Wrestlers have agreed to end their street protests against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh after six months of accusing him of sexual harassment. In a statement, they stated that they intended to continue their legal battle for justice as they awaited the WFI’s promised reforms.
Background and Decision to Take Legal Route:
The wrestlers’ protest, which started at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, has finally come to an end. In a statement that was shared on social media, the wrestlers reaffirmed their intention to challenge Singh in court. They pointed to progress as being the conclusion of a police investigation and the subsequent filing of a chargesheet against Singh. The wrestlers made it clear that they would pursue justice through the judicial system rather than continue their street protests. Numerous wrestlers took part in the protest, which attracted considerable attention on a global scale. The athletes were able to air their complaints and demand action from the WFI on a strong platform thanks to it. Thoughtfully, the wrestlers have decided to turn their attention to the legal options at hand after months of protest.
Progress in Sexual Harassment Case:
A 1500-page chargesheet against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been issued by the Delhi Police in response to complaints made by six female wrestlers. The chargesheet has sections for stalking, sexual harassment, and assault. However, following the recording of a second statement from a young wrestler, the accusations made under the POCSO Act were dismissed. Although they acknowledged that their fight for justice will now be carried out in court, the wrestlers expressed their happiness with the developments achieved in the case. The filing of the chargesheet against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh marks a significant milestone in the wrestlers’ fight for justice. It demonstrates that the authorities have taken their allegations seriously and are actively pursuing legal action against the accused. While the charges under the POCSO Act were dropped due to specific circumstances, the wrestlers remain resolute in seeking justice for the alleged misconduct they have endured.
Reformation of Wrestling Federation of India:
The WFI reform was mentioned in the statement of the protesting wrestlers. They said that, as promised, the election process has started for the WFI’s new president and executive committee. The wrestlers declared their willingness to hold off on voting until the government’s pledges that the WFI will be reformed were put into effect before the election, which is set for July 11. An essential component of the wrestlers’ protest was their call for WFI reform. The federation has started the election procedure for new leadership, which is a step towards resolving the issues the athletes had highlighted. The decision of the wrestlers to postpone the execution of promised reforms reveals their cautious optimism and willingness to see real improvements within the WFI.
Request for Time to Prepare for Trials:
Before announcing the end of their protest, the wrestlers addressed a letter to the Sports Minister, Anurag Thakur, requesting time to prepare for the upcoming trials for the Asian Games and World Wrestling Championships. They appealed for the trials to be conducted after August 10, 2023, to allow sufficient preparation. The wrestlers’ request for a reasonable timeline demonstrates their commitment to competing at the highest level while ensuring adequate preparation for the trials. The wrestlers’ plea for more time to prepare for the trials demonstrates their commitment to their sport and quest for excellence. They are aware of how critical it is to be in top physical and mental shape when representing their nation abroad. The wrestlers are emphasising the value of fair competition and their desire to compete at their best by asking for a timeline that gives them enough time to practise and prepare.
Response to Critics and Temporary Social Media Break:
Former wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt criticised the exemption given to the protesting wrestlers at the Asian Games trials, and the wrestlers responded with a sharp reply on social media. They charged Dutt with using social media to promote his own agenda and sow discord. Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik both expressed the need for a brief vacation from social media by announcing a temporary hiatus. The wrestlers’ choice to address criticism and take a brief sabbatical from social media demonstrates their commitment to concentrating on the legal proceedings and their own well-being. By responding to the objections, they defend their viewpoint and dispel any misunderstandings. The temporary break from social media platforms allows them to recharge and regroup, ensuring they are mentally prepared for the challenges ahead.
The wrestlers’ decision to shift their fight for justice from the streets to the court marks a new phase in their battle against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. With a chargesheet filed against Singh and the WFI’s reformation process underway, the wrestlers remain determined to pursue justice while preparing for upcoming trials.