'Not Consulted Before Formation': Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia On Mary Kom-led Probe Panel

Wrestlers have expressed displeasure over not being consulted before the constitution of the oversight committee that will probe sexual exploitation allegations and run the WFI for a month.

'Not Consulted Before Formation': Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia On Mary Kom-led Probe Panel
Wrestlers have alleged that they were not consulted before forming the oversight committee headed by boxer Mary Kom.

ACE WRESTLERS Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia on Tuesday alleged that they were not consulted before the formation of the Oversight Committee, probing allegations of sexual exploitation against officials of the Wrestling Federation of India. This comes just a day after the federation formed the oversight committee, which will be headed by boxing champion Mary Kom. The committee will also run the daily affairs of WFI for the next one month.

Allegations of sexual exploitation have also been levelled against the President of WFI, Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, who is also a Member of Parliament elected on Bharatiya Janata Party ticket.

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Olympic medalist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, former badminton player and member of the Olympic cell Trupti Murgunde, former Target Olympic Podium Scheme Chief Executive Officer Rajesh Rajagopalan, and former Sports Authority of India Executive Director Radhica Sreeman are the other members of the panel headed by Mary Kom.

"We were assured that we would be consulted before the Oversight Committee was formed. It is very sad that we were not even consulted before the formation of this committee. @narendramodi @AmitShah @ianuragthakur," Vinesh Phogat said in a tweet.

The announcement of the panel was made by Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday. The decision to form the committee had been made on Saturday after three days of a sit-in protest by India’s ace wrestlers - Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Ravi Dahiya against the WFI and its President - Brijbhushan Sharan Singh.

Following a two rounds of talks between thw wrestlers and Thakur till late Friday, a some progress was made and the sit-in protest was lifted.

"In the next one month, this committee will probe into the sexual allegations and other charges after talking to all parties and submit its report. Till then all the day-to-day decisions and workings of WFI will be taken care of by this committee," Thakur had said while announcing the committee.

The Indian Olympic Association hs also formed a seven-member committee to probe the allegations of sexual exploitation. Mary Kom and Yogeshwar Dutt are members of that committee as well.


(With agency inputs)

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