New Delhi, May 29 (IANS): Abhinav Bindra, the first Indian to win an individual gold medal in the Olympics, has called for establishing independent safeguarding measures across sporting organizations to prevent them from being manhandled by police while participating in protests.
Bindra was a reaction to the police action against the protesting Indian wrestlers, who were detained by the Delhi Police on Sunday and their protest site at the Jantar Mantar dismantled by the cops.
Olympic bronze medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik and Asian and Commonwealth Games medallist Vinesh Phogat and her sister Sangeeta were pushed, pulled, jostled and dragged by Delhi Police personnel before they were taken to various police stations in Delhi and kept there till late in the night.
"Last night was sleepless, haunted by the horrifying images of my fellow Indian wrestlers protesting. It's high time we establish independent safeguarding measures across sporting organizations," Bindra wrote on his official Twitter account.
"We must ensure that if such situations arise, they are dealt with utmost sensitivity and respect. Every athlete deserves a safe and empowering environment," said Bindra who won gold in the 10m air rifle event at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik, who was reportedly booked for rioting and obstructing public servant in discharge of duty, while marching along with Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia to the new Parliament building, on Monday expressed disappointment over the FIR lodged against her and fellow wrestlers.
"It took 7 days for Delhi Police to register an FIR against Brij Bhushan who sexually assaulted girls and it didn't even take 7 hours to register an FIR against us for peacefully protesting. Has dictatorship started in this country? The whole world is watching how the government is treating its players," she wrote.