Haryana 'mahapanchayat' gives Centre ultimatum till June 9 to detain WFI chief Brij Bhushan

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait with farmers attempts to cross a police barricade at the Ghazipur border to join wrestlers protesting against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, in New Delhi, Sunday, May 28, 2023. Photo: PTI/Arun Sharma

Chandigarh: Farmers and representatives of Khap panchayats, expressing solidarity with the protesting wrestlers in Delhi, on Friday gave the BJP government in the Centre an ultimatum to arrest Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is accused of sexually harassing female grapplers, by June 9 or prepare for a larger protest.

A collective and unanimous decision in this regard was taken at the 'mahapanchayat' held in Haryana's Kurukshetra town on the future strategy of wrestlers' protest.

A day earlier, a 'mahapanchayat' was held in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar where it was decided that a delegation would meet President Droupadi Murmu to seek justice for the wrestlers.

In Kurukshetra, khap panchayats (community courts) of Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi were gathered to seek justice.

Addressing a huge gathering, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait warned the Central government that if no action is taken against Brij Bhushan by June 9, they will hold a larger protest along with wrestlers.

"We have taken a decision that the government must address the grievances of wrestlers and he should be arrested otherwise we will go with wrestlers to Jantar Mantar, Delhi, on June 9 and will hold panchayats across the nation," he said.

At the same time, Tikait warned the Central government that if they aren't allowed to protest at Jantar Mantar on June 9, "there will be an announcement of agitation".

The farmer leader also demanded that cases against the wrestlers, who were manhandled and detained during their march towards the new Parliament building, should be withdrawn.

"We will not compromise on anything less than the arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. If this does not happen, we will go to Jantar Mantar on June 9 and hold panchayats across the nation. Cases against wrestlers should be withdrawn and the arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh must happen," Tikait, the leader behind the year-long farmers' protests and forcing the Centre to repeal them, added.

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