In a stunning flip of occasions, a number of senior Indian wrestlers have entered right into a bout with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Vinesh Phogat alleged that the president had sexually exploited and harassed girls wrestlers over a interval of years.
Vinesh, who has been at loggerheads with the WFI for the reason that Tokyo Olympics, made a startling revelation and in addition confirmed that it was not her, however considered one of her colleagues who was exploited.
The wrestlers additionally staged a dharna in protest in opposition to the WFI and its president Brij Bhusan in Delhi.
Since then, Brij Bhusan additionally made an announcement and refuted the claims made by the wrestlers.
Here is all the rationalization of the fiasco and a timeline of the occasions to date –
What is all the fiasco?
Veteran Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Wednesday, 18 January 2023 alleged that WFI President Brij Bhushan has been concerned since a few years in sexually exploiting girls wrestlers.
Vinesh additional claimed that a number of coaches on the nationwide camp in Lucknow have additionally exploited girls wrestlers.
खिलाड़ी आत्मसम्मान चाहता है और पूरी शिद्दत के साथ ओलंपिक और बड़े खेलो के लिए तैयारी करता है लेकिन अगर फेडरेशन उसका साथ ना दे मनोबल टूट जाता है।लेकिन अब हम नही झुकेंगे।अपने अधिकारों के लिए लड़ेंगे।#BoycottWFIPresident#BoycottWrestlingPresident@PMOIndia @narendramodi @AmitShah
— Vinesh Phogat (@Phogat_Vinesh) January 18, 2023
Several wrestlers additionally staged a four-hour-long dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. Vinesh made a stunning revelation that she was by no means harassed or exploited, however one of many victims of harassment was current on the dharna.
The 28-year-old additionally claimed that she had obtained dying threats from officers near President Brij Bhushan after she shared points round wrestling in India with PM Narendra Modi after the Tokyo Olympics.
Bajrang Punia termed President Brij Bhushan a ‘dictator’ and in addition claimed that the WFI has been run in an arbitrary method.
Some of the notable Indian wrestlers and Olympic in addition to CWG medal winners have been current on the dharna.
Sakshi Malik, Sarita Mor, Sangeeta Phogat, Anshu Malik, Sonam Malik, Satyawart Malik, Jitendra Kinha, Amit Dhankar, and Sumit Malik have been among the many 30 wrestlers current on the protest in addition to Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia.
Who is WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh?
Brij Bhushan Singh Sharan, 66, is the president of the WFI since 2011. He was elected for a 3rd consecutive time period in February 2019.
He is a politician, at present with the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), and is serving as a Member of Parliament from Kaiserganj.
He was related to the Samajwadi Party as much as 2014.
What did the wrestlers say in regards to the points they’ve been dealing with?
Here are quotes from the wrestlers –
Vinesh Phogat (In a media interplay): I do know a minimum of 10-20 girls wrestlers who’ve instructed me in regards to 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 positively reveal the names if we get to satisfy the Prime Minister and the Home Minister of the nation.
I’ve obtained dying threats from people who find themselves near the WFI President. If something occurs to any of us sitting right here, solely the WFI President might be accountable.
I’m being tortured on daily basis. We couldn’t muster the braveness. Now we weren’t left with any choice. ‘Ab paani sar se paar ho raha hai’ (the restrict has been reached).
खिलाड़ी पूरी मेहनत कर के देश को मेडल दिलाता हैं लेकिन फेडरेशन ने हमें नीचा दिखाने के अलावा कुछ नहीं किया। मनचाहे क़ायदे क़ानून लगा कर खिलाड़ियों को प्रताड़ित किया जा रहा है। #BoycottWFIPresident#BoycottWrestlingPresident@PMOIndia @AmitShah @narendramodi
— Sakshee Malikkh (@SakshiMalik) January 18, 2023
Bajrang Punia (to PTI): Our combat shouldn’t be in opposition to the federal government or the Sports Authority of India (SAI). This is in opposition to WFI. ‘Yeh ab aar paar ki ladai hai’ (It’s a combat to the end). We will proceed this protest till WFI President is eliminated.
