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Bengaluru Residents, Activists Demand Justice for Wrestlers

Under the banner of Samyukta Horata at Freedom Park, protesters vowed to continue their fight until Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is arrested.
Bengaluru Residents, Activists Demand Justice for Wrestlers

Bengaluru: Citizens and activists gathered under the banner of Samyukta Horata (United struggle) at Freedom Park, Bengaluru, yesterday to protest the manhandling of the wrestlers in New Delhi and demanded justice for them. A human chain was formed to show solidarity with the wrestlers. 

Samyukta Horata is a confederation of progressive organisations in Karnataka including, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), Eddelu Karnataka, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, PUCL, Bhim Army, and others. Writers, student groups, feminist organisations, farmers and workers are part of it. 

Nuns from various churches in the city organised by the Conference of Religious in India (CRI) were the largest contingent of protestors. 

“You [the wrestlers] are an example for women who feel helpless against recurring sexual harassment at the workplace, in the neighborhood and public spaces because they are either alone or weak or poor or trapped in poisonous relationships,” CRI president Nirmalini Nazareth told the gathering.

“The Prime Minister has often spoken of his support to women’s causes and has implemented several projects for their uplift. We hope he will do what is necessary to start an investigation into the charges of molestation and other sexual offences against the wrestlers,” she added.

AIKS leader Siddanagouda Patil said that the accused [Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh] hasn’t been arrested despite several complaints of sexual harassment against young girls. 

“This isn’t surprising as a person banned from his state was appointed the country’s home minister. Farmers and all progressive organisations have come forward to support the wrestlers. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh remains in power because he has his community’s support. But until he is arrested, we will continue the protests,” Patil added.

The Indian Christian Unity Forum, which seeks to bring all denominations of the Christian community under one umbrella and fight for a common cause, also participated in the protest.

CS Dwarkanath, former Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes chairman, also addressed the protesters.

Simultaneous protests were held in Mysuru, where around 100 people from various organisations, including PUCL, Karnataka Rajya Mahila Dourjanya Virodhi Okkuta (Karnataka State Collective Opposing Violence Against Women) and AIKKMS, marched from Ramaswamy circle to the DC Office and demanded the Singh’s arrest. 

PUCL vide-president Rati Rao and writers Na Diwakar, Sabiha Bhoomigowda and Horeyala Doreswamy participated in the protests, held after a nationwide call from the Samyukta Kisan Morcha.

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