Wrestlers Protests LIVE Updates: Hello and welcome to ABP Live Wrestlers Protests LIVE blog for all the latest updates and breaking news on wrestlers protest against Wrestling Federation of India. Several wrestlers including Olympians and star wrestlers Sakshee Malikkh, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia on Wednesday made claims of sexual harrasment against officials and coaches of WFI and lead a sit-in protest against the “dictatorship” of the national federation President, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.
Although the wrestlers did not specify the specifics of their complaints or demands, it was evident that they were dissatisfied with the manner in which Brij Bhushan Singh, who is also a Kaiserganj-based BJP MP, runs the WFI.
Around 30 wrestlers gathered at Jantar Mantar, including Bajrang, Vinesh, Rio Olympics medalist Sakshi Malikkh, world championship medalist Sarita Mor, Sangeeta Phogat, Satyawart Malik, Jitender Kinha, and Commonwealth Games medalist Sumit Malik.
Meanwhile, WFI President Singh denied the allegations and said that pressure was being created on some wrestlers to join the protest.
“97% of players are with the WFI. I’m hurt by the sexual harassment allegations. No player can bring those charges against me or chief coach. Pressure was created on some wrestlers to sit on dharna,” he told the news agency ANI.
Following the development, The Union Sports Ministry sought an explanation from the Wrestling Federation of India over the allegations, said the Sports Authority of India, reported ANI. The Ministry has directed WFI to furnish a reply within next 72 hours into the allegation against it by the wrestlers, it added.
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal also stepped in and joined the protest Wednesday.
“Olympian wrestlers Sakshee Malikkh, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia, who have brought laurels to the country, are forced to protest today. They say the Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) President and coaches sexually exploit the players. Issuing a notice to the Sports Ministry and the Police to investigate the matter,” she tweeted.