Wrestlers Protest: Wrestlers, led by Bajrang Punia, are sitting on a dharna against Wrestling Federation of India President and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. Meanwhile, the Sports Ministry has banned the election of the wrestling association. The elections were to be held on May 7 next month.
The Sports Ministry has directed the wrestling federation to form an ad-hoc committee, which will conduct the executive committee elections within 45 days of its formation and manage day-to-day affairs. Management includes selection of athletes, submission of applications for international championships, etc.
The Indian Olympic Association will constitute an ad-hoc committee to conduct the elections to the Executive Committee of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) within 45 days of its formation and manage the day-to-day affairs of the WFI. pic.twitter.com/wI6SBpRLxj
— ANI_HindiNews (@AHindinews) April 24, 2023– Advertisement –
Wrestling association president accused of physical abuse
Seven wrestlers, including wrestler Vinesh Phogat, have moved the Supreme Court to file a case against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The wrestlers allege that they filed a sexual harassment complaint against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh at the Connaught Place police station in central Delhi. But the case has not been registered yet.
The wrestlers said that people have started considering us as liars. We were forced to come back defeated. Our protest will continue till we get justice.
Vinesh Phogat and seven other wrestlers move Supreme Court seeking registration of FIR against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president, Brij Bhushan Singh pic.twitter.com/D7ptm2DSbf
— ANI (@ANI) April 24, 2023
Performed for the first time in January
In January, wrestlers staged a sit-in at Jantar Mantar. The wrestlers had then said that they do not want to take the legal route as they have faith in the Prime Minister. But warned that if the government did not take action, they would go to the police. Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had also met the wrestlers over the issue and termed the allegations as ‘serious’.
The committee headed by Mary Kom had investigated
The Sports Ministry had on January 23 constituted a five-member monitoring committee headed by boxing legend MC Mary Kom and asked it to submit its report within a month. The deadline was later extended by two weeks and on the request of the protesting wrestlers, Babita Phogat was included in the probe panel as its sixth member.
The committee submitted its report in the first week of April. But the ministry is yet to make its findings public. However, sources said that the wrestlers could not prove their sexual harassment allegations against the WFI chief after several hearings.
The MP denied the allegations
At the same time, MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has denied the allegations. In a conversation with ANI in January, he said that all the allegations of sexual harassment are false, and if they are found to be true, I will commit suicide. The federation said the athletes who have leveled allegations of sexual harassment against the WFI chief have a hidden agenda.
It is a matter of regret that the players who have brought laurels to the country are sitting on dharna. They should get justice, if they ask for support, we will also give support. I am in the interest of sportspersons, fight for their cause, don’t wrong anyone: WFI chief against wrestlers’… pic.twitter.com/AcFm2ZMYDp
— ANI_HindiNews (@AHindinews) April 24, 2023
Bhupendra Singh Hooda came out in support of wrestlers
On the performance of the wrestlers, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that it is a matter of regret that the sportspersons who have brought laurels to the country are sitting on dharna. He should get justice.
He also said that if they ask for support, we will also give support. I am in the interest of the players, fight for their interests, do not call anyone wrong.
Read also: Wrestlers Protest: 8 wrestlers including Vinesh Phogat reached Supreme Court, sought support from Khap Panchayats