Fri, 20 Jan 2023 03:43 PM IST
INDIA'S top wrestlers protesting against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and other officials for the alleged sexual exploitation of several athletes have written a letter to Indian Olympic Association President PT Usha, demanding the formation of an enquiry committee to probe the matter.
Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshee Malikkh, along with Vinesh Phogat and other top Indian wrestlers on Wednesday sat on a protest against the WFI at Jantar Mantar, alleging sexual exploitation against players. Woman star wrestler Vinesh Phogat accused Brij Bushan of sexual harassment. The 28-year-old Phogat also alleged she was subject to mental harassment by Bushan, adding she had contemplated suicide.
The letter addressed to IOA President PT Usha mentioned that Olympian Vinesh Phogat was "mentally harassed and tortured" by the WFI president after she missed out on an Olympic medal in Tokyo that led her to almost contemplate suicide.
The letter has been signed by five wrestlers including Tokyo Olympics medallists Ravi Dahiya and Bajrang Punia. Rio Games bronze winner Sakshi Malik and World Championship medallists Vinesh Phogat and Deepak Punia have also signed.
Meanwhile, the WFI chief who refused the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by top Indian grapplers, said he will hang himself if the allegations against him get proven. "I will hang myself if the allegations against me are proven."Earlier on Wednesday, star wrestler Vinesh Phogat had alleged that the WFI President had been sexually harassing female wrestlers," Singh said.
WFI chief, who is under pressure to resign from his position over allegations of sexual exploitation of women wrestlers, said he will expose the political conspiracy on Friday afternoon in a press conference. Singh, who is also a BJP Lok Sabha MP from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh said that he will hold a press conference at 4 pm today.
This came hours after some wrestlers had a late-night meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday. Assuring the action in the matter, the Minister has sought an explanation from WFI and directed it to furnish a reply within the next 72 hours on the allegations made.