Several politicians, including former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and 'khap' leaders on Tuesday met with the protesting wrestlers and extended their support to them.
Hooda, Udit Raj, another Congress leader, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, who was stopped from joining the stir by the wrestlers in January, were welcomed by the wrestlers, a day after they had sought support from all quarters.
Hooda spent about 35 minutes with the wrestlers at the Jantar Mantar, where the grapplers had started their protest in January, demanding the removal of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who was accused of sexual harassment and intimidation by them.
While Hooda did not speak, Raj asked the protesting wrestlers to stick to their cause, like the farmers did against the farm laws and said, "You will emerge victorious".
Hooda had tweeted on Monday, “It is a matter of great regret that international level players who have brought laurels to the country have to sit on dharna, they should get justice. I myself will go to the protest site at Jantar Mantar in Delhi tomorrow.”
The Bharat Kisan Union (BKU) representative also joined the wrestlers' stir.
A few kids, including one from Bhopal, offered their piggy bank, containing their savings, to the wrestlers.
Bajrang Punia, while thanking them, said, "You have big hearts." Earlier in day, the Supreme Court issued notices to the Delhi government and others on a plea by seven women wrestlers alleging non-registration of an FIR on their sexual harassment allegations against Sharan, saying these are "serious allegations" requiring its consideration.
The top court was initially of the view that the plea of the women wrestlers may be listed for hearing on Friday, April 28. However, after hearing some arguments from senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who mentioned the matter, it decided to take up the case straightaway.
The bench said normally a remedy to approach police is available under Section 156 (police officers' power to investigate cognisable cases) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Sibal alleged that seven wrestlers, including a minor, have made alleged sexual harassment allegations but no FIR has been lodged so far despite the law being very clear on this aspect.
Earlier on Tuesday, All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) acting President Netta D'Souza had visited the protest site. She spoke to the women wrestlers. Visuals of teary-eyed wrestler Sakshi Malik speaking to her were shared on Twitter.
D'Souza had tweeted, “Wrong happened with these daughters who raised the glory of the country, everyone raised their voice against wrong, but what did they get? Where justice should have been meted out, tears were found and the Prime Minister and his coterie, who give tall tales on women's safety, are sitting silent to save BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Let me remind this government - ‘History is always made on the edges of swords, the way youth moves, that way the world moves’.”
This comes a day after Bajrang Punia said all political parties were welcome at the protest site.
“All parties are welcomed, be it the BJP, Congress, Aam Aadmi Party or any other party. When we win a medal, we don't wave any party's flag but only the Indian flag. When we win medals, everyone. Not just one party comes forward to congratulate us, and neither are we affiliated with a single party. We are a part of this country and all Indians are welcome to join the protests. If we don't fight for the women of the country then we can't fight against anything,” Punia had told reporters on Monday at Jantar Mantar.
Punia on Tuesday also said that seven women, who had been allegedly sexually assaulted by Brij Bhushan, were being forced to retract their complaint. He further alleged that several members of the WFI had approached the complainant wrestlers and had offered them money.
The wrestlers returned to Jantar Mantar three months after the women wrestlers sat on protests, in January, levelling sexual harassment charges against the WFI president and other coaches. The wrestlers claimed that the promises that were made to them were not held up and their demands had not been fulfilled despite assurances.
On Sunday, the Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) said it had received a complaint from the women wrestlers alleging that they had given a written complaint to police two days back, but no FIR had not been registered till now. The wrestlers have stressed that they would remain at the protest site till police file an FIR in the case.