Fatehgarh Sahib, Dec 5
Several sportspersons from Punjab, including Padma Shri and Arjuna awardees, left for Delhi on Saturday to return their awards to President Ram Nath Kovind in support of the farmers’ protest against the Central agriculture laws. They will join the farmers camping at the national capital’s Singhu border on Saturday before returning their awards to the president the next day.
They paid obeisance at the Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib here. Talking to mediapersons, “We have left for Delhi today and will join the farmers’ protest,” said former wrestler Kartar Singh, who is a Padma Shri and Arjuna awardee.
Olympian Ajit Singh and hockey player Rajbir Kaur said more than 25 leading sportspersons had decided to return their awards to protest the ‘force’ used against the peasants en route to Delhi and for not repealing the farm laws.
Many former players like Sajjan Singh Cheema who could not join us because of health or other issues have given their sports awards to us,” Kartar said.
Other former sportspersons who are headed to the national capital are Dhyan Chand awardee hockey Olympian Gurmail Singh and Arjuna awardees Kabaddi player Hardeep Singh, and weightlifter Tara Singh.
On Friday, former national boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu, during whose tenure India won its maiden Olympic medal in the sport, Padma Shri boxer Kaur Singh and Arjuna awardee boxer Jaipal Singh had announced that they would return their awards.