Mary Kom will lead oversight committee to manage wrestling body
Boxing legend Mary Kom will lead the sports ministry's oversight committee to manage the day-to-day affairs of the wrestling body. The ministry, on Saturday, directed the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to suspend all activities with immediate effect. It also suspended the federation's assistant secretary, Vinod Tomar, considering sexual harassment and corruption allegations against the body's president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Why does this story matter?
- On Friday, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur revealed that Singh would step down as the WFI's president amid the allegations of sexual misconduct against him and his associates.
- An oversight committee was formed by the government to probe the sexual harassment allegations by women wrestlers.
- Top Indian wrestlers had been protesting at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, demanding Singh's removal and the wrestling body's dissolution.
Here's the official letter
Boxer MC Mary Kom to head Oversight Committee for Wrestling Federation of India.— ANI (@ANI) January 23, 2023
Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt, Dhyanchand awardee Trupti Murgunde, SAI member Radhica Sreeman and ex-CEO TOPS Cdr Rajesh Rajagopalan (Retd) also part of the committee pic.twitter.com/Dj1fUXP7LZ
Probe committee to submit report within a month
Thakur also revealed the probe committee, now headed by Mary, would submit its findings within a month. "It has been decided that an oversight committee will be formed. 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 leveled against WFI and its chief," said Thakur.
Mary also heads IOA's seven-member panel
The IOA had formed a seven-member panel, also headed by Mary, to investigate the sexual harassment claims. The panel also includes the likes of Yogeshwar Dutt, Dola Banerjee, Sahdev Yadav, and advocates Shlok Chandra and Talish Ray. Besides this, former Indian shuttler and IOA joint secretary, Alaknanda Ashok, has been named the vice chairperson of the emergency probe unit.
Indian wrestlers had accused WFI president of sexual harassment
Earlier this month, Indian wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik accused Singh of sexual harassment. The duo, along with other wrestlers, held a sit-in protest along with other wrestlers at Jantar Mantar. Phogat stated that women wrestlers have been sexually harassed at national camps by Singh and other coaches. Phogat also claimed that she received death threats from officials close to Singh.
Singh denied all charges
So far, Singh has refuted all the allegations despite stepping down as the WFI president. Thakur had also ringed the BJP MP to warn him about making any statement to the media. "If I speak, there will be a tsunami...I am not here because of someone's charity. I have been elected by the people," Singh told reporters.