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The Sports Ministry has sought a response from the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) “within the next 72 hours” in the matter of sexual harassment of women wrestlers. Let us tell you that this answer has been sought from the Sports Ministry when many veteran players have made serious allegations against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). In a shocking revelation, Vinesh Phogat wept on Wednesday alleging that Wrestling Federation of India president and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been sexually abusing women wrestlers for many years.
Vinesh and other top Indian wrestlers staged a massive protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. The wrestlers demanded the removal of the WFI president. Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party MP has rejected these allegations. The Center has clarified in a statement that if the WFI does not respond in the next three days, the Sports Ministry will “initiate action against the federation in terms of the provisions of the National Sports Development Code, 2011”.
In a press statement, the Sports Ministry said, “The Ministry has taken note of the protest and a press conference held by wrestlers including Olympic and Commonwealth Games medalists in Delhi today. Sports Ministry has taken up with the WFI over mismanagement in the functioning of the federation.” Have sought an explanation and directed him to respond to the allegations leveled against him within the next 72 hours.” In its letter to the WFI, the ministry has said, “The matter is related to the welfare of the athletes, therefore the ministry has taken the matter very seriously.” The ministry has further said that if the WFI fails to submit a reply within the next 72 hours, the ministry will initiate action against the federation as per the provisions of the National Sports Development Code, 2011.
Vinesh, a world championship medalist and Olympian, also claimed that women wrestlers were exploited by several coaches at the national camp in Lucknow. He alleged that there are some women in the camp who approach wrestlers at the behest of the WFI president. The 28-year-old wrestler, however, clarified that she herself has not faced such abuse.
Vinesh was so upset that she along with Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Bajrang Punia met Union Home Minister Amit Shah three months ago. “We had met the home minister and he assured us that you will get justice,” Bajrang Punia, one of the country’s top wrestlers, told PTI. She had received death threats from close officials because she dared to draw the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to these issues during his meeting after the Tokyo Olympic Games.