Khap leaders have called an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss the future course of action, said Naresh Tikait, farmer leader and Baliyan khap chief, after he stopped the protesting wrestlers from immersing their medals into the Ganga at Haridwar’s Har ki Pauri on Tuesday evening.
The agitating wrestlers, including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia, handed over their medals to Bhartiya Kisan Union chief Tikait after he urged them to not to immerse them into the river.
“Our daughters are being tortured, and the whole country is angry. The government is saving one man (WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh). Holding a peaceful protest is not wrong. We will not let them (the protesting wrestlers) down… We have called a khap meeting on Wednesday to discuss the future course of action regarding the demand to arrest the WFI chief (on charges of sexual harassment),” Tikait told reporters.
“So far, no one from the government has come to talk with the wrestlers,” he added.
“If a solution is not found in the next five days, a maha khap panchayat will be convened in Delhi by the Palam Khap and we will then gherao the Prime Minister’s house,” Surendra Solanki, the President of Palam Khap, told IANS.
On Tuesday evening, the wrestlers had reached the Har ki Pauri to immerse their medals into the Ganga as a symbolic act of protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, whom they have accused of sexual harassment.
Tikait, along with the wrestlers, has now given a five-day ultimatum to the government to sort out their demands, failing which the wrestlers will go ahead with their decision to immerse their medals in the Ganga.
A large number of people had assembled at the Har ki Pauri to witness the wrestlers’ poignant demonstration after they reached there with their world championship and Olympic medals.
Emotions ran high with Sakshi, Vinesh and Vinesh’s cousin Sangeeta in tears even as their husbands offered consolation while their numerous supporters formed a protective circle.
Earlier, after reaching Har ki Pauri, the wrestlers stood in solemn silence for approximately 20 minutes. Subsequently, they took a seat by the riverbank, clutching their medals with their expressions reflecting profound distress.