Olympic medalist Sakshee Malik and her wrestler husband Satyawart Kadian stated on Saturday that their protest was not political in nature and that they remained silent for years despite intimidation since the wrestling community was not unified prior.
Kadian claimed that a false narrative was being made about their demonstration and that they wanted to clear the air in a video that was released on Twitter.
Top-level wrestlers from the nation, including Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia, have accused departing Wrestling Federation of India chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment and intimidation.
Before the wrestlers were expelled from Jantar Mantar on May 28, leaders from several political parties, including Congresswoman Priyanka Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and former J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik, paid a visit to the protest site to show their support.
Kadian, who was seated next to Sakshee Malik, claimed that stories about their protest were going around.
“Let me be clear: Our protest is not driven by politics. We arrived at Jantar Mantar in January after two BJP representatives obtained police approval, according to Kadian, who then requested Malikkh to provide the letter requesting permission for the protest.”
Babita Phogat, a former wrestler, and Teerath Rana, who are both connected to the BJP, wrote it.
“Congress did not support this demonstration. More than 90% of those involved in the wrestling community were aware that harassment and intimidation had been occurring for the past 10–12 years. A few people attempted to shout, but the wrestling community was divided,” he added.
Heavyweight competitor Kadian reaffirmed that their struggle is with the WFI chief and not with the government. Because the wrestlers were not unified, according to Sakshee Malik, they kept quiet for years.
“You’ve noticed that the youngster has withdrawn her claim. Her family felt threatened. These wrestlers are from low-income households. It takes courage to stand up to a strong man,” the bronze medalist from the Rio Olympics stated.
On May 28, Kadian claimed that the police abuse they experienced broke them. It was widely criticised because the police had detained them and forced them into buses.
As the wrestlers marched without permission towards the new parliament building, they were arrested for breaking the law and breaking the peace.
“Let me be clear: The Khap leaders were the ones who called for the “Mahila Samman Mahapanchayat,” and we obeyed their directive despite being subjected to abuse by the police. It broke us.”
“We received numerous honours for our nation, but our dignity was violated. I am powerless to put into words what we went through.”
“We then made the decision to submerge the medals in Haridwar, but a member of the system grabbed Bajrang’s arm, led him to a corner, and forced him to speak with a number of important individuals.”
“Violence might have occurred if we had immersed the medals. Therefore, common sense won out. We presented medals to parents and coaches. We weren’t in the right frame of mind to recognise a conspiracy. We had travelled there under pressure. We’ve only ever fought, and we had no idea how to manage the matter.”
“After that episode, we were unsure of who was a member of the system and who was on our side. We interacted with several people, but we weren’t sure who to believe. We were told to meet with the home minister and to present our case there in order to receive a resolution.”
He also urged the Khaps, who they think were enraged with them, to disregard gossip.
He thanked everyone for showing up to support them and stated, “If we have done something wrong, we apologise.”
The system takes advantage when “we are not united,” Kadian remarked towards the end of the 11-minute video. Raise your voice and remain unified if you encounter any kind of injustice. In a charge sheet submitted by the police, Singh is accused of stalking and sexual harassment.