Wrestlers Sakshi Malikkh, Bajrang Punia deny withdrawing from protests against BJP MP

Wrestlers Sakshi Malikkh, Bajrang Punia deny withdrawing from protests against BJP MP

By: rohith gutta&
June 6 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Wrestlers Sakshi Malikkh, Bajrang Punia deny withdrawing from protests against BJP MP

Image source: Reuters/Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times

On June 5, 2023, several media houses, such as India Today (archive here) and The Times of India, reported that wrestlers Sakshi Malikkh and Bajrang Punia – who have been leading the wrestlers’ protests from the front – had withdrawn from the protest and have gone back to their jobs at the Indian Railways. They both work as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) (Sports) at Indian Railways. 

However, in a tweet, Malikkh refuted the claim and said, “This news is absolutely false. We have not taken a step back in this fight for justice.” She added that while she will be rejoining her job at the Indian Railways, she will not stop protesting until justice is served. 

Bajrang Punia, too, posted a video message on Twitter and said that neither have the wrestlers withdrawn from the protests, nor have they taken back their complaint. He also clarified that there is no rift between the wrestlers. 

“This rumour has been crafted to mislead the people who are supporting the wrestlers,” he said, adding that “we are ready to give up our jobs if that becomes an obstacle in this fight against injustice.”

The wrestlers had reportedly met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on June 3, 2023, to request for an impartial probe against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Brij Bhushan Singh Saran. Malikkh had reportedly said that they had a “normal” discussion with the home minister. 

What is happening?

A group of Indian women wrestlers, along with some of their male counterparts, have been protesting in New Delhi since January 2023, demanding an investigation into sexual harassment complaints Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. While they called off their protests briefly in January after being assured that action would be taken into the complaints, the wrestlers resumed their protests on April 23, stating that no action has been taken against Singh. Two FIRs were filed against him under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act after the Supreme Court of India’s intervention. Multiple incidents of sexual harassment, including one against a minor, were detailed in these two FIRs. 


Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before