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Haryana Sports Officials Under Fire: Calls for Resignation Over Mistreatment of Women Wrestlers

Former Haryana Sports Director and IAS Officer demands accountability after women wrestlers face dishonour and mistreatment.

Image Courtesy: Twitter SakshiMalik

New Delhi: In a scathing press statement, M G Devasahayam, Chairman of People-First and former Deputy Commissioner of Bhiwani, Director of Sports in Haryana, and President of the Chandigarh Olympic Association, has called for the resignation of those in charge of sports in Haryana. Devasahayam expressed his anguish and agony over the mistreatment faced by the daughters of Haryana, who are renowned wrestlers.

Not long ago, these exceptional athletes were celebrated as the "Pride of Haryana," receiving lavish gifts and cash awards worth lakhs and crores of rupees for their remarkable achievements in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. The state's sports policy was credited for their success, particularly the young women wrestlers, many of whom hail from the district of Bhiwani.

However, Devasahayam highlighted the abrupt change in attitude towards these accomplished athletes. He questioned the disappearance of this supposed policy when the wrestlers faced mental distress, which led some to contemplate discarding their hard-earned medals at the confluence of the Ganga River in Haridwar. Meanwhile, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh seemed unfazed, even laughing as he entered the "Temple of Democracy" in the New Parliament.

While farmer-leader Naresh Tikait narrowly averted this tragic incident, the relief is only temporary. Emotional scenes unfolded in Haridwar as top Indian wrestlers, including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia, all hailing from Haryana, sat at Ganga Ghat for over an hour, clutching their medals and shedding tears.

Sakshi Malik, a gold medalist, expressed her pain and anguish through a poignant tweet, questioning why women wrestlers are being treated as criminals for demanding justice for the sexual harassment they have faced. She lamented the lack of support from the police and the system while their oppressor freely threatened them, even discussing amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Malik and her fellow athletes now feel disillusioned, wondering why they had ever won those medals.

Devasahayam criticised the Minister and officials running Haryana's Sports Department, questioning their lack of action in standing up for these medal-winning girls and defending their honour. He called for their resignation, stating that they had brought shame and dishonour not only to the state but also to its daughters.

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