Indian police on Sunday arrested several wrestlers, including Olympic medallists, as well as dozens of their supporters, as they tried to march to parliament in New Delhi to protest against the president of their federation, an AFP journalist at the scene found.
A group of wrestlers have been holding a sit-in since last April to demand the arrest of Brij Bhushan Singh, the president of the wrestling federation, whom they accuse of sexual harassment and intimidation. On Sunday, the wrestlers tried to march towards India's new parliament as it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but were stopped by hundreds of police.
Olympic medallists among those arrested
Among those arrested and boarded on buses were Olympic bronze medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia. "We respect our athletes, but we will not tolerate any disruption of the inauguration of the parliament building," a senior police official was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Security has been tightened in the federal capital. Police officers also stood guard around Delhi after a group of farmers tried to enter the city to support the protesting fighters.
Earlier this month, dozens of farmers broke through police roadblocks in the city to join the protest. The head of the wrestling federation, Mr Singh, who belongs to Mr Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party, has denied the accusations against him.