Sack Wrestling Body Chief, Says Athletes Over #MeToo.wait, the minister said – Flying Journals



Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday assured the protesting wrestlers that stern action will be taken if any coach or official of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is found guilty, sources told NDTV. Thakur met wrestlers including Babita Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia and others after protesting allegations of sexual misconduct by WFI coach and its chairman Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

According to sources, in a meeting that began around 10 p.m. on Thursday night, the protesting wrestlers demanded that Brij Bhushan resign and disband the wrestling group. However, Thakur told them to wait for an official reply from WFI, which was sought by the sports ministry on Wednesday, the source added. But wrestlers aren’t ready to address anything other than the resignation of the World Wrestling Federation president. The meeting lasted nearly four hours. The two sides are likely to meet again on Friday.

The center made it clear in a statement on Wednesday that if the WFI does not respond within the next three days, the sports ministry “will take action against the federation in accordance with the provisions of the National Sports Development Act, 2011.”

Earlier, Vinesh Phogat, the first Indian women’s wrestler to win gold at both the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, said they had not received any “satisfactory response” from the government.

“Unfortunately, we have not had a satisfactory answer. Yesterday, we had 1-2 victims, but now we have 5-6 wrestlers who have been (sexually harassed). We cannot name them now, After all, they are daughters and somebody’s sisters. But it will be a dark day if we are forced to reveal their identities,” two-time World Championships medalist Vinesh told media on Thursday afternoon.

“It’s not just about his (Brij Bhushan) resignation. We will send him to jail. We don’t want to go down the legal route because we want a resolution, but if a proper resolution is not provided, we will file FIRs against the chairman. We are world championship and Olympic medalists, don’t doubt us, we speak the truth, trust us.”

Vinesh Phogat has previously claimed that the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) favorite trainer misbehaved and harassed female wrestlers. She also accused WFI chief Brij Bhushan of sexually exploiting female athletes following her defeat at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, calling her a “khota sikka”. Singer has denied the allegations.

WFI Executive Meeting

Additionally, the WFI Executive Committee meeting and Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for January 22 in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, with the participation of its Chairman, Brij Bhushan.

Olympic wrestler Bajrang Punia said: “Five to six women wrestlers have faced these atrocities with us and we have evidence to prove it.” Ministry officials met. However, they are still not satisfied.

Olympic bronze medalist Sakshi Malik said: “The government has not committed to any action, they have only given assurances, we are not satisfied with the response and we are asking Mr Prime Minister to ensure justice.”

Former wrestler and Haryana BJP leader Babita Phogat arrived at the protest site on Thursday to meet the wrestlers as a government mediator and assured the wrestlers that their demands would be met. “I have assured them that the government is with them. I will try to get their problems resolved today,” Babita said.

“Babita Phogat has come to mediate from the government. We will talk to her and then provide more details,” wrestler Bajrang Punia said.

With PTI and ANI input

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