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Wrestlers' Protest Day 2: Protestors call for more support; might move to SC

The protest staged by top Indian wrestlers against WFI president Brij Bushan Sharan Singh intensified as they called for more support from fans and fellow athletes alike.

Wrestlers Protest Day 2: Protestors call for more support; might move to SC

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


Pritish Raj

Published: 24 April 2023 2:28 PM GMT

New Delhi: The protest staged by top Indian wrestlers against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bushan Sharan Singh intensified, on Monday, as the wrestlers called for more support from fans and fellow athletes alike here at the Jantar Mantar.

The wrestlers