The country’s top wrestlers including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and many others on Wednesday staged a protest against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and BJP’s MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Addressing the media on behalf of the women wrestlers allegedly exploited – the wrestlers staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi Vinesh Phogat, the country’s only double World Championship medallist, said, “Women wrestlers have been sexually harassed at national camps by coaches and also the WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan.
The Olympic bronze medallist Bajrang took to Twitter to slam the federation, saying that the players are being harassed by the imposition of arbitrary laws. The Wrestling Federation of India took note of the protest as its officials had left for Jantar Mantar to meet the wrestlers.
India’s lone Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik said, “We have just come to save them. We are fighting for them. When the time comes, we will speak up. We will give the names of those who have been exploited to whoever is doing the probe.” Another wrestler said that they also want to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to intervene in the matter as they are the only ones who can sort this matter out.
“The job of the federation is to support the players, take care of their sporting needs. If there is a problem, it has to be solved. But what if the federation itself creates the problem? Now we have to fight, we will not back down,” tweeted Bajrang Punia with a #BoycottWFIPresident and #BoycottWrestlingFederation.
Others supporting the wrestlers and also protesting against what they called the “dictatorial ways” of the federation were Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia, Olympian Anshu and world junior silver medallist Sonam Malik. Bajrang’s wife and national-ranked wrestler Sangeeta Phogat was also present.
Reacting to the events, Swati Maliwal, chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women, issued a notice against Singh, asking the Deputy Commissioner of Police and Sports Secretary to probe and provide details of the matter.
Brij Bhusan Sharan Singh, MP-turned-administrator is a six-term MP, five as a BJP member and once, in 2009, as the SP candidate. Singh has represented Gonda and Balrampur in the past, and now Kaiserganj.