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“I’ll Also Return Padma Shri”: Virender Singh, the Wrestler, Supports Sportsmen

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<p><strong>New Delhi:</strong> Wrestler Virender Singh has backed fellow competitor Sakshee Malikkh, who said she was leaving the sport after former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s assistant took over as head of the organization.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-320675″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/theindiaprint.com-ill-also-return-padma-shri-virender-singh-the-wrestler-supports-sportsmen-fjjcwe6a.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com ill also return padma shri virender singh the wrestler supports sportsmen fjjcwe6a” width=”1059″ height=”794″ title=”"I'll Also Return Padma Shri": Virender Singh, the Wrestler, Supports Sportsmen 6″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/theindiaprint.com-ill-also-return-padma-shri-virender-singh-the-wrestler-supports-sportsmen-fjjcwe6a.jpg 600w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/theindiaprint.com-ill-also-return-padma-shri-virender-singh-the-wrestler-supports-sportsmen-fjjcwe6a-150×113.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1059px) 100vw, 1059px” /></p>
<p>Brij Bhushan has been accused of sexual harassment by Ms. Malikkh and other athletes.</p>
<p>I am proud of your daughter Sakshee Malikkh and I will return the Padma Shri to my sister and the nation’s daughter, Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji. Virender Singh, commonly known as the “Goonga Pahalwan,” posted on X and tagged Sachin Tendulkar and Neeraj Chopra. “But I would also request the top players of the country to also give their decision,” Singh wrote.</p>
<p>A day before Virender Singh’s post, another prominent wrestler, Bajrang Punia, said on Friday that he had sent a letter to Prime Minister Modi and would be returning the Padma Shri that had been awarded to him.</p>
<p>The Olympian wrestler who won a medal at the Games arrived at Kartavya Path in central Delhi on Friday night and placed the Padma Shri medallion on a sidewalk there after making a statement on X. The cops subsequently took it up.</p>
<p>“I don’t deserve this honor either, especially since the female wrestlers get less recognition. Despite the fact that we traveled for forty days, the government has not kept its word. Our struggle is against a man, not the government. Mr. Punia told reporters on Friday, “I believe in the judiciary, but with what is happening, I can’t keep faith in the system.”</p>
<p>The first boxer from India to win an Olympic gold, Vijender Singh, also backed Ms. Malikkh yesterday. “The parents of the girls would wonder how we would get justice if an Olympic medalist is not granted it. The President, the Vice President, and the Prime Minister need to appear and explain why this occurred. Many issues about the democratic system and the legal system are brought up by this, according to Vijender Singh.</p>
<p>Former WFI chief executive Brij Bhushan has a lengthy history of supporting his old friend and colleague Sanjay Singh. After prominent wrestlers, including Ms. Malikkh, accused him of assaulting women wrestlers sexually, Brij Bhushan, a six-time BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, was forced to resign.</p>
<p>Commonwealth and Asian Games gold winner Vinesh Phogat, who broke down in tears during a media interview two days earlier, said that harassment of women wrestlers will persist as long as Sanjay Singh remains in charge of the WFI.</p>
<p>Three wrestlers spearheaded a sizable demonstration against Brij Bhushan in January of this year in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.</p>
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Following a probe order from the government, they canceled the protest. The wrestlers received an additional assurance: Brij Bhushan’s assistants and relatives would not be permitted to run in the next wrestling body elections.</p>
<p>Sanjay Singh, the assistant to Brij Bhushan, was nominated even though his son Prateek and son-in-law Vishal Singh did not run.</p>


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