The Wrestling Federation Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been allegedlycharged with sexual harassment. India’s wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia, have abandoned the protest.
Singh was charged with offences under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), and 354D (stalking) of the Indian Penal Code.
Vinod Tomar, the WFI assistant secretary who has been suspended, has also been charged with criminal intimidation under sections 506 and 109 by Indian law.
The grapplers’ protest was put on hold till June 15 following their evacuation from their Jantar Mantar protest location on May 28 after receiving assurances from Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur that an indictment would be filed against the BJP MP Singh.
Gruesome cause for the protest
The brave wrestlers have ended the protest more than six months after they originally staged a dharna in front of Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, alleging the disgraced Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of abusing female grapplers sexually.
The wrestlers have said that they will hold off until the promises made about the WFI’s reorganization are carried out. The protesting wrestlers said in a statement that went around social media that they would keep fighting Singh, but in the courtroom rather than on the streets.
In accordance with the negotiations conducted on the seventh of June, the government has met our demands. Following an investigation into claims of sexual harassment (against former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh) based on a FIR lodged by six female wrestlers, the Delhi Police on June 15 presented the chargesheet to the court.
The three best grapplers tweeted that from this point forward, the fight will take place in court rather than on the streets until justice is served. A brief hiatus from social media was also announced by Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik.
The struggle “will now be fought in court and not on roads until justice is delivered,” Malik wrote on Twitter on Sunday. The wrestlers sent similar tweets yesterday whereby they claimed Singh, a six-time BJP MP, had been charged as promised by the government.
The wrestlers have stated that they will wait for the government to follow through on its promises before voting for the WFI’s new president and executive committee, which is due to take place on July 11.
Combatants request for more
Before declaring the end of the strenuous protests, the wrestlers wrote to Anurag Thakur, the sports minister, requesting for more time to train before the Asian Games and World Wrestling Championships.
“Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Satyawart Kadian, Sangeeta Phogat, and Jitender Kumar, the six wrestlers who took part in the protest, need time to get ready for the trials. The letter demanded that Thakur hold the proceedings after August 10, 2023.
Owing to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections have been postponed from July 6 to July 11.
The WFI executive committee will be chosen through voting. According to a letter from the IOA, the candidates for the positions of president, senior vice-president, four vice presidents, secretary general, treasurer, joint secretary, and five executive member positions will be chosen.
Each State and Union Territory will submit two nominees. Election nominations may be submitted between June 29 and July 1 from 11 AM to 5 PM. The nominations that the returning officers have received will be prepared and displayed on July 3 by 1 PM.
On July 11, voting will take place from 11 AM until 1:20 PM. Vote counting will begin at 1:30 PM, and results will be announced that same day.