Wrestlers from Uttar Pradesh are likely to miss the Senior National Championships scheduled later this month in Jalandhar as the senior State Championships in the northern state were cancelled ahead of the verdict in the Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.
A five-member Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had on October 16 concluded a marathon 40-day hearing in the dispute, and reserved its verdict in the case. The verdict is expected on Saturday. The Union Home Ministry had on Thursday asked all states, in particular Uttar Pradesh, to increase security ahead of the verdict.
The 65th senior Uttar Pradesh men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman championships and the 22nd women’s wrestling state championships were scheduled to be held in Bulandshahr from November 21 to November 24. However, the district administration refused to give security clearance to the tournament.
“The district association approached the administration but they refused citing the Ayodhya case,” Uttar Pradesh Wrestling Association General Secretary Prem Kumar Mishra told Scroll.in. “We cannot take the risk of conducting such a tournament where hundreds of wrestlers and crowd come. The administration would have taken action against us.”
Around 600 wrestlers were expected to take part in the championships, which would have acted as the trials for selecting the team for National Championship scheduled to be held in Jalandhar from November 28 to December 1.
“The district administration told us not to conduct the competition in Bulandshahr as they will not provide any assistance or security,” Bulandshahr District Wrestling Association General Secretary Kanchhi Singh said.
While the state association is still searching for a new venue, hosting the complete tournament looks unlikely. Mishra said they will still try to send a full squad to the National Championships.
“We are trying to find a venue where we can conduct at least a trial,” he said.
“I have asked the gold and silver medallists of Junior and U-23 National Championships of this year and finalists of last year’s senior state championship to come for trials. We are trying to conduct the trials in Meerut on the same dates but we have not got permission for that as well.”
In anticipation of the judgement, restrictive orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which bans the assembly of more than four people, were imposed in the temple town earlier this month. They will be in place till December 10.