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Oly Medallist Punia’s India Selection Elicits Khap Meet | – Times of India

Jind: Arguments and sloganeering took place as khaps from Haryana on Saturday met to take a call on claims of wrongdoing in the Asian Championship selection of 2020 Olympics bronze medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia.
The khap panchayat met at Jat Dharmshala in Jind district. Members of some khaps have claimed that Punia was selected without trial by the Wrestling Federation of India, which supposedly overlooked grappler Vishal Kaliraman, who is yet to make any notable international exploits, for the tourney.
Subsequently, they decided to respect the decision of the Wrestling Federation of India. As such, khaps have no say in such selections. However, Kaliraman’s elder brother Krishan said that if the khaps had decided to stay away from the issue, they would move court to seek justice. “We will file a case and stage a dharna to seek justice. We challenge Punia to get a ticket for the championship after fighting my brother. It is illegal to select him without any trial,” he claimed.
Representatives of Punia and Kaliraman took part in the meeting, along with khap leaders. As the meeting started, people from both sides expressed their views, but a controversy erupted after a committee was formed to take a final decision on the issue.
Kaliraman’s family and supporters claimed that the committee mostly consisted of people siding with Punia, then started raising slogans against Punia and stepped out from Jat Dharmshala. When the exchange of words seemed to be getting out of control, elderly khap members intervened and asked the participants to keep peace. Om Prakash Kandela, head of Kandela khap, then announced the final decision: that the khaps would stay away from the entire episode. “We respect the decision of WFI, which has decided to select Punia without trial and people should not intervene in this matter now. Some people are trying to give it a political colour and make an effort to create ruckus in the panchayat. Therefore, khaps have announced their decision jointly: that the federation’s decision would be final,” he added.

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