India’s top wrestlers have threatened to hurl their medals into the Ganges river on Tuesday as they demand the arrest of the head of the Wrestling Federation of India over sexual harassment allegations.
The wrestlers had been camping in New Delhi since April 23 demanding action against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has denied any wrongdoing.
Singh, a member of parliament for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Several of the protesting wrestlers were briefly detained by Delhi Police on Sunday and their camp site was cleared after they tried to move towards India’s new parliament building.
Singh has been stripped of his administrative powers but the wrestlers are seeking his arrest over allegations of sexual harassment against female wrestlers.
Wrestlers including Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia issued a joint statement on Tuesday spelling out their next step in the north Indian town of Haridwar.
“For us, our medals are sacred, and so is the Ganges river,” they said in a statement in Hindi.
“This holy river is the perfect custodian of our medals, not the system that shields the offender.”
The athletes said that after throwing their medals into the river they would return to New Delhi to begin a hunger strike at the India Gate war memorial.