In the face of #MeToo accusations and pushback from wrestlers, wrestling body chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh vehemently denied all charges.
Here are the top points in this big story:
There’s no question of resigning. I haven’t spoken to the PM’s office and the home minister,” he said, adding that he’ll hold a press conference at 4 PM.
In a late night meeting that lasted four hours, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur met the protesting wrestlers but didn’t make any progress. It started at 10 pm and ended at 2 am.
As the ministry seeks a response from the federation, the minister told the protesters to wait. Today at 3 PM, the wrestlers’ body will file its reply.
The Wrestling Federation of India is likely to deny all allegations of sexual harassment and misappropriation of funds, sources say.
It’s been two days since Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and others, have staged a sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar against the WFI president. They’re accusing him of sexual exploitation and intimidation and demanding the federation be disbanded.
Wrestlers won’t settle for anything less than the WFI president’s Brij Bhushan Sharan resignation.
If the WFI doesn’t respond by Wednesday, the sports ministry “will initiate action against the federation in terms of the National Sports Development Code, 2011.”
It’s unfortunate we didn’t get a satisfactory response. We had 1-2 victims yesterday, but now we have 5-6 wrestlers harassed (sexually). We can’t name them now, because they’re the daughters and sisters of someone. Vinesh, a two-time World Championship medallist, said Thursday afternoon that revealing their identities would be a black day.
The Olympian wrestler Bajrang Punia said: “We have evidence that five to six women wrestlers have faced these atrocities.”
Babita Phogat, a former wrestler and Haryana BJP leader, met the wrestlers at the protest site yesterday and assured them that their demands would be met. I’ve assured them the government is with them. I’ll make sure their issues are resolved today,” Babita said.
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