Following wrestler Bajrang Punia's interview on NDTV, it has been reported that he received a phone call from Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister, who extended an invitation for another meeting with the wrestlers. This meeting is expected to take place later today. The invitation came hours after Bajrang Punia expressed on NDTV that the protests against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, BJP MP, and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief, would continue until action was taken regarding the sexual harassment allegations against him.
During his interview, Bajrang Punia mentioned that the government had requested the protesters to keep their previous meeting with Amit Shah on Saturday confidential. He denied any secret agreements with the Home Minister and reaffirmed that the protesters would not back down from their demands.
After the interview, Amit Shah reportedly called Bajrang Punia and extended an invitation for another meeting. The meeting is likely to take place later today. Bajrang Punia informed the Home Minister that the wrestlers preferred transparency and did not want any secretive meetings.
Shortly after the phone call, Union Minister Anurag Thakur tweeted an official invitation for talks. In his tweet, he expressed the government's willingness to discuss the wrestlers' issues and invited them to the meeting. The wrestlers had a late-night meeting with Amit Shah on Saturday, during which Bajrang Punia stated that the Home Minister assured them that an investigation against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh was underway.
Bajrang Punia emphasized that the protest movement had not subsided and would continue. He mentioned that they were strategizing on how to proceed further, as the athletes were dissatisfied with the government's response and their demands were not being met.
During the meeting at 11 pm, which lasted over an hour, the Home Minister assured the wrestlers that the law applied equally to everyone and encouraged them to let the legal process take its course.
Despite rumors suggesting that the protest had ended when the wrestlers returned to their railway jobs on Monday, Bajrang Punia clarified that they had only taken leave from work and reported to the office for a day to sign in after being evicted from the Jantar Mantar protest site in Delhi. He stated that they had not resumed their jobs and were still actively protesting.
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the Wrestling Federation of India chief, has been accused by seven women wrestlers, including a minor, of sexual harassment. The allegations include inappropriate touching, groping, asking personal questions, and demanding sexual favors under the guise of checking their breath. The wrestlers have demanded a fair investigation and prompt action against the wrestling body chief.
The Delhi Police has reportedly questioned Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh twice and recorded statements from three to four members of the Wrestling Federation of India. Additionally, police sources mention that some staff members at Singh's Delhi residence have been called in for questioning.