Wrestlers suspend protest till June 15 after meet with Sports Minister Anurag Thakur
The Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs has assured that the probe against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will be completed by June 15 and a chargesheet will be filed.
Wrestlers Protest: Wrestlers have decided to suspend their protest till June 15 following a long meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Wednesday. The Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs has assured that the probe against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will be completed by June 15 and a chargesheet will be filed.
Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, as well as a number of coaches, are said to have attended the meeting, which reportedly lasted for more than six hours on Wednesday morning.
“I had a six-hour long discussion with the wrestlers. We have assured that the probe will be completed by 15th June and chargesheets will be submitted. The election of WFI will be done on 30th June,” stated Anurag Thakur following the meeting.
Thakur also assured that all the FIRs that were filed against the Wrestlers will be taken back. “An internal complaint comittee of the Wrestling Federation will be constituted, headed by a woman. All FIRs against the wrestlers should be taken back.”
“Wrestlers also requested that Brij Bhushan Singh who has completed 3 terms and his associates should not be re-elected. Wrestlers will not hold any protest before 15th June,” added Anurag Thakur.
Speaking after the meet, Bajrang Punia said, “Government has assured us that police investigation will be completed before 15th June. We have requested that all FIRs against the wrestlers should be taken back and he has agreed to it.”
He however stated that the protests will continue if the demands are not met. “If no action is taken by 15th June, we will continue our protest,” he added.
This declaration has been made four days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah hosted a group of protesting wrestlers at his official residence in the city. “We had a meeting with the Home Minister. I can’t comment further,” Bajrang had told Indian Express.
“The government is willing to have a discussion with the wrestlers on their issues. I have once again invited the wrestlers for the same,” Thakur wrote on Twitter past midnight on Wednesday.
Wrestlers Protest: What’s the matter?
Several of the best wrestlers in the nation, including the bronze medalist from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Bajrang Punia, have been protesting in the nation’s capital for more than a month now. They are calling for the arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the head of the Wrestling Federation of India, on charges of sexual harassment and misconduct.
Two FIRs were filed against Singh by the Delhi Police on April 28. These two FIRs detail close to 15 instances of sexual harassment, including 10 instances of inappropriate touching, molestation, which includes running hands over breasts and touching the navel, and several instances of intimidation, including stalking.
Notably, among the 125 prospective witnesses from four states whose testimonies have been recorded by Delhi Police are one Olympian, a Commonwealth gold medalist, an international referee, and a state-level coach who are said to have confirmed at least three female wrestlers’ claims.
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