a minor.

(With PTI inputs)

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