Sidelined Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexual harassment by India's top wrestlers, on Sunday claimed the athletes' protest at Jantar Mantar is being driven by the politicians from day one.
The country's top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia, have been protesting since April 23, demanding criminal action against Singh for alleged sexual harassment and intimidation of seven wrestlers including a minor.
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The former India wrestler said that the task of the committee that was formed was to submit its report after listening to both sides. Neither the committee nor the Prime Minister of the country has the right to punish. The power of sentencing rests only with the court.
An FIR has also been filed against the BJP MP.
Politicians such as Congress party's Priyanka Gandhi and Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary, former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, Delhi government ministers Atishi Singh and Suarbah Bhardwaj have visited the protest site to extend their support to the athletes in the last few days.
"This battle has gone beyond the athletes now as political parties have become part of it. From day one of the protests, I felt that this protest was politically motivated and not the voice of the athletes. They have been influenced by politicians.
"It is clear that these athletes are being used by Congress and other opposition parties. It's evident since the beginning that their (protesting wrestlers) motive is politics, not (my) resignation," Singh told reporters.