Told wrestlers that respect of country's ‘top democratic institution’ not to be compromised: FIR

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Indian wrestlers Vinesh Phogat (C) with others are detained by the police | AFP

New Delhi: Protesting wrestlers ignored police warning that creating a ruckus during the opening of the new Parliament building would "harm national prestige" and will not be tolerated but they tried to march towards it, according to an FIR registered against top grapplers.

The wrestlers, who had been protesting at Jantar Mantar since April 23 against Wrestling Federation of India chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh accusing him of sexually harassing women grapplers, were detained during their march on Sunday and were released later.

The FIR states at least 15 security personnel, a majority of them policewomen, were injured during the scuffle on Sunday between them and the wrestlers who also ignored police request to continue their protest at Jantar Mantar.

Sakshi Malik, an Olympic medallist, said in tweet after being detained on Sunday that "in this country, there will be no dictatorship but there will be satyagraha held by women wrestlers".

Police said the FIR was registered against her, Vinesh Phogat, Sangeeta Phogat, Bajrang Punia and others on the complaint of Head Constable Madhav, who was posted at the Barakhamba police station in New Delhi district.

Madhav was injured during the scuffle with the protesting wrestlers when they were detained, the FIR sated.

It said that unarmed police staff were deployed at the notified protest site -- Jantar Mantar -- in anticipation of the protesting wrestlers marching towards the New Parliament building, just about three kilometres away, which was being inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

At 10.30 am, the protesting wrestlers -- Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and others -- held a press conference during which they announced they will hold a 'Mahila Samman Mahapanchayat' outside the new Parliament building at 11.30 am, and urged others to join them, the FIR states.

Soon after the press conference, senior police officers informed them that the country's "top democratic institution" was going to be inaugurated. "It is a matter of pride and glory for the nation and its security and respect would not be compromised," the FIR states.

"The protesters were told to continue the protest at the notified site -- Jantar Mantar," it said.

However, as announced by them, at 11.30 am, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and others raised slogans and reached the first police barricade, according to the FIR.

The officers deployed there told them through a public announcement system that creating any disturbance or violating norms during the inauguration of the new Parliament building will "harm national prestige" which will not be tolerated, the FIR added.

They were again urged to protest at their notified site Jantar Mantar since section 144 has been imposed beyond the specified area, the police said in the FIR.

"Despite repeatedly telling protesters, they didn't adhere to the requests. They went ahead, jumped the first barricades and pushed police and reached the second barricade line where again the police personnel tried to stop them but they continued pushing police and also they pushed away barricades.

"They continued sloganeering and started running towards us. More force came there and with great difficulty managed to overpower and detain them. While trying to stop them, protesters manhandled and assaulted police," the FIR mentioned.

Several police personnel sustained injuries during the scuffle and were taken to Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital and Ram Manohar Lohia hospital where their MLCs were made.

Names of 15 police personnel including women constables who sustained injuries in the scuffle at Jantar Mantar on Sunday were also mentioned in the FIR.

According to the FIR, Madhav (37), Maninder (31), Vinay (27) were physically assaulted, while women constables -- Anju Kumari (25), Priyanka (25), Avika (22), Tanu (22), Trishna (23), Anisha (22), Sarita (26), Roshan (22), Babita (22), Shanky (25), Jyoti (24) and Parvati (22) -- also sustained injuries.

Among the 109 people detained at Jantar Mantar, names of 12 protesters including Suman Hooda, the State President of Bharatiya Kisan Union, Chadani; and wrestlers -- Sangeeta Phogat, Vinesh Phogat, Satywrat Kadian and his wife Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia were also mentioned.

The FIR was registered under relevant sections including 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), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Immediately after the wrestlers were detained and taken to different locations, the police personnel cleared the protest site at Jantar Mantar, removing cots, mattresses, coolers, fans and the tarpaulin ceiling along with other belongings of the wrestlers.


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