In Muzaffarnagar, 130 km away from Delhi, khaps from across Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh on Thursday gathered together for a mahapanchayat organised by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) and said they would approach President Droupadi Murmu for her intervention in connection with the ongoing wrestlers’ protest, going on for a month, while no action has been taken against Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, facing sexual harassment charges.
On Wednesday, BKU leader Naresh Tikait had announced a mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh to create a plan of action for the next few days concerning the wrestlers’ protest, who have now been removed from their protest site in Jantar Mantar.
More than 1,000 participants gathered in Sorham village of Muzaffarnagar, where various active khap members from across Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh took a decision to fight for justice of the wrestlers.
Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, who took to the centre stage in the mahapanchyat, said another mahapanchayat would be organised in Haryana’s Kurukshetra on Friday to discuss the plan of action for the coming days.
“The wrestlers left everything in their life and protested in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for 35 days continuously; we thank them for their effort in speaking up against the wrong. However, it’s not their fight alone, now, farmers will carry the protest forward for the dignity of all our daughters and sisters. The farmers will ensure that justice is delivered,” Mr. Tikait said.
He condemned the action taken by the Delhi police, where an FIR was registered and many wrestlers were detained the day the new Parliament building was inaugurated. “The children were picked up merely for peacefully protesting,” he said.
Also Read | Wrestlers protest: Endurance athletes
On Monday, the protesting wrestlers had gathered around the Ganga river in Haridwar to immerse their medals to symbolise the police inaction and the support Mr. Singh has been receiving and gave a five-day ultimatum to the government to decide its action, after intervention of farmer leader Mr. Tikait.
He said the current government had been dividing people on various issues. “Allegations were made that the wrestlers are lying; first, they played politics over Hindu-Muslim communities in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. These wrestlers don’t belong to any particular caste, their caste is the Indian Tricolour, warriors don’t have a caste, it’s the nationality that makes us, not any political party,” he said.
Mr. Tikait said they would seek the intervention of the President and the Home Minister and members of the khap would meet them. “We shall be meeting them for their intervention, if no action is taken against him, we will be taking the next step forward,” he added.
The khap leaders are also planning to approach the International Federation regarding the ongoing agitation.
Mr. Tikait said they had received support from across communities. “In Uttar Pradesh’s Ram Mandir, we met various sants, they told us that their support is for the justice of India’s daughters. If we don’t receive justice, we shall move the agitation to a national level, but our girls will not lose,” he said.
Talking about Mr. Singh actively speaking to the media and addressing the public, Mr. Tikait said, “A man accused of a POCSO case has been given all freedom to talk, but the government has not taken any step against him.”
Two FIRs have been registered by the Delhi police with the intervention of the Supreme Court against Mr. Singh for sexually harassing the wrestlers.