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Wrestler Sakshi Malik Resigns Amidst WFI Election Controversy

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Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik has announced her decision to step away from wrestling, expressing her discontent over the recent Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) election results. 

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The controversy surrounding the WFI election reached its pinnacle when Sanjay Singh, backed by Brij Bhushan’s faction, secured victory in Thursday’s polls, claiming 13 out of 15 available positions. The emotional turmoil stemming from this outcome was vividly displayed as Sakshi Malik, a distinguished figure in Indian wrestling, made a tearful announcement during a press conference in Delhi.

Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik quits wrestling after Brij Bhushan loyalist  Sanjay Singh becomes WFI-

Source: The New Indian Express

Sakshi Malik placed her wrestling shoes on the table before making a dramatic exit, declaring her resignation from the sport. The decision was rooted in her disappointment over the election of Brij Bhushan’s close associate as the WFI president, despite the wrestlers’ earlier plea for a female president. Malik acknowledged the public support received during the Jantar Mantar protests and expressed gratitude for the solidarity exhibited throughout their battle for justice.

The discontent among the wrestling fraternity is not limited to Sakshi Malik. Bajrang Punia, an Olympic medallist male wrestler, echoed Malik’s sentiments during the press conference. He lamented that the government had reneged on its promise to prevent any candidate affiliated with Brij Bhushan from contesting the WFI polls. Both Malik and Punia had previously implored the Sports Minister, Anurag Thakur, to uphold this commitment, emphasizing the need for a fair and unbiased election process.

I quit wrestling': Sakshi Malik after Brij Bhushan's loyalist becomes WFI  chief -

Source: Business Today

Vinesh Phogat, another prominent wrestler and Women’s World Championships medallist, joined the chorus of disapproval at the press conference. Phogat, along with Punia, had actively participated in the Jantar Mantar protests earlier this year. The protests were fueled by serious allegations of sexual harassment against Brij Bhushan, leading to FIRs being filed by Delhi police following a Supreme Court directive. The charges against Brij Bhushan include demanding “sexual favours” in exchange for professional assistance and instances of inappropriate touching, such as running hands over breasts and touching the navel.

The controversy took an unfortunate turn on May 28 when Delhi police, reportedly under the Union home ministry’s jurisdiction, forcibly dispersed the protesting wrestlers from Jantar Mantar while Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building.

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