Wrestlers’ Protest Updates
Wrestlers’ Delhi Police’s Response Regarding Brij Bhushan’s Sexual Assault Case
In response to a petition filed by wrestlers who have been demonstrating against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice and asked for a response from Delhi police.
PM Modi Is Silent
What is astonishing is the fact that none of the government of India officials are reaching out to the wrestlers and even after multiple call outs the Prime Minister has not said even a word on this issue since months. Opposition and common people are accusing the government of India and PM Modi of using the same athletes for PR when they win medals for India but now when a BJP minister is on the receiving end of such serious allegations everyone is mum.
What’s the case?
“The claims of sexual assault are supported by video recordings. Seven female wrestlers are victims of abuse. When the harassment occurred, one of them was 16 years old. She had received a gold medal,” senior attorney Kapil Sibal informed the Supreme Court. Furthermore, he stated that under strict sections, even police officers could face charges for failing to file a case.
Sports Athletes’ Dharna at Jantar Mantar
The wrestlers have received a great deal of support. A few hours after Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia “invited all parties” to join their agitation, representatives of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) went to Jantar Mantar and spoke with the protesting athletes.
Discussions between SAI representatives and wrestlers were observed. “I arrived intending to speak with and learn from wrestlers. I won’t comment on demands,” an SAI official told the press. However, some have been prohibited from supporting the agitation.
SSCB forbids its athletes to participate in Dharna
A report in The Tribune claims that the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) has forbidden all of its athletes and coaches from participating in the wrestlers’ protest.
“All SSCB athletes are hereby advised that some wrestlers will be participating in a dharna at Jantar Mantar. All of its players were asked to avoid the dharna,” according to the report of the SSCB. The protest has been ongoing since Tuesday.
Union Ministry of Sports’ action
The proposed elections for the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on May 7 have been deemed “null and void” by the Union Ministry of Sports. The most recent development is thought to be an attempt to appease the angry wrestlers, who returned to their sit-in demonstration after a three-month break.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was asked by the ministry on Monday to establish a temporary or ad hoc committee to manage the WFI’s daily operations and to hold elections for its new executive committee within 45 days of the interim body’s formation.
What is the protest, and who are the protesters?
Many wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Sangeeta Phogat, Satyawart Kadian, Somveer Rathi, and Jitender Kinha, are on hand at the protest location.
In January, they staged a sit-in demonstration at Jantar Mantar, but they dispersed after the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced the creation of an “oversight committee” to look into the accusations made against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and other coaches.
The Delhi Police have been instructed to file an FIR regarding the matter by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
Who has supported the protest?
The Aam Aadmi Party and the All India Mahila Congress joined the wrestlers in their protest, and Netta D’Souza and Saurabh Bhardwaj charged the Prime Minister with shielding the BJP MP rather than punishing him.
According to Saurabh Bhardwaj, the Union sports minister should be “ashamed” for not creating a supportive environment for wrestlers.
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh: “Who is he?”
BJP leader Brij Bhushan, who has a criminal record, was cleared of all charges in a case involving a 1993 attack on a former UP minister.
Sports controversy involving Brij Bhushan
Sports-related controversies involving Singh include publicly slapping an athlete, ejecting a coach from his position, and abruptly ending the trials to choose India’s representative in the 59 kg division for the World Wrestling Championship.