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Oversight panel is past, we expect justice from court: Vinesh Phogat

The protest wrestlers continued their protest and said that their belief in the judiciary is intact for justice.

Oversight panel is past, we expect justice from court: Vinesh Phogat

Wrestlers continue to protest at Jantar Mantar with no updates on complaint against WFI Chief. (PritishRaj/TheBridge)



Updated: 18 May 2023 6:56 AM GMT

The protesting wrestlers on Wednesday said that they are no longer concerned about the findings of the Oversight Committee constituted by the Sports Ministry and expect justice only from the court.

The Sports Ministry had constituted a six-member panel headed by legendary boxer MC Mary Kom on January 23 and asked it to submit its findings on the allegations of sexual harassment leveled by women grapplers against former Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

The committee submitted its report in the first week of April but the ministry is yet to make the findings public. Asked whether she was aware of the conclusions of the Oversight Committee, 2018 Jakarta Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat, said, "That is past. We are not deliberating or thinking about what the committee has done or hasn't. The duration of the committee was three months...it's over now and the fight has gone to court so we will focus on that."

The protest by India's top wrestlers, including Vinesh, Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, who are demanding the arrest of Brij Bhushan for allegedly sexually harassing seven women grapplers, entered its 25th day with no solution in sight.

On Wednesday, the grapplers and their supporters took out a procession from Jantar Mantar to Bangla Sahib Gurudwara and offered prayers there.

"We are confident, we will win the fight for justice. We will make our best effort so that not just the global wrestling community gets to know about our plight but we will also reach out to athletes in other disciplines. No country has remained untouched by incidents of sexual harassment in sport," added Vinesh.

She added that the decision to be taken by the senior Khap panchayat leaders on May 21 will be crucial in their fight against Brij Bhushan. "Whatever decision is taken by our elders on May 21 (the deadline set by the wrestlers for concrete action against Brij Bhushan) will be binding on us. They will chart our future course of action," said Vinesh.

She also criticized those people who were trying to give the agitation of the wrestlers a political color.

"This protest is not a platform for political parties. Every citizen of the country is free to visit Jantar Mantar. We welcome everyone at the protest site without discriminating on party, religion, or caste lines," she said.

The wrestlers had on Tuesday visited the Hanuman temple near Connaught Place accompanied by Bhim Army president Chandrashekhar Azad and hundreds of supporters.

Briefing the media after the march, Olympic and World Championship medallist Bajrang Punia had appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to intervene and ensure justice for the female wrestlers. The wrestlers had also indicated that they might take their agitation to Ram Lila ground to make it a "national movement".

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