New Delhi— During a tumultuous day in the capital, on Sunday, top Indian wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia were initially detained by the Delhi Police after attempting to march towards the newly constructed Parliament building on Sunday.
Subsequently, the Delhi Police lodged FIRs against them for violating law and order. Additionally, the Jantar Mantar protest area was cleared by the authorities.
The social media sphere is ablaze with outrage as news spreads of the Delhi Police filing FIRs against the protesting wrestlers and their subsequent detention.
According to sources, the wrestlers have been accused of violating Section 3 of the PDPP Act, (Prevention of Damage to Public Property) as well as several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including 147, 149, 186, 188, 332, and 353.
The IPC sections that the FIR was lodged under are:
Section 147: Rioting
Section 149: Every member of an unlawful assembly is guilty of an offense committed in the pursuit of a common aim.
Section 186: Interfering with a public worker's execution of their official duties.
Section 188: Disobedience to a properly issued order by a public official.
Section 332: Willfully causing harm in order to prevent a public servant from performing their function.
Section 353: Using violence or assault to prevent a public servant from performing their function.
Even after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the new Parliament building, the wrestlers lacked clearance to approach it. An ugly brawl started when they were stopped by the police.
As security officers were seen dragging wrestlers, opposition political figures, and some athletes, including gold medalist Neeraj Chopra from the Tokyo Olympics, denounced the harsh treatment of India's finest athletes.
Netizens from all walks of life are expressing their discontent and slamming both the Delhi Police and the central government for their actions.
Hashtags such as #SupportOurWrestlers and #StandWithAthletes are trending, serving as rallying cries for those who believe that the athletes' right to peaceful protest has been violated. Many users are criticizing the heavy-handed approach of the police, questioning the need for such aggressive measures against India's top wrestlers.
The incident has also fueled a broader discussion on freedom of expression and the right to dissent in the country.
Social media users are demanding justice for the detained athletes and calling for a reevaluation of the government's handling of protests, emphasizing the importance of protecting citizens' fundamental rights.