Bajrang Punia, the bronze medallist at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, accused former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of decimating wrestling in his home state of Uttar Pradesh. This was in response to Singh’s recent comment, where he said, “I heard they want to return their medals. Medals can be bought for ₹15.” Wrestler Bajrang Punia addresses the press during ongoing protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, at Jantar Mantar(PTI)
Bajrang Punia played a mobile clip where Singh made the comment and stated that Singh had finished off wrestling in his native state . He added that while there was a time when UP produced multiple good wrestlers, the trend had reversed, and the state barely has any representation in the national team.
Bajrang Punia also mentioned that he was willing to return his Indian medals but would keep his international ones. He also said that he and other wrestlers are considering returning their Arjuna and Khel Ratna honours if they don’t receive justice.
Bajrang Punia also stated that the wrestlers are in touch with their international counterparts and may soon receive a groundswell of support from the larger sporting community.
The protesters had completed 25 days of their sit-in, and the gathering will be held in Meham Chaubisi in Rohtak district on Sunday, the last day of their 15-day deadline to the Indian government, after which they will decide the future course of their agitation.