After Vinesh Phogat’s startling allegations towards Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Mahavir Phogat got here out on Wednesday to assist her niece.
Mahavir Phogat, on whose life the Bollywood film Dangal was picturised, stated that WFI president and BJP MP organised the ladies’s coaching camp in Lucknow as his home was there.
“Wo hamesha ladkiyon ka camp Lucknow mey karwata hai, apne ghar ke qareeb (he always conducts the women’s camp in Lucknow, where he has a house),” he instructed The Indian Express.
“Pehle bhi kaafi ladkiyon ne shikayat ki hai uske khilaf magar kabhi kuch nahi hua (several girls had complained about his behaviour in the past but nothing has happened),” he added.
“Aaj saare bachhon ne bahaduri dikhayi hai (I am glad that all these kids have shown the courage to come out against his tyranny,” he stated.
Vinesh, who has been at loggerheads with WFI because the Tokyo Olympic Games, additionally claimed that a number of coaches on the nationwide camp in Lucknow have additionally exploited ladies wrestlers, including there are a few ladies on the camp who approached the wrestlers on the behest of the WFI president.
The 28-year-old although clarified that she herself by no means confronted such exploitation however claimed that “one sufferer” was present at the ‘dharna’ they began at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday.
So disturbed was Vinesh that she along with Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Bajrang Punia had even met Union Home Minister Amit Shah to flag their issues about three months back.
“We had met the Home Minister and he had assured us that, ‘you will get justice’,” star wrestler Punia instructed PTI, including that the ‘sit-in’ was their one other try to spotlight the prevailing points in Indian wrestling.
Vinesh additionally claimed that she had obtained demise threats on the behest of WFI president from officers near him as a result of she dared to attract Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s consideration to a number of points plaguing Indian wrestling when she met him after the Tokyo Games.
“I do know no less than 10-20 ladies wrestlers who’ve instructed me concerning the sexual exploitation they confronted by the hands of (the) WFI president. They instructed me their tales. I can’t take their names now however I can undoubtedly reveal the names if we get to fulfill the Prime Minister and the Home Minister of the nation,” Vinesh said addressing the media after staging a four-hour ‘dharna’ at Jantar Mantar.
“I have received death threats from people who are close to the WFI president. If anything happens to any of us sitting here, only the WFI president will be responsible.”
Rio Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik, world championship medallist Sarita Mor, Sangeeta Phogat, Anshu Malik, Sonam Malik, Satyawart Malik, Jitender Kinha, Amit Dhankar and CWG medallist Sumit Malik have been amongst 30 wrestlers who assembled on the well-known protest website.
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, 66, was elected unopposed president of WFI for a third consecutive time period in February 2019.
Taking notice of the allegations, the sports activities ministry has sought an evidence from WFI and directed it to “furnish a reply throughout the subsequent 72 hours on the allegations made”.
The ministry said, “if WFI fails to furnish the reply within the next 72 hours, the Ministry will proceed to initiate action against the federation in terms of the provisions of the National Sports Development Code, 2011.”
In view of the developments, the ministry has additionally cancelled the National camp, which was on account of begin SAI centre in in Lucknow from Wednesday.
In December 2021, the WFI president had slapped an overage wrestler in the course of the under-15 nationwide championship when he insisted on competing after being disqualified.
The sitting BJP MP from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh rejected all the fees towards him and refused to stop his publish.
“There is not any reality in any of the allegations. Why ought to I stop? Even if one lady wrestler comes and proves the sexual harassment cost, I’m able to be hanged. There is an industrialist behind it (conspiracy),” said the 66-year-old WFI president.
“There can be an investigation by the CBI or police. There is no dictatorship. These same wrestlers had met me a week back and did not say anything,” he added.
Responding to the allegation of demise threats given to Vinesh on his behalf, Brij Bhushan stated, “Why Vinesh didn’t speak to me or approached the police at the moment? Why did she not meet the PM or the Sports Minister? Why is she saying this now.”
The WFI boss indicated that the new policy and the rules they have introduced are perhaps causing a bit of discomfort to the wrestlers and that’s why the protest.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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