Extremely disturbed over the unseemly visuals of champion wrestlers being manhandled, the members of the 1983 cricket World Cup winning squad on Friday urged the ace grapplers not to take a hasty decision of dumping their hard-earned medals into river Ganga, adding that their grievances will be heard and resolved quickly.
The 1983 WC winners said, “let the law of the land prevail”.
Several ace grapplers, including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, have been protesting against the Former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh accusing him of sexual harassment and demanding his arrest.
“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. 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,” a statement issued by the 1983 Cricket World Cup winning team on wrestlers’ protest read.
On May 30, Olympic medalist wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, along with Vinesh Phogat, went to Uttarakhand’s Haridwar to immerse all their medals, including Olympic ones, in the river Ganga, as a mark of their protest, but farmer leader Naresh Tikait asked them to wait for 5 days.
On May 28, India’s Olympic medallist wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, along with Vinesh Phogat and Sangeeta Phogat, were detained by Delhi Police while attempting to march to the new Parliament building where they planned to stage a demonstration. FIR has been filed under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 147, 149, 186, 188, 332, 353, Section 3 of the PDPP Act, said Delhi Police.
“Heartbreaking that they decided to throw their medals. We aren’t in favour of them throwing their medals because earning medals isn’t easy, and we urge the Government to sort out this issue as soon as possible,” Madan Lal.
In 1983, the World Cup final was played between India and West Indies, where the underdogs humbled mighty West Indies and won the first-ever World Cup. Kapil Dev lifting the trophy on the balcony of Lord’s Cricket Ground still remains an image to savour for all Indian fans. In the finals, Mohinder Amarnath was chosen as the Man of the Match as he scored 26 runs with the bat and also picked up three wickets with the ball.
India has been a regular participant in the World Cup from its beginning to the latest edition. The first edition was held in 1975, and from there on, it has taken place a span of every four years.
Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, K Srikanth, Syed Kirmani, Yashpal Sharma, Madan Lal, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Sandeep Patil, Kirti Azad and Roger Binny featured in the memorable final, played at the Lord’s ground against West Indies on June 25, 1983.