As three of India’s top wrestlers threatened to immerse their medals in the Ganga at Haridwar on Tuesday, many hoped that despite Sunday’s incident — where the police dragged and detained the wrestlers as they planned to march to the new Parliament building — the government would appeal to them to desist. It was also hoped that the government would renew its promise of a fair investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment against Wrestling Federation of India chief, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha member, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. No such appeal was forthcoming. On Wednesday, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur not only urged the wrestlers to be patient with the police investigation and not take any steps that might undermine sports, but also suggested that the participation of political leaders and trade unions in their protests had politicised their cause.Reports pointed out the shifting goalposts of the protesting wrestlers, inconsistencies and intransigence in their positions, and the thin evidence against Mr Singh, with a Delhi Police officer conveying to media outlets — and the force later retracting — that it did not find any evidence against the MP. While the wrestlers should have been more tactful in dealing with the Opposition leaders sharing their stage — although they kept politicians away from the time they first sat on protest on January 18 until the end of April — and some of their demands have indeed been unreasonable, the government could have been more sensitive on the issue. For example, Delhi Police, which reports to the Union home ministry, registered a first information report against Mr Singh four months into the wrestlers’ protest, and only after the Supreme Court intervened.Whether protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act or the anti-farm law agitation, the government has resisted what it has perceived as an attempt to coerce it into a surrender. However, it is intriguing that the government, which otherwise talks about its women-focused schemes, has viewed the demand for a fair probe into allegations by at least seven women wrestlers as politically motivated. The persistent protests by women wrestlers for nearly five months, without a resolution in sight, have tarnished the country's image and hurt the sport, with the United World Wrestling (UWW), the international governing body for amateur wrestling, condemning the treatment meted out to the wrestlers and saying it might suspend the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) if its pending elections were not held within the stipulated time.It is time the government dispelled the wrestlers’ misgivings that Mr Singh continued to dictate how the WFI was run despite having ostensibly stepped aside from its day-to-day functioning, or that the influential BJP MP was being treated with kid gloves due to political considerations. The government must reach out to the wrestlers in the spirit that the issue is not merely about the legality of the allegations but equally about morality. Women across the country, many pursuing dreams of becoming sportspersons, are looking at the tearful faces of the wrestlers and hoping to see justice being done.