Wrestlers Protest Called Off, WFI Chief To Step Aside Till ‘Oversight Committee’ Completes Probe

WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh refuted the allegations and claimed he would expose the 'political conspiracy' in a press conference in Uttar Pradesh's Gonda.

Wrestlers Protest Called Off, WFI Chief To Step Aside Till ‘Oversight Committee’ Completes Probe
Wrestler's protest called off, probe ordered (Image-ANI)

The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on Saturday announced that an 'Oversight committee' will be formed to probe into the allegations levelled against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and its chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and other coaches. Union Minister also said that WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh would step aside till the probe ends.

"An Oversight Committee will be set up by the Ministry for the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), and it will enquire into the allegations made by prominent sportspersons of Sexual Misconduct, Financial Irregularities and Administrative lapses," an official statement from the Sports ministry read.

The statement further said that the committee will also undertake the day-to-day administration of the WFI and revisit the issues raised by players.

"The Oversight Committee will complete the enquiry in four weeks and till then, WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will step aside from the day-to-day functioning and he has assured to cooperate in the investigation," it read further.

Earlier, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, while addressing a press conference at his Delhi residence during the early hours of Saturday, announced the constitution of an oversight committee to probe the allegations levelled against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and assured that justice would prevail in four weeks.

"Considering the demands of the sportspersons, we have decided to constitute an oversight committee, whose names will be announced tomorrow. The investigation will be completed in the next four weeks, wherein all the allegations levelled will be thoroughly probed to take a final decision," Anurag Thakur said.

"The committee will see all the day-to-day workings till the investigation completes, and till then Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will step aside and cooperate with the investigation," he said.

Further addressing the media persons, Thakur had said that the players kept their demands and a detailed discussion about it took place. "We had issued a notice to the Wrestling Federation of India when the allegations were levelled and asked them to respond within 72 hours, and they did. Similarly, we seek their timely support and cooperation so that the matter can be resolved soon," he added.

Wrestlers Sakshee Malikkh, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Ravi Dahiya and other sportspersons were also present with the Sports Minister during his media address.

The wrestler's protest began on Wednesday at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi and has now been called off after the Sports Minister assured them of all support and cooperation.

The protest by the wrestling sportspersons, including Olympic and Commonwealth Games (CWG) medalists, was launched after several women wrestlers levelled serious charges of sexual harassment by the president and coaches of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and of mismanagement in the functioning of the federation.

However, WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh refuted the allegations and claimed he would expose the 'political conspiracy' in a press conference in Uttar Pradesh's Gonda.

Singh had earlier denied all allegations against him and said that the protesting wrestlers should have approached the Federation earlier.

Singh also claimed that 97 per cent of wrestlers were with the WFI and those who were taking part in the protests were pressured to do so. He also vehemently denied any incident of sexual harassment. "There has been no incident of sexual harassment. If such a thing has happened, then I will hang myself," the WFI president said while addressing a press conference in the national capital on Wednesday

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