Wrestlers vs WFI chief: Tokyo Olympics gold-medalist Risako Kawai supports protesting Indian grapplers
Indian wrestlers look set to continue their protests for over a month against WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh in New Delhi. Meanwhile, the issue has already garnered attention from overseas, with Tokyo Olympics champion Risako Kawai supporting the Indian grapplers.
Tokyo Olympics gold medallist and three-time world champion grappler Risako Kawai of Japan has come out to support the protesting Indian wrestlers in their fight against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Top Indian grapplers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, have been protesting at the iconic Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, demanding the arrest of Brij Bhushan, who has been accused of sexual harassment of seven women athletes, including minor.
"I hope it will be an environment where Indian athletes can practice with peace of mind," Kawai wrote, retweeting a BBC News video on the wrestlers' protest. Kawai, who won the 57kg women's freestyle gold in Tokyo, is the first high-profile international wrestler to come out and support the protesting Indian wrestlers.
Both Vinesh and Bajrang are probable medallists in this year's Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, but for over a month, they have not been practising, demanding justice for the alleged victims. The Delhi Police have filed two FIRs -- one related to the complaints of a minor wrestler under the Prevention of Child Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act -- against Brij Bhushan. Still, a concrete step is yet to be taken, with the investigation continuing.