New Delhi: Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat was asked to step down from the stage during wrestlers’ protest at Jantar Mantar against Wrestling Federation of India coaches and officials. In a video shared by news agency ANI, wrestler Bajrang Punia could be seen asking Karat not to “politicise” the protest and to get down from the stage.
“Madam, I request you to please come down,” Punia was heard saying in the video. He also asked “not to politicise” the matter.
Watch the video here
— ANI (@ANI) January 19, 2023
Olympians and star wrestlers Sakshee Malikkh, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia on Wednesday made claims of harassment against officials and coaches of WFI and led a sit-in protest against the “dictatorship” of the national federation President at Jantar Mantar which entered day two today.
Wrestler Babita Phogat reached the protest site from the government’s side for mediation and assured that an impartial probe will be launched into the matter.
The Union Sports Ministry has also sought an explanation from the Wrestling Federation of India over the allegations of sexual exploitation levelled by wrestlers including Olympic and Commonwealth Games medalists, 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.
Meanwhile, denying allegations of sexual misconduct, WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said that pressure was created on some of the wrestlers to sit for protest against him over allegations of sexual harassment.
He said that wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malikkh met him a week ago and they had no problem back then. “Maybe, they didn’t like some of the decisions I took as President but I only took those decisions in the interest of the sport,” he added.