Wrestlers announce hunger strike at India Gate; police say it will not be allowed

Indian wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Sangeeta Phogat attempt to march to new parliament in New Delhi. Photo: AFP

New Delhi: Delhi Police sources said that the wrestlers will not be allowed to protest at India Gate after top Indian wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat announced that they will sit on a hunger strike at the monument.

"No formal request has been received from the wrestlers thus far. To proceed with any demonstration, the wrestlers must adhere to the protocol by submitting a written communication to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) concerned. The decision regarding their request will be made based on the established guidelines and procedures," a source said.

"India Gate is not a protest site and police will not allow wrestlers to protest there. We will suggest alternate site for protest including Ramleela Ground and Burari," the source added.

In their latest move, all the protesting wrestlers, including Punia, Phogat, and Malik headed to Haridwar on Tuesday to immerse all their medals in the holy Ganga.

The protesting wrestlers said after that they will come back to Delhi and sit on hunger strike at India Gate.

Taking to Twitter, Olympic bronze medallist Malik and other wrestlers, shared a note, in which they strongly condemned the Delhi Police action.

"We are going to discard our medals in holy river Ganga. These medals are our lives, our souls. There would be no reason to live after leaving them in the Ganga today. So, we will stage a hunger strike until death at India Gate after that," read the statement in Hindi.

The wrestlers said the Prime Minister "who calls us our daughters", did not even once show his concern "for us".

"Rather, he invited Brij Bhushan Singh to the inauguration of the new Parliament building. He even posed for photographs," the statement said.

(With IANS inputs)

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