New Delhi: Indian ace wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia and other wrestlers are sitting on a silent protest at Jantar Mantar consecutively for the second day against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Vinesh Phogat has also alleged Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and coaches in women’s camps of sexual harassment.
Phogat also said that after her defeat at the Tokyo Olympics, the WFI chief called her ‘khota sikka’ (counterfeit coin). Wrestlers have also alleged harassment by the WFI through its arbitrary rules and regulations.
Replying to the allegations, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said that these are false allegations. He added that 97 per cent of players are with the federation while some wrestlers were pressured to sit on the protest. He went on to say the wrestlers who are protesting cannot win an Olympic medal due to their age this is why they are agitated and are protesting.
While Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia asked PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to help them and sack the chief of the federation, wrestler Divya Kakran came in support of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and said that she has been part of the women’s camp and she has not witnessed any such case of sexual harassment.
Union Sports Ministry has asked for an explanation from WFI and directed it to reply within the next 72 hours on the allegations levelled by the wrestlers. Meanwhile, the Women’s National Wrestling Coaching camp stands cancelled. The camp was due to start in the Sports Authority of India’s National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Lucknow on January 18. 41 wrestlers and 13 coaches and support staff were to participate in the camp.