Heartbreaking Treatment of Protesting Wrestlers Denounced by 1983 World Cup Winner

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Kris Srikkanth, a member of the victorious 1983 Cricket World Cup team, expressed his dismay and sadness over the distressing images depicting wrestlers being forcibly handled. He described the situation as both heartbreaking and appalling, indicating his strong reaction to the sight of such mistreatment.

During a protest march by wrestlers towards the new Parliament building, security personnel took hold of wrestler Sakshi Malik and detained her. (Photo by PTI)

Members of the 1983 Cricket World Cup winning squad expressed their solidarity with the wrestlers protesting in the national capital.

Krishnamachari Srikkanth, a prominent figure from the ’83 team, shared his thoughts on the distressing situation, describing it as “heartbreaking and appalling” how the protesting wrestlers were forcefully apprehended.

Krishnamachari Srikkanth (P.C – News18)

In a phone conversation with India Today, Krishnamachari Srikkanth stated, “It is truly heartening to witness the overwhelming support from numerous athletes for the wrestlers—those very wrestlers who have brought immense pride to our nation in various global competitions. Witnessing their treatment on television, being taken into custody in such a manner, was truly disheartening and shocking.”

Several prominent wrestlers, including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia, have been actively participating in a protest concerning allegations of sexual harassment against the President of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

On May 28, the wrestlers were detained by the Delhi Police due to their violation of law and order when they marched towards the new Parliament building without obtaining permission. The police’s actions towards the wrestlers received criticism from various sources.

Last month, the wrestlers took their protest to Haridwar but did not carry out their earlier threat of immersing their hard-earned medals into the sacred river Ganga.

Expressing their distress and concern, the victorious 1983 Cricket World Cup team issued a joint statement on Friday regarding the disturbing visuals of wrestlers being manhandled.

The cricket champions also appealed to the protesting wrestlers not to make any impulsive decisions regarding their plan to immerse their medals in the Ganga River.

The statement emphasized the significance of those medals, representing years of effort, sacrifice, determination, and resilience, and not just belonging to the wrestlers individually but also serving as a source of national pride and joy.

The cricket legends urged the wrestlers to refrain from hastily taking any action and sincerely hoped that their grievances would be promptly heard and resolved. The statement emphasized the importance of upholding the law of the land.

The members of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad mentioned in the statement include Kapil Dev, Roger Binny, Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, K Srikkanth, Syed Kirmani, Yashpal Sharma, Madan Lal, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Sandeep Patil, and Kirti Azad.

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