Several wrestlers, including Olympic medalists Bajran Punia and Sakshi Malik, were detained as they tried to march to India’s new parliament building in New Delhi to demand the arrest of the federation’s president over allegations of sexual harassment.
India’s top wrestlers have been conducting a sit-in at the Jantar Mantar in the heart of the Indian capital for more than a month. They planned Sunday’s march to coincide with the inauguration of a new parliament by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The wrestlers originally staged a demonstration in January to demand further action against Indian Wrestling Federation president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, denying sexual harassment allegations against several female athletes.
The protests were called off after Singh, a member of the Indian Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prime Minister Modi, was stripped of all executive powers by the sports ministry. The wrestlers resumed their protests on April 23, calling for Shin’s arrest.
“They broke the barricades and disobeyed police instructions,” Delhi police chief Dipendra Pathak told local media.
“They broke the law, so they were detained.”
Malik, who won bronze in the women’s freestyle 58kg category at the 2016 Rio Olympics, shared photos and videos of wrestlers being taken away by police.
“This is how our champions are treated. The world is watching us,” she tweeted.