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Why Are Indian Wrestlers Protesting Against WFI Chief?

Top Indian wrestlers have been protesting on the streets of New Delhi for the last ten days about the lack of action taken against Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, the leader of...

Top Indian wrestlers have been protesting on the streets of New Delhi for the last ten days about the lack of action taken against Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, the leader of the country’s wrestling federation, whom they accuse of sexual harassment. Singh, a legislator from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has been accused of sexually abusing multiple female athletes but has rejected all charges.

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Why In The News?

  • Top Indian Wrestlers, Including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, And Others, Returned To Delhi’s Jantar Mantar To Protest Against The Wrestling Federation Of India (WFI) And Its President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh For Allegedly Sexually Assaulting The Women Wrestlers.
  • The Protesters, Who Claimed That Their Demands Were Not Met Despite Assurances After Their Previous Protest, Slept On The Footpath At Jantar Mantar Overnight.

Timeline Of Protest:

  • The Protesters Said Seven Female Wrestlers, Including A Minor, Filed A Sexual Harassment Case Against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. However, An FIR Is Yet To Be Registered In The Matter.
  • On Asking About The Filing Of The FIR, SHO Connaught Place Told The Complainants That He Couldn’t Guarantee That A FIR Will Be Filed, They Claimed.
  • They Further Said That A Six-member Panel Headed By The Great Boxer Mary Kom Submitted Its Report In The First Week Of April. However, The Government Did Not Make The Report Public.
  • The Protesters Also Said Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Also A BJP MP, Is Running The Federation Despite Such Serious Charges. They, Therefore, Demanded New Coaches And Physios For The Future Training Of Wrestlers. Despite Their Repeated Attempts, They Weren’t Getting A Response From Government.
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Wrestlers’ Petition Reaches Supreme Court:

  • The Bench Of Chief Justice Of India D Y Chandrachud And Justice P S Narasimha, Which Perused The Wrestlers’ Petition, Said That It Was Taking The Matter On Board “Having Due Regard To The Urgency”.
  • The Bench Said That “There Are Serious Allegations Of Sexual Harassment In The Petition, Which Is Instituted By Professional International Wrestlers Who Have Represented India” And That “The Matter Requires The Consideration Of This Court In Exercise Of Its Jurisdiction Under Article 32 Of The Constitution”.

The Current Scenario:

  • Wrestlers Protesting At Delhi’s Jantar Mantar Have Alleged That They Were Manhandled By Drunk Policemen Late Wednesday Night.
  • The Wrestlers Claim That They Were Assaulted By Cops When They Wanted To Bring In Folding Beds To The Protest Site.
  • Asian And Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Vinesh Phogat Broke Down And Said They Were Not Criminals To Be Treated In Such a Manner. “If You Want To Kill Us, Then Kill Us,” Ms Phogat Said Crying.
  • Olympics Bronze Medallist Bajrang Punia, Said, “I Request The Government That It Take Back All The Medals I Have Won.”
  • The Supreme Court Today Closed Proceedings On The Petition Filed By Three Women Wrestlers Who Have Levelled Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Mr. Singh. The Court noted That Firs Have Been Registered And Seven Of The Complainants Have Been Provided Adequate Security.

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