The protesting wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia, announced that their fight against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the WFI chief, will now be pursued in court rather than through street protests.
They made this declaration in an identical tweet, acknowledging that the government has fulfilled its promise of filing a charge sheet against Singh. The wrestlers stated that they would continue their fight until justice is achieved, but it would be pursued in the court system rather than on the streets. They also mentioned that the election process for WFI reform has begun and expressed their intent to wait for the government to fulfil its promises regarding the July 11 elections.
YOGESHWAR DUTT, THE WRETLER AND BJP LEADER
Following the tweet, Vinesh and Sakshi announced that they would be taking a temporary break from social media. In a live address on social media, Vinesh, Sakshi, and Bajrang criticized Yogeshwar Dutt, a former wrestler and current BJP leader, for questioning the IOA ad-hoc panel’s decision to grant them exemption from the Asian Games trials.
The wrestlers reaffirmed their commitment to the fight against Singh, stating that they would deliberate on how to proceed after evaluating the charge sheet filed against him.
Vinesh alleged that Dutt was targeting them due to his self-interest, accusing him of attempting to scare other wrestlers from joining the protests and pressuring them with the fear of losing their jobs. Vinesh also speculated that Dutt might have been offered the position of WFI President by Singh, which is why he had aligned himself with him.
Following their removal from Jantar Mantar on May 28, the wrestlers suspended their protest until June 15 after receiving assurances from Sports Minister Anurag Thakur that a chargesheet would be filed against Singh by that date and that none of his family members would be allowed to contest WFI elections.
The wrestlers, who received significant support from farmer leaders, khappanchayats, and various organizations, had been sitting at Jantar Mantar for 38 days before being detained by the Delhi Police for violating law and order on May 28.
They initially began their protest at Jantar Mantar on January 18 and temporarily suspended it after Thakur promised to investigate their allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation against 66-year-old Singh, who is a six-time BJP MP.
ALLEGATIONS AGAINST SINGH
The allegations against BrijBhushan Sharan Singh are extremely serious. Seven womenwrestlers, including a minor, who were part of the national camp in Lucknow, have accused Singh of sexual harassment. They claim that Singh frequently visited the camp and made inappropriate advances towards them. The wrestlers also allege that Singh threatened them with dire consequences if they complained or refused his demands. They further state that they approached various authorities, including the Sports Ministry, the National Commission for Women, and the Prime Minister’s Office, but no action was taken against Singh.
In response to the allegations, the Delhi Police have filed two cases against Singh under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including charges of rape, sexual assault, criminal intimidation, and criminal conspiracy. The filing of these cases was done following the Supreme Court’s direction to the police to register FIRs based on the wrestlers’ complaints. To investigate the allegations and gather evidence against Singh, the police have formed a three-member committee.
Singh has vehemently denied all the allegations and has even stated that he would commit suicide if found guilty. He claims that he is being framed by vested interests who seek to tarnish his image and remove him from his position of authority.
Given the seriousness of the accusations, the legal proceedings will be crucial in determining the truth behind the allegations against Singh. The formation of the police committee and the filing of cases demonstrate that the authorities are taking the matter seriously and are committed to investigating the claims thoroughly. The court will assess the evidence presented and make a judgment based on the facts and testimonies.
It is important to let the legal process unfold and allow for a fair and impartial investigation into the allegations. The outcome of the investigation and subsequent legal proceedings will ultimately determine the course of action against Singh.