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Mahila Panchayat calls for national protest on June 16 in support of women wrestlers

By Our Representive 

A National Mahila Panchayat, held in Delhi with the participation of hundreds of women, has given a call of national protest on 16th June if the government fails to fulfill its promises to the struggling wrestlers.
The solidarity meeting demanded immediate arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accused of sexually harassing women wrestlers, even as seeking resignation of Union Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur for his "abject failure to take action in the cases of sexual harassment."
Also seeking prosecution of police officials under 166A IPC who failed to register FIRs and comply with the provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO), Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (PoSH) and IPC, the panchayat sought a Supreme Court monitored probe into the cases of struggling wrestlers, "given the widespread reporting of intimidation of survivors, witnesses and their families."
It further insisted on action in all other cases of sports women who have been struggling for justice against sexual harassment at the workplace, including against former Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh, "against whom a sexual harassment case has been pending since 2017."
Also demanding that the new President of the Wrestler’s Foundation of India be a woman, "as promised earlier by the Home Minister", the panchayat condemned the Sports Ministry and its officials "for criminal failure to implement the PoSH Act in more than half of the sports federations in the country."
At the same time, it noted, the Cabinet of ministers, including the Minister of Women and Child Development , "have stood as mute witnesses in the face of grave criminal violations", adding, there is "deafening silence of the statutory bodies meant for protection of women, children and human rights -- the National Commission for Women, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and National Human Rights Commission."
Attended by women sports persons and activists from Haryana, including Sakshi Malik’s mother, Sudhesh Malik, women’s rights activists from Rajasthan and Delhi, the gathering was marked by speeches about the struggles of the wrestlers in their fight for justice, affirmations of solidarity and togetherness in their "uphill battle".
The gathering also saw the participation of prominent women intellectuals and activists such as Zoya Hasan, Uma Chakravarti, Mridula Mukherjee, Syeda Hameed, Rajni Palriwal, Nandita Narain, Beena Pallical, Abhirami Jyothee, Anjali Bharadwaj, TK Rajlakshmi, Pamela Phillipose, Purwa Bhardwaj, Poonam Muttreja, Neeraj Malik, Swati Joshi, Bhasha Singh, Nivedita Menon and Arfa Khanam, among others.
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