Clash between Delhi Police and Wrestlers at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday night

Wrestlers in a scuffle with police

Wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar clashed with Delhi Police late on Wednesday night, resulting in two wrestlers sustaining head injuries. The protesters alleged that a drunken police officer attacked them. The group had been protesting for 10 days, calling for the arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the Wrestling Federation of India chief, on charges of sexual harassment.

Following the incident, three people, including Somnath Bharti, an AAP MLA, and Deepender Hooda, a Congress MP, were detained by the police. According to the wrestlers, the police prevented them from bringing folding beds to the protest site, after their mattresses got wet due to the rain. A former wrestler, Rajveer, told PTI that a drunk policeman named Dharmendra abused Vinesh Phogat and got into a scuffle with them. The group claimed that the police started hitting them, resulting in Dushyant, Bajrang Punia's brother-in-law, and Rahul sustaining head injuries.

The wrestlers also accused female constables of misbehaving with them and alleged that the police prevented doctors from reaching the site. Vinesh Phogat broke down in tears and stated that they did not deserve such treatment after winning medals for the country. She also questioned why female police officers were not present during the incident.

Sangeeta, Bajrang Punia's wife, who is also a wrestler, claimed that she was pushed around by policemen. The Delhi police, on the other hand, alleged that Somnath Bharti arrived at the protest site with folding beds without permission. When asked about the beds, his supporters became aggressive and tried to take them from a truck, which led to a minor altercation. The police subsequently detained Bharti and two others.

Earlier in the day, AAP had decided to provide cots to the wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar due to the heavy rain in the capital. The police denied that the protesters were beaten up and alleged that they wrongfully restrained a police officer, accusing him of being drunk.

Bajrang Punia, one of the protesting wrestlers, called for farmers and the public to join them at Jantar Mantar in solidarity. He stated that this was a question of the dignity of their daughters and that people like Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh were roaming freely despite being criminals. The Delhi Police have increased security measures around Jantar Mantar following the incident, deploying heavy police force and barricading the area.
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