BCCI president Roger Binny distances himself from 1983 World Cup team's statement on protesting Indian wrestlers
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Roger Binny has decided to distance himself from the joint statement issued by the 1983 World Cup-winning team regarding the protesting Indian wrestlers.
Star Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and World Championship bronze medallist Vinesh Phogat have been waging a long battle against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
On Friday, June 2, the 1983 World Cup-winning team issued a joint statement to express solidarity with the wrestlers and urged them not to throw away their medals.
The statement read:
"We are distressed and disturbed at the unseemly visuals of our champion wrestlers being manhandled. We are also most concerned that they are thinking of dumping their hard-earned medals into river Ganga."
The statement further read:
"Those medals have involved years of effort, sacrifice, determination, and grit and are not only their own but the nation’s pride and joy. We urge them not to take any hasty decision in this matter and also fervently hope that their grievances are heard and resolved quickly. Let the law of the land prevail."
He issued a statement:
"Contrary to some media reports, I would like to clarify that I have not issued any statement regarding the current situation of the wrestlers’ protest. I believe that the competent authorities are working to resolve the issue. As a former cricketer, I believe that sports should not be mixed with politics."
What is the wrestlers' protest about?
Many females including Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik have claimed charges of sexual assault against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The wrestlers have not only demanded the axing of the Indian member of parliament from his office at the WFI but also a strict investigation.
The wrestlers protested at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in order to put pressure on the government to look into the matter.
However, they were detained by Delhi Police as they attempted to march towards the new Parliament building during its inauguration on May 28. The police also cleared the protest site at Jantar Mantar on the same day.
Gutted by the manhandling by Delhi Police, the wrestlers announced to immerse their prestigious medals in river Ganga in Haridwar. They were stopped by farmer leader Naresh Tikait from throwing their medals.