June 8, 2023
NEW DELHI – After a struggle of one-and-a-half months, India’s top wrestlers now have halted their protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accusing him of sexually harassing women athletes.
This happened after they had a six-hour-long meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, after having a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday. Wrestlers delegation has now decided to discontinue their protests till June 15, till the time Delhi Police is anticipated to complete its investigation.
Talking to the media Anurag Thakur, told that the government has accepted wrestlers’ demands and told that there will be proper investigation will be done into the (WFI) president BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh allegations and he would not be allowed to participate in the WFI elections at the end of this month.
On the other hand, wrestler Bajrang said that this matter there was no action taken against Singh, they would relaunch their protest. “We will put forth all the points in front of the other wrestlers, Khap leaders, and our supporters. If no action is taken by June 15, we will continue our protest,” Bajrang was quoted as saying by ANI.
“Government has assured us that the police investigation will be completed before 15th June. We have requested that all FIRs against wrestlers should be taken back and he has agreed to it. If no action is taken by 15th June, we will continue our protest”, Punia added.
To meet Thakur, the wrestlers went to his official residence in New Delhi where a preponderance of the issues were discussed.
The wrestlers have been protesting to press their demand for the arrest of BJP MP and WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment allegations against him.
Olympics medallist Sakshi Malik had said earlier in the day that they will discuss the talks proposal of the government and take a consensus decision.
“We will discuss the proposal given by the government with our seniors and supporters. Only when everyone gives their consent that the proposal is fine, then will we agree. It won’t happen that we will agree to anything that the government says and end our protest,” Malik told a news agency in a telephone interview.
The Delhi Police is probing the allegations against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh leveled by the wrestlers on the basis of FIR.
In January, too, the wrestlers had met Anurag Thakur at his residence and called off their protest after a committee was formed. At that time, former wrestler and BJP leader Babita Phogat played the mediator’s role.
Earlier, talking to a news agency on Wednesday, Sakshi Malik said, “We will keep everything open. We won’t take any decision behind closed doors. We will discuss the proposal given by the government with our seniors and supporters and only when everyone gives their consent that the proposal is fine, then will we agree.”