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Abdullah lauds wrestlers for standing up against ‘sexual harassment’

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Jammu: Unity is power and can shake any government, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah told his party workers on Monday as he lauded wrestlers protesting in Delhi over sexual harassment allegations against the Wrestling Federation of India president.

“The wrestlers are sitting (in protest) at Jantar Mantar because they were being sexually exploited. They are my and your daughters who came together with determination and made a resolve to fight for their honour after nobody listened to them,” Abdullah said.

Citing the example of the protesting wrestlers, the NC leader asked his party workers to stand united without any fear.

The former chief minister was addressing a party function on International Workers’ Day at the party office here.

“Unity is power and can shake any government. We have to strengthen the country and not make it weak. We never supported Pakistan but fingers are being pointed at us…we chose India over Pakistan at the time of Partition,” he said.

“NC founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and the party preferred India because of its secularism. We have to work together to strengthen secularism,” Abdullah said.

The NC leader claimed he had not earlier seen such a situation where people were afraid of speaking the truth or against the government. “I have not seen such a type of fear even during British or Dogra rule,” he added.

The country’s top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in Delhi since April 23, demanding criminal action against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for alleged sexual harassment and intimidation of seven wrestlers, including a minor.

The Delhi Police filed two FIRs against the WFI president on Friday on allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by seven women wrestlers.

The protesting wrestlers had moved the Supreme Court seeking registration of FIR against the WFI chief.

Abdullah said, “I congratulate the Supreme Court for listening to them and directing registration of an FIR.”

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