Indian wrestlers are protesting in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, demanding action against Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Saran Singh. The protesting wrestlers include international medal winners such as Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sangeeta Phogat, Satyawrat Kadian, Somveer Rathi, and Jitender Kinha. The wrestlers had also gone on protest in January, with allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The wrestlers had called off their protest when the government intervened and Union sports minister Anurag Thakur agreed to their demands.
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Reason for the Indian Wrestlers’ Protest:
The Wrestlers are demanding the immediate arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is also a strongman BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh. On Friday, The Wrestlers filed a complaint at the Connaught Place Police Station. Brij Bhushan as WFI president molested, tortured, and exploited Seven female Wrestlers, including a minor. According to them, the police had not registered an FIR even after 48 hours. Since one of the seven is a minor, The Wrestlers want Brij Bhushan arrested immediately under the Pocso (Protection of Children from sexual offences) Act. Since this is a Pocso case, The Wrestlers are saying, the police should have acted immediately because that’s the law of the country.
The Wrestlers said that in January, the sports minister had assured them that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh would not be functioning in the day-to-day affairs of WFI but later they get to know that he did have a say in the running of the organisation.
In January, when they had demanded the removal of Brij Bhushan, the sports ministry had appointed a six-member oversight committee, which was led by boxing legend MC Mary Kom, to look into those allegations, which ranged from sexual misconduct to harassment, intimidation, financial regularities, and administrative lapses.
The committee submitted the report like two months ago to the sports minister. The Wrestlers are demanding that the report should be made public. They suspect that the committee has given a clean chit-it to the WFI president. That is the reason for their protesting at the Jantar Mantar site.