Wrestlers’ protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan called off



New Delhi: Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and different prime Indian wrestlers who’ve been sitting in protest for 3 days called off their protest late Friday evening after sports activities minister Anurag Thakur gave assurances that the federal government will tackle their grievances. The authorities’s initiative to placate the protesting wrestlers began with the stepping apart of under-fire Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

The breakthrough was achieved throughout a marathon second spherical of talks with union sports activities minister as the federal government determined to kind an oversight committee which is able to examine the allegations of sexual harassment of ladies wresters by the WFI president. The committee, members of which will likely be named on Saturday, can even oversee the day-to-day affairs of the federation.

Making the announcement, Thakur stated the committee will submit its report in a single month’s time.

“It has been decided that an oversight committee will be formed, names for which will be announced tomorrow. The committee will complete its investigation within four weeks. It will thoroughly probe all the allegations be it financial or sexual harassment that have been levelled against WFI and its chief,” Thakur stated after the assembly that lasted shut to 5 hours.

“Till the investigation is over, he (Singh) will step aside and co-operate with the investigation and the oversight committee will run the day-to-day affairs of WFI,” Thakur added.

Explained: What is the controversy across the WFI President and why is he accused?

Talking to media, Bajrang Punia stated they by no means wished to take the protest route however they have been “pushed to limit”.

“The protest is over. We did not want to sit on dharna but ‘paani sar se ooper chala gaya tha’. The government has assured us safety and security, we have been threatened by the WFI president in the past also,” the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist stated, including that 2023 was a vital yr for them because the Asian Games and Olympic Qualifiers are approaching.

Neither the sports activities minister nor the wrestlers took questions from media.

The wrestlers had earlier within the day stated that they’d lodge a number of FIRs against the WFI chief, however didn’t accomplish that ultimately.

It could be termed a substantial, if not main, victory for the agitating wrestlers, who had stated that they’d proceed their ‘dharna’ till the WFI president is sacked and the federation is disbanded.

However, beneath the IOA structure a National Sports Federation (NSF) can’t be dissolved except it has violated the IOA guidelines and laws, or has been de-recognised by the world physique of the game.

It should be talked about that the wrestlers haven’t but offered sturdy proof that implies sexual harassment of ladies wrestlers.

Vinesh Phogat: Disclosing names of victims would put them at risk

Earlier within the day the wrestlers reached out to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) demanding a probe.

In their letter, addressed to IOA president PT Usha, the wrestlers alleged monetary misappropriation (of funds) on a part of the WFI and claimed that the coaches and sports activities science employees on the nationwide camp are “absolutely incompetent”.

The wrestlers additionally reiterated their demand that the WFI be disbanded and its president sacked.

“A new committee should be formed to run the affairs of WFI in consultation with the wrestlers,” they wrote of their fourth and final demand.

Responding to it, the IOA fashioned a seven-member committee, headed by M C Mary Kom, to probe the costs.

The IOA panel contains wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, archer Dola Banerjee and Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) president and IOA treasurer Sahdev Yadav.

The committee additionally has two advocates — Talish Ray and Shlok Chandra — apart from former shuttler and IOA joint secretary Alaknanda Ashok, who’s its vice chairperson.

The resolution was taken through the IOA’s emergency Executive Council assembly, which was attended by the likes of Olympic champion shooter Abhinav Bindra, Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar, together with IOA president PT Usha and joint secretary Kalyan Chaubey.

Most of the committee members are affiliated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

IOA Athletes Commission Member Shiva Keshvan was a particular invitee within the assembly.

IOA president Usha has assured {that a} thorough investigation will likely be carried out by the panel to make sure justice.

“A detailed discussion was held on the letter received from the athletes and all the members including special invitees presented their views and suggestions,” the IOA stated in a press release.

“It was unanimously agreed that IOA should not get carried away by media trials. Further the EC unanimously determined {that a} Committee will likely be fashioned in accordance with the prevention of sexual harassment of ladies act of 2013 and should hear either side and submit a report back to the IOA President.

“Instructions have been given to the committee to satisfy on the earliest.

“The EC also appreciates the action and initiatives taken by the Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs and awaits its report on the matter,” the nation’s apex sports activities physique added.

It is attention-grabbing that Yogeshwar is a part of the committee because the protesting wrestlers claimed that he was “sitting on lap of WFI”.

WFI president cancels press meet

In his UP bastion of Gonda earlier within the day, the WFI chief termed the protest “dharna of Shaheen Bagh” and stated he received’t stop from the publish.

“The protest by wrestlers against me is the dharna of Shaheen Bagh,” Singh, who can also be a sixth-time Lok Sabha MP from UP’s Kaisarganj constituency, advised reporters in his native place.

WFI information reply to authorities discover

The authorities had given the WFI President 72 hours (until Saturday night) to reply to the allegations.

The WFI filed its reply to the ministry on Friday night however Singh cancelled his scheduled press convention. It was conveyed that he’ll converse with the media on Sunday, after the WFI emergency Executive Council assembly.

Wrestlers get assist from boxer Vijender

Beijing Olympics bronze medallist boxer and Congress chief Vijender Singh additionally visited the protest web site at Jantar Mantar, displaying solidarity with the wrestlers.

Vinesh had on Thursday stated that extra lady wrestlers got here ahead with their tales of sexual exploitation and they’d file a number of FIRs against the WFI president.

With PTI inputs

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