WFI president rings Anurag Thakur to clarify sexual harassment allegations
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President, reportedly called Sports Minister Anurag Thakur to clarify the recent sexual harassment allegations made against him and the officials of the federation by national and international wrestlers. On Wednesday, the sports ministry of India instructed the WFI to respond to the harassment allegations within 72 hours.
Why does this story matter?
- Indian wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik accused Singh of sexual harassment on Wednesday, causing a widespread uproar among the sports fraternity.
- Meanwhile, top Indian wrestlers have been staging an unprecedented protest against the WFI president at Delhi's Jantar Mantar for the past two days.
- So far, the BJP MP has refuted all the charges against him.
I will make sure that action is taken, assures Phogat
On Thursday, BJP leader and champion wrestler Babita Phogat arrived at the protest site with a message from the union government for the protesting wrestlers. "I'm a wrestler first. The BJP government is with the wrestlers. I will make sure that action is taken today itself," said Phogat. "There is no smoke without fire. These voices are important," she further added.
Know about the protest at Jantar Mantar
Wrestlers like Rio Olympics medalist Sakshi Malik, world championship medalist Vinesh Phogat, Olympic bronze medalist Bajrang Punia, world championship medallist Sarita Mor, Satyawart Malik, Sangeeta Phogat, Jitender Kinha, and Common Wealth Games medallist Sumit Malik were all present at the protest. Many have taken to social media too to express their support for the protest.
Visuals of the protests at Jantar Mantar
WFI president denies sexual harassment allegations
Reacting to the allegations against him, Singh claimed there was no incident of sexual harassment at the camp. "If such a thing has happened, then I will hang myself," the BJP MP told ANI. "Sexual harassment is a big allegation. How can I take action when my own name has been dragged into this? I am ready for an investigation," Singh added.
DCW's notice to Delhi Police and Sports Ministry
The agitating wrestlers have accused the WFI of intruding into their personal lives and exploiting them. Meanwhile, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice to the sports ministry and asked the police to file a complaint. Swati Maliwal, the organization's chief, also met the agitating wrestlers at the Jantar Mantar on Wednesday.
WFI President should be arrested: DCW chief
"We've sent notices to Delhi police and Union sports ministry. Immediate justice should be served in this case. WFI President should be arrested and stern action should be taken against the coaches whose names have come up in the matter," Maliwal told the press.