New Delhi: In a startling revelation, a crying Vinesh Phogat on Wednesday alleged that Wresting Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been sexually exploiting women wrestlers for a few years, a cost vehemently rejected by the sports activities administrator and BJP MP.
Vinesh, who has been at loggerheads with WFI for the reason that Tokyo Olympic Games, additionally claimed that a number of coaches on the nationwide camp in Lucknow have additionally exploited women wrestlers, including that there are a number of women on the camp who method wresters 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 victim” was current on the ‘dharna’ they started at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday.
Vinesh additionally claimed that she had received death 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 know at least 10-20 women wrestlers who have told me about the sexual exploitation they faced at the hands of (the) WFI President. They told me their stories. I can’t take their names now but I can definitely reveal the names if we get to meet the Prime Minister and the Home Minister of the country,” Vinesh stated 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 Olympics 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 had been amongst 30 wrestlers who assembled on the well-known protest website.
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, 66, was elected President of WFI for a 3rd consecutive time period in February 2019.
Sitting beside Vinesh, Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia stated the federation is being run in an arbitrary method and they won’t compete in any worldwide competitors until the WFI President, who’s at least a “dictator”, is eliminated.
“Our fight is not against the government or the Sports Authority of India (SAI). This is against WFI. ‘Yeh ab aar paar ki ladai hai’ (It’s a fight to the finish). We will continue this protest until WFI President is removed,” Bajrang informed PTI.
“We will not compete in any international competition until the WFI President is removed. This is a fight to save Indian wrestling. While we are denied help and support of foreign coaches, the President has hired a foreign coach for his own academy in Gonda,” Punia later stated whereas addressing the media.
“He uses abusive language against wrestlers, we can even show you videos of that.” In December 2021, the WFI President had slapped an overage wrestler through 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 costs towards him and refused to stop his put up.
“There is no truth in any of the allegations. Why should I quit? Even if one woman wrestler comes and proves the sexual harassment charge, I am ready to be hanged. There is an industrialist behind it (conspiracy),” stated 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 death threats given to Vinesh on his behalf, Brij Bhushan stated, “Why Vinesh did not talk to me or approached the police at that time? Why did she not meet the PM or the Sports Minister? Why is she saying this now.” The WFI boss indicated that the brand new coverage and the foundations they’ve launched are maybe inflicting a little bit of discomfort to the wrestlers and that’s why the protest.
He stated the wrestlers are being requested to compete within the National Championships and seem in trials for honest choice, and there may be nothing improper in it.
“Different states host Nationals and all need the nation’s finest athletes to compete. None of those wrestlers has competed within the Nationals. We have made it clear that solely these athletes who compete and win on the National Championship will likely be chosen for the National camp.
“The state of Haryana has been the satisfaction of the nation however we wish to take wrestling to different states additionally. So we stopped the preparations of states sending a number of groups on the Nationals.
“States like Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram are weak and we have to promote the sport there. So we launched National Open Championships other than the common Nationals and there additionally Haryana claimed 61 per cent of the medals.
Vinesh stated she is labelled an indisciplined athlete as a result of she dares to talk her thoughts.
“I am being tortured every day.” Asked why they didn’t elevate the issued earlier than, Vinesh stated, “These are highly effective, influential folks. We couldn’t muster braveness. Now we weren’t left with any possibility. ‘Ab paani sar se paar ho raha hai’ (the restrict has been reached).
“We have to think about the next generation of players as well.” Adding to it, Bajrang stated, “We are approaching the end of our careers. For how long will we play? 2024, 2026 or maybe 2028 but it is a question of the entire wrestling fraternity.” It could also be recalled that the WFI, whereas taking disciplinary motion towards Vinesh for not sporting the official singlet through the Tokyo Games, had banned her however later lifted it after receiving a written apology from the athlete.
Vinesh stated she didn’t put on that singlet as a result of it was “zero quality.” Explaining his place, the WFI President stated that they had been going through motion from the International Olympic Committee for flouting the foundations and he needed to take motion towards Vinesh out of compulsion as a result of he didn’t desire a ban on India.