‘Wrestling chiefs step aside until investigation is over’: #MeToo Charge minister – Flying Journals

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur meets athletes for seven hours

New Delhi:
BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will leave India’s wrestling body for four weeks, during which time a supervisory committee will investigate allegations of sexual harassment against him, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur told reporters today.

Here’s a 10-point cheat sheet for the big story

  1. After a meeting that lasted seven hours, Mr Thakur assured a news conference of the government’s support for the wrestlers every step of the way, flanked by some of India’s most famous wrestlers.

  2. “A monitoring committee will be formed. It will take four weeks to submit a report. Any allegation, whether it is sexual harassment or financial misconduct, we will dig deep and investigate. After that we will take action,” Mr Thakur said.

  3. The wrestlers called off a protest over alleged sexual harassment and misappropriation of funds after a meeting with Mr Thakur.

  4. “A committee will be in charge of the (Indian Wrestling Federation’s) day-to-day work until the investigation is complete… I thank the athletes for talking to me,” Mr Thakur said.

  5. Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia said the minister had ensured that he was with the wrestler every step of the way. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also always supported our athletes,” Mr Purnia said.

  6. The Indian Olympic Association also announced a seven-member panel to investigate the allegations against Mr Singh. The team included athletes Mary Kom, Dola Banerjee, Alaknanda Ashok, Yogeshwar Dutt and Sahdev Yadav.

  7. Mr Singh has denied the allegations and has refused to resign. “If I speak, there will be a tsunami…I’m not here because of someone’s charity. I was elected by the people,” he told reporters in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh.

  8. Earlier, Mr Thakur had called Mr Singh to warn him not to make any statement to the media.

  9. Ahead of Friday night’s meeting, the wrestlers wrote to Indian Olympic Committee president PT Usha seeking action against Mr Singh.

  10. “Vinesh Phogat was mentally harassed and tortured by WFI president after missing out on Tokyo Olympic medal. She almost contemplated suicide,” the wrestler wrote to Ms Usha, adding that “they fear for their lives”. Ms Phogat has agreed to reveal the identity of the sexual harassment survivor to the Indian Olympic Association committee.

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