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The ad-hoc panel, managing wrestling affairs in the country, on Wednesday announced organisation of U15 and U20 National championships within six weeks, hours after junior wrestlers held a protest at Jantar Mantar and demanded dissolution of the IOA-constituted committee. The panel “acknowledged the concerns” of the young wrestlers who have been hit hard by the year-long protests by top India grapplers. Wrestling activities in the country have been hit hard following protests by the country’s top three grapplers — Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat — against former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Neither the National camps nor the junior nationals have been held since January 2023.

Hundreds of junior wrestlers lost one full year due to the stalemate.

Bhupender Singh Bajwa, chairman of the three-member panel, assured the junior wrestlers that he would soon organise the sub junior and junior Nationals in Gwalior.

“The (ad-hoc) committee acknowledges the concerns raised by the young wrestlers (during the protest) and is committed to address the issues. The Committee is planning to organise the national championships for the U-15 and U-20 categories within the next six weeks at LNIPE, Gwalior,” Bajwa said in a statement.

“The ad-hoc committee reaffirms its full commitment to the growth and development of wrestling in India, fostering a culture of excellence and perseverance. The young wrestlers are advised to continue training and practising for these events,” added the statement.

The ad-hoc panel was set up on December 27 after the ministry suspended the newly-elected body under Sanjay Singh.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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