The Indian women wrestlers are protesting in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar heritage site, against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is the chief of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). The Olympic and World Medalists started protesting in January 2023 and called it off after the Government said it would look into the matter. The sports ministry was given four weeks to submit a report on the issue, and that was later extended to six weeks. The Ministry wrote a letter to the Indian Olympic Association but refused to comment on it.
On April 25th, senior advocate, Kapil Sibal, who appeared for the wrestlers, argued, “As per SC guidelines, police personnel can even get penalised for not registering the case in such offences”. The Indian Wrestlers said that they would not compete in international tournaments until Singh is removed from his post. Other coaches too have been accused of sexual harassment, Vinesh Phogat said, ‘They get into our personal lives and relationships.’ She also said that she had been receiving death threats from those close to Singh.
The protest resumed on April 23rd. The President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), PT Usha said that the sports persons should have gone to the Association which has a seven-member community for the prevention of sexual harassment, instead of going to the streets. That statement was strongly condemned on social media. The #IStandWithMyChampions started trending on Twitter on Friday, 28 April 2023. Some prominent sportspersons have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns about the state of India’s athletes.
VIDEO | "I want to thank the Supreme Court for directing the police to file a case as this marks our first step towards victory. However, our protest will continue," says wrestler Sakshi Malik on wrestlers' protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. pic.twitter.com/wOeFl1OKHL
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) April 28, 2023
The Delhi Police told the Supreme Court that they will file an FIR against Brij Bhushan, after the wrestlers including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia, after they put forth allegations of sexual harassment by the WFI chief during his term, claim he has strongly denied.
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