Don't take hasty decision: 1983 World Cup winning team urge protesting wrestlers
New Delhi: Members of India's 1983 Cricket World Cup winning team have urged wrestlers, who are protesting against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief, not to take any extreme steps like throwing their medals in the Ganges.
Protesting ace wrestlers on May 30 shelved their plans to immerse their medals in Ganga at Haridwar after intervention from farmer leader Naresh Tikait.
The wrestlers gave a five-day deadline for action against wrestling federation chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
The UP police have said they will not deter the wrestlers from their plan to consign the medals to the Ganga.
The wrestlers alleged that their protest against the wrestling federation chief has been largely ignored.
"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 the river Ganga," read the statement issued by the 1983 World Cup-winning team as quoted by the media.
The statement further said: "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," the former cricketers urged.
The team which won the 1983 World Cup was led by Indian all-round legend Kapil Dev.
The Delhi Police, who shut the Jantar Mantar protest site to the wrestlers after Sunday's crackdown, earlier said they will not be allowed to hold a protest at India Gate.
The Delhi Police had accused the protesting wrestlers of rioting on Sunday, saying they broke the law in a frenzy despite repeated requests.
On Sunday, the Delhi Police detained protesters as they attempted a protest march to the new parliament.
Visuals of the champions Vinesh Phogat and her cousin Sangeeta Phogat being manhandled and pinned onto the ground by the police had evoked nationwide shock and outrage across the country.
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a BJP MP, accused of sexually harassing some of the top wrestlers, was present at the inauguration of the new parliament as the police carried out its crackdown barely 5 km away.
He has denied any wrongdoing but added that he is ready to step down if Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the BJP asks him to.