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Wrestlers in late-night huddle with sports minister Anurag Thakur, may file FIR against WFI chief | More sports News


NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday failed to convince the agitated wrestlers to stop their protests demanding the head of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh resign over the allegations. allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation, with the country’s top wrestlers threatening to file a police complaint against Singh if he does not resign by Friday night.
On Thursday evening, sports minister Anurag Thakur met with the wrestlers and assured them that the matter would be resolved soon.
Refusing to wait until Saturday night when the deadline to demand explanations from the government from the chiefs of the Singh and WFI offices expired, the protesters, led by Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik and two-time World Championship medalist Vinesh Phogat, raised their bets on the second day of their rally. sat down peacefully by demanding not only Singh’s resignation but also the dissolution of the WFI and all its affiliated state units.
The wrestlers’ confrontational approach forced Singh to convene an “extraordinary plenary meeting” of the WFI on Sunday in Ayodhya to discuss the bitter controversy. There is much speculation that Singh will step down, but it will not be easy to cast aside the BJP strongman politically in Uttar Pradesh with the next general election due in early 2024.

Singh has been to the lower house of parliament six times in his career and is the incumbent BJP MP from Gonda’s Kaiserganj seat in the UP. According to political observers, he is influential in 17 districts east of UP and played a key role in the BJP’s unchallenged run in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Singh left Gonda early Thursday morning from his official 21st residence Ashoka Road here to attend a private activity and will be stationed there until Sunday morning before heading to Ayodhya. With wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar, a dense deployment Delhi police staff and paramilitary forces were seen outside his chalet. The WFI office located inside his residence has also been temporarily locked for security reasons.

On Thursday morning, about 200 wrestlers from the neighboring states of Haryana and UP – including Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Ravi Dahiya and CWG Birmingham gold medalist Deepak Punia – joined the rally.

WFI Chief Sexual Harassment: DCW Issues Notice to Sports Ministry, Delhi Police

WFI Chief Sexual Harassment: DCW Issues Notice to Sports Ministry, Delhi Police

Then, three-time CWG medalist and BJP leader Babita Phogat – also Vinesh’s cousin – went to the protest site and assured the wrestlers that Justice will be delivered to them. She brought Bajrang, Vinesh, Sakshi, Anshu Malik and Satywart Kadian to meet the sports ministry delegation including sports secretary Sujata Chaturvedi. SAI General Manager Sandip Pradhan and general secretary (sports) Kunal.

After listening patiently to the wrestlers and their grievances and despite assuring them that action would be taken against Singh and the WFI office bearers, the wrestlers refused to stop protesting. They held a press conference after the meeting, where Vinesh talked about plans to file an FIR against Singh on charges of sexual harassment on Friday.
“Yesterday we had one or two victims of harassment. But today, we have five or six female wrestlers who have come forward to denounce their sexual harassment stories. We will not name them now. If necessary, we will be forced to reveal their identities and it will be considered a dark day in the history of the country where goddesses ‘Durga’ and ‘Lakshmi’ are worshiped. At least five or six girls will file multiple FIRs on Friday,” Vinesh said.

“It’s not just about Singh resigning. Our fight won’t stop until we put him in jail. We did not take legal route because we were hoping for a solution. We’re Olympic and world medalists, so don’t doubt us. You (the media) have to believe us because we are telling the truth,” she said.

Sakshi said sexual abuse runs deep in leagues and national camps, and it is time for Singh and his men to be removed from state-run sports bodies. One question, however, remains unanswered after two days of protests: Why was the Rio Olympics bronze medalist Sakshi not aware of the sexual harassment allegations by fellow wrestlers or changed his mind? face they complain despite being a member of the federation’s sexual harassment committee on the current executive board?
Sources in the Ministry and SAI also confirmed TOI that their divisions have not received any sexual harassment complaints against Singh “formally or informally” during his more than decade-long tenure as head of WFI.

The wrestler leveled the allegation against the WFI President;  Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh still defiant

The wrestler leveled the allegation against the WFI President; Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh still defiant

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