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Wrestlers’ Protest: These athletes returned their medals and awards after Sanjay Singh became the president of the International Wrestling Federation – Magazine Creations

Some of India’s elite wrestlers have taken a stand against Brij Bhushan Charan Singh, former president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). They have been constantly raising their voices against Singh, who is accused of sexual assault.

Now, some of these wrestlers have decided to return their awards in the face of recent developments at WFI. Their actions were a direct response to the election of Sanjay Singh, seen as an ally of Singh, as WFI president.

Sakshi Malik

Sakshi Malik, also known as Sakshi Malik, is a pioneer of the protest. The Rio Olympics bronze medalist announced she was retiring from wrestling in protest. The Union Sports Ministry has suspended the administration of the new IBF along with all its officials, including Sanjay Singh. However, it is unclear whether this influenced Sakshi’s decision.

Bajrang Punia

Famed wrestler Bajrang Punia brought back Padma Shri. It is the country’s fourth-highest civilian award, and is only given to those who bring great pride to the country. After the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist placed his award on the sidewalk, it was picked up by a policeman.

“We only trust in God. I returned the Padma Shri award to my sisters and daughters; I returned it for their honor and I don’t want any honor until they get justice. Jai Hind,” Bajrang tweeted.

Finish Foghat

Vinesh Phogat also chose to bring home the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award and the Arjuna Award. “When we won medals for the country, the entire country called us its pride. Now, when we raise our voices for justice, we are called traitors. Mr. Prime Minister, I want to ask you, are we traitors?” Phogat wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an open letter posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Virender Singh Yadav

Virender Singh Yadav joined this movement. The Deaflympics gold medalist also announced his decision to return his Padma Shri. The action taken by the athlete, known as Goonga Pehlwan, is a show of solidarity with fellow wrestlers who are opposing the election of Sanjay Singh as IBF president.

(With agency inputs)

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Published: 27 December 2023 12:38 PM IST

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