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Wrestlers' Protest: Sports Ministry to announce names of oversight committee members on Sunday

Sports Ministry will announce the names of its oversight committee members on Sunday to investgate the allegations against WFI Chief.

Wrestlers Protest: Sports Ministry to announce names of oversight committee members on Sunday

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has assured Wrestlers of action soon. (Source: SAI)



Updated: 21 Jan 2023 3:31 PM GMT

The Sports Ministry will announce the names of its oversight committee members, who will probe the allegations of sexual harassment and corruption against Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, on Sunday, ministry sources said.

The sources confirmed this after a meeting held on Saturday between Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi and SAI DG Sandip Pradhan on the matter.

The tussle between the agitating grapplers and the WFI ended for the time being after the athletes called off their protest late on Friday night following assurances from the government, the first step of which was the temporary sidelining of Singh.

After the end of the marathon meeting, Thakur said that the government decided to form an oversight committee to probe the charges levelled by some of the country's top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Ravi Dahiya. The names of the committee members were supposed to be revealed on Saturday.

"Sports Ministry will announce the names of the three-member oversee/probe panel on Sunday," a source told PTI. According to sources in the ministry, there was a two-hour long meeting between Thakur, Chaturvedi and Pradhan. The committee will also oversee the day-to-day affairs of the federation.

Earlier in the day, the WFI rejected all the allegations, including that of sexual harassment against its president, and claimed that the wrestlers' protest was motivated by a "hidden agenda to dislodge the current management".

The WFI denied all the charges in its response to the government's notice and asserted that "there is no scope for arbitrariness and mismanagement " in the federation.

The Sports Ministry had sought an explanation from WFI after the country's top wrestlers sat on a dharna and alleged that the federation chief sexually harassed women wrestlers and acts like a "dictator".

Before the aggrieved wrestlers agreed to end their protest, the Indian Olympic Association had on Friday formed a seven-member committee, headed by M C Mary Kom, to probe the charges against Sharan.

The IOA panel was constituted even as the wrestlers' sit-in protest entered the third day. Besides legendary boxer Mary Kom and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, the panel includes archer Dola Banerjee and Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) president and IOA treasurer Sahdev Yadav.

The IOA committee also has two advocates -- Talish Ray and Shlok Chandra -- besides former shuttler and IOA joint secretary Alaknanda Ashok, who is its vice chairperson.

The decision was taken during the IOA's emergency Executive Council meeting, which was attended by the likes of Olympic champion shooter Abhinav Bindra, Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar, along with IOA president PT Usha and joint secretary Kalyan Chaubey.

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