Boxer Vijender Singh joins farmers’ protest, says will return Khel Ratna Award if ‘black laws’ not repealed

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Updated: Dec 06, 2020 4:06 PM

Singh, who is from Haryana, had joined the Congress ahead of the last general elections and had unsuccessfully contested from the South Delhi Lok Sabha seat.

Vijender was awarded the Khel Ratna award for winning the Olympic medal in 2008. (Photo source: ANI)

Olympic winning boxer Vijender Singh on Sunday joined farmers protesting against three farm bills at Delhi’s Singhu border. Expressing his solidarity with the farmers, Singh said that he will return his the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award if the Centre fails to withdraw the three contentious laws. “If the government does not repeal the black laws, I will return my Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award,” the boxer was quoted as saying by ANI. Khel Ratna Award is India’s highest sporting honour. Singh, who is from Haryana, had joined the Congress ahead of the last general elections and had unsuccessfully contested from the South Delhi Lok Sabha seat.

“I received my training in Punjab and they provided me ‘roti’. Today when these farmers are here out in cold, I have come as their brother. There are several athletes of Haryana who wanted to join these farmers in their protest but they have govt jobs and doing so would put them in trouble. They say they are with these farmers,” the Congress leader said. Vijender was awarded the Khel Ratna award for winning the Olympic medal in 2008 and becoming the first Indian boxer to do so.


Five former sportspersons from Punjab too joined the farmers’ protest on Sunday. Those who went to Singhu border are Arjuna award winner hockey players Gurmail Singh and Rajbir Kaur, Dhyan Chand Award winner Ajit Singh, former boxer Jaipal Singh and ex-wrestler Kartar Singh.

Farmers are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. The protest has entered its 11th day today.

Several other sportspersons have already extended their support with some threatening to return their awards if the Centre did not heed farmers’ demands.

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