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Sports Minister's Meeting With Protesting Wrestlers Ends Without Conclusion

Top Indian wrestlers' meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur remained inconclusive on Thursday night as they refused to back down from their demand that the government immediately disband the Wrestling Federation of India. The marathon meeting began around 10 pm on Thursday, the second day of the wrestlers' protest against WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The wrestlers left Thakur's house at 1:45 am and did not speak to the reporters waiting outside.

Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya, Sakshi Malik and world championship medallist Vinesh Phogat were part of the meeting. Mr Thakur flew to Delhi from Himachal Pradesh after an earlier meeting between government officials and the protesting wrestlers remained inconclusive. The wrestlers will meet the Sports minister again on Friday, according to government officials. The ministry cannot force Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh to resign unless it receives a written reply from the WFI since the government itself has asked the wrestling body for an explanation. The WFI is yet to respond to the Sports Ministry, which on Wednesday gave the wrestling body 72 hours to respond to allegations of sexual harassment of several woman athletes and intimidation by its president.

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