(In a media interplay) We is not going to compete in any worldwide competitors till the WFI President is eliminated. This is a combat to avoid wasting Indian wrestling. While we’re denied assist and help of overseas coaches, the President has employed a overseas coach for his personal academy in Gonda.”
We have to consider the subsequent era of gamers as effectively. We are approaching the top of our careers. For how lengthy will we play? 2024, 2026 or perhaps 2028 however it’s a query of all the wrestling fraternity.
Divya Karan (by a video): Since morning, numerous allegations are being made in opposition to WFI chief Brij Bhushan Saran Singh. No one is questioning those that are levelling these baseless allegations. When previous allegations aren’t working, the accusers are looking for new allegations in opposition to Sharan.
Since 2013, once I was 14, I’ve been going to camp and I attend it even now. Till day, he has executed nothing fallacious with me, or any lady for that matter. Wrestlers from Haryana and U.P. are supported effectively by them and he makes positive that they aren’t discriminated in opposition to.
Divya nonetheless deleted right here publish subsequently.
What did WFI President Brij Bhushan say in his protection?
President Brij Bhushan got here out in his protection after alleged with a number of complaints and acknowledged all these as faux.
“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),” the 66-year-old WFI President mentioned at a media interplay.
“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.”
Answering Vinesh’s dying risk claims, he mentioned, “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?” PTI reported.
देश का नाम रौशन करने वाले Olympian Wrestler साक्षी मलिक, विनेश फोगाट और बजरंग पुनिया आज धरना करने पे मजबूर हैं। उनका कहना है Wrestling Federation of India प्रेसिडेंट और कोच खिलाड़ियों का यौन शोषण करते हैं। मामले की जाँच हेतु स्पोर्ट्स मिनिस्ट्री और पुलिस को नोटिस इशू कर रही हूँ। pic.twitter.com/BEWeg8BLy2
— Delhi Commission for Women – DCW (@DCWDelhi) January 18, 2023
The WFI chief mentioned that the brand new insurance policies round competitors in National Championships are inflicting hassle to the wrestlers and that’s the reason behind the protest.
“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 might be chosen for the National camp.
Brij Bhushan additionally instructed PTI that a few of the wrestlers have been pressured to sit down on dharna. “97 percent of players are with the WFI. I am hurt by the sexual harassment allegations. Not a single player can bring such charges against me or the chief coach. Some wrestlers were pressured to sit on a dharna.”
Sexual harassment is an enormous allegation. How can I take motion when my very own identify has been dragged into this? I’m prepared for an investigation: Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, President, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) pic.twitter.com/m5EntTcwW4
— ANI (@ANI) January 18, 2023
He additionally responded to Vinesh’s claims in opposition to the coaches in a dialog with the ANI. “A few days ago, in a meeting, Vinesh (Phogat) demanded that the chief coach be changed. A coach can’t be changed on the whims and fancies of one player. We have to think about players from other states as well. They should have come with names of the coaches, who they claimed are involved in sexual harassment.”
India Today additionally reported that Brij Bhushan known as Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur to make clear on the allegations made in opposition to him.
How will the Wrestling Federation of India proceed additional on the problems?
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Assistant Secretary, Vinod Tomar mentioned that he was not conscious of the problems and solely acquired to learn about it by a letter to the WFI President.
“Do not know what this is all about. However, we came to know from the letter to the WFI president that some wrestlers are sitting in protest. I have come to ask them about their problem,” Tomar was quoted by ANI.
“They have not yet told me what their grouse is. No issue has been raised with me or the Federation as yet.”
Tomar mentioned that when the wrestlers strategy the WFI formally, points might be resolved.
“Alternatively, wrestlers can also report such instances to SAI, but we have spoken with SAI and confirmed they haven’t received such complaints either. We can only clarify our further plan of action only after the meeting on 22 January,” Tomar was subsequently quoted by The Quint.
How has the Sports Ministry reported to the allegations?
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) acknowledged that they’ve taken cognizance of the occasions and have requested the WFI to problem an evidence inside 72 hours.
The MYAS assertion as quoted by Quint talked about, “Since the matter pertains to the well-being of athletes, the Ministry has taken a very serious view of the matter. The Ministry has further stated that 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.”