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'We Will Fight Till Wrestlers Get Justice,' Say Farmers After Mahapanchayat

NEW DELHI, June 1: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait today said the final decision on the issue of wrestlers' protest will be taken at a meeting in Haryana tomorrow. The farmers and the khaps of Haryana have been extending support to the wrestlers and what remains to be decided is the strategy to pursue.

Tikait, who had persuaded the wrestlers not to consign their medals to the Ganga on Monday, made it clear that they will leave no stone unturned. "We will go to the President of India if need be… We are with you, you don't have to worry," he told his audience at a mega meeting in Muzaffarnagar today.

"I told them don't immerse the medals in the Ganga, put them up for auction. The entire world will come forward and ask you to stop the auction," he said.

On why the farmers and khaps are extending support to wrestlers, Tikait said, "It is good if the family is big".

"You should understand what the Central government is doing. They broke Lalu Yadav's family in Bihar. See what they did with Mulayam Singh Yadav's family. The same thing is happening in Rajasthan," he told the farmers attending the meet.

On Monday, a day after a massive Delhi Police crackdown on their protest, the wrestlers had headed for Haridwar, determined to immerse their medals in Ganga. But they held back finally after the intervention of Mr Tikait, who heads the Bhartiya Kisan Union, and khap leaders from Haryana.

The wrestlers have been on the warpath since January, demanding action against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, whom they accused of sexually harassing seven athletes, including a minor.

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is also BJP MP, has asserted that would accept any punishment if the allegations against him were proven. "If a single allegation against me is proven, I will hang myself. If you (wrestlers) have any evidence, present it to the Court, and I am ready to accept any punishment," he said.

The government, in its first comment on the matter yesterday, warned the wrestlers against any precipitate action and advised them to wait for the conclusion of the police investigation.

"I'll ask the athletes to wait for the conclusion of Delhi Police's investigation. The Delhi Police has informed the Supreme Court and filed an FIR (First Information Report). Until the investigation is complete, do not take any such step which will harm the sport and the players," sports minister Anurag Thakur had said.

Arvind Kejriwal Gets MK Stalin's Support In Battle Against Centre's Order

CHENNAI, June 1: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met his Tamil Nadu counterpart MK Stalin on Thursday, seeking support in his campaign against the Indian central government's controversial ordinance, which aims to assert control over administrative services in the nation's capital.

"If the elected government does not have control over the bureaucrats, then there is no point in having an elected government. For the first time in history, they nullified a Supreme Court order. This is unconstitutional and undemocratic," Kejriwal said after the meeting that was also attended by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, also from AAP.

"This ordinance will come in the monsoon session. In the Rajya Sabha they have 93 seats, if all non-BJP parties come, then we will be able to defeat them. I am grateful for MK Stalin's support. Every passing day, I'm feeling more and more confident and this is the semi-final to 2024," he added.

The meeting was part of Kejriwal's nationwide tour initiated last month, aimed at rallying opposition parties against the ordinance and bock it in the upper house of parliament, where they have more seats than the BJP and its allies.

Kejriwal, who leads the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is scheduled to meet Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Friday as part of this ongoing effort.

When asked if these discussions were part of coordinating the opposition, Stalin had stated earlier in the day, "That effort is already on." He emphasised that this was not a new development and assured that the DMK would be involved wholeheartedly.

The Delhi Chief Minister had announced the meeting a day earlier on Twitter, stating, "Will be meeting Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin in Chennai tomorrow (1st June) to seek DMK's support against Centre's unconstitutional-undemocratic 'Anti-Delhi' Ordinance".

Kejriwal has already met several influential political figures, including Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, Nitish Kumar, and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav.

Kejriwal's campaign comes in the wake of a major legal victory on May 11 when a five-judge constitution bench, led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, ruled in favour of the Delhi government giving it control over the appointment and transfer of bureaucrats, excluding public order, police, and land affairs.

This decision ended a longstanding dispute dating back to 2015 between the centre and the Delhi government.

However, within days, the central government issued a special order or ordinance, bypassing the court's ruling. The ordinance established an authority responsible for the transfer and posting of senior officers in Delhi, circumventing the recent court verdict.

SIT examined all wrestlers, witnesses in case against Brij Bhushan Singh, say Delhi Police

NEW DELHI, June 1: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by senior officers from the Delhi Police, which is investigating the sexual harassment charges against Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, has examined all the wrestlers and witnesses in the case, said officials. The SIT was formed after seven wrestlers, including a minor, lodged complaints of sexual harassment and stalking against Singh.

Sources said that the SIT has examined all the complainants and witnesses, including senior functionaries from WFI, in the case. Based on the investigation, the Delhi Police have also said it is not “mandatory” to arrest Singh at present as sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC) only attract a punishment of less than seven years.

An officer, who refused to be named, also said that “a fraction of the witnesses also refuted all the allegations made by the wrestlers and supported Singh”.

On Wednesday, as news broke out about the “no sufficient evidence found” claim in the case, the police posted a statement on social media denying the allegations but later removed and deleted all the messages.

“We cannot comment on the time frame for investigation in this case or what the evidence is. The investigation is still going on… SIT has been probing the matter and will submit a report to the court,” Suman Nalwa, Delhi Police spokesperson, later told reporters.

Top wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and others have been protesting against Singh for over a month. On Sunday, they were removed from Jantar Mantar and booked under sections of rioting for marching towards the new Parliament building.



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