Wrestlers resume railway jobs; minor’s father says, ‘complaint not withdrawn’

Minor’s father has refuted all media claims that she had withdrawn her complaint against Brij Bhushan

June 05, 2023 11:43 pm | Updated June 06, 2023 07:44 am IST - New Delhi

Sakshi Malik has refuted the allegation that after the meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, she had returned to work and withdrawn from the protest. File

Sakshi Malik has refuted the allegation that after the meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, she had returned to work and withdrawn from the protest. File | Photo Credit: ANI

Two days after holding a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, the protesting wrestlers — Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia — returned to their respective jobs with the Indian Railways on Monday and said that they would continue the stir while working.

Sakshi Malik has refuted the allegation that after the meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, she had returned to work and withdrawn from the protest.

“The news is completely wrong. In the fight for justice, none of us has backed down, nor will we. Along with Satyagraha, I am fulfilling my responsibility in the Railways. Our fight continues till justice is served. Please don’t spread any wrong news,” Ms. Malik said.

Bajrang Punia also refutes claims

Mr. Punia, in a tweet, said, “The news of withdrawing the movement is just a rumour. These are being spread to harm us. We have neither retreated nor have we withdrawn the movement. The news of women wrestlers withdrawing the FIR is also false.

“The fight will continue till justice is served,” he wrote.

Sakshi says she has responsibilities

Ms. Malik told The Hindu that she has some responsibilities with her job in Railways and she is expected to complete the work. “Concerning my job, where I’m Officer on Special Duty [sports], I’ve responsibilities that I have to complete, till the time we’re not protesting on ground, I will work here, but I’ll play an active role in planning the agitation,” she said.

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“In this fight, we’ve neither stepped back nor moved away, we’re going to remain here, till our demands are met, till justice is served and all the girls feel safe,” Ms. Malik said.

Ms. Malik’s mother, Sudesh Malik said, “Our children are not fighting against the government but against Mr. Singh, so they have rejoined work, since they’re deciding strategically, what has to be done.”

Ms. Malik started working with railways in 2017 after she won bronze in Olympics 2016.

No common ground

About her meeting with the Home Minister, she said there was no common ground. “There was no solution to our problems after the meeting, our demand for an arrest remains,” she said.

Commenting sharply on the alleged rumors, Vinesh Phogat said that the wrestlers will leave their jobs if they are seen as an “obstacle in the way of justice”.

“Those who told us our medals are worth ₹15 are now after our jobs. Our life is at stake, a job is a very small issue. If the job becomes an obstacle to justice, then it won’t take us ten seconds to leave it. Do not attempt to scare us,” she wrote in a tweet in Hindi.

Ms. Phogat asked if people who spread “fake news” realised the trauma the women wrestlers were going through.

Media reports

Several media reports on Monday, said a minor wrestler, who also complained against Mr. Singh for allegedly sexually harassing her, had withdrawn her complaint. Wrestler Sakshi Malik’s mother, Sudesh Malik denied all these reports and said that they’re being “framed” and no such decision has taken by anybody.

The minor’s father, too denied all allegations on his daughter withdrawing her complaint against Mr. Singh.

“I’ve read that news is being spread that my daughter has withdrawn her complaint, it’s completely fake and we are still a part of the ongoing agitation and we shall continue to fight against the accused,” the minor’s father told The Hindu.

He said that the fight is difficult because the person they’re fighting against is powerful and no action has been taken until now.

“My daughter feels disheartened, it’s taxing, because everyday, we wake up to news that he continues to speak boldly, and all the girls have to live their life in constant fear,” he said.

Her father said, everybody, who has been a part of the wrestlers’ agitation stands together as one and nobody is backing down, despite the narrative being created in the media.

“We’ve left the location we used to stay at because media has been questioning us concerning the age of the victim, we feel like it’s an unending battle, that we will have to fight, no matter what,” he said.

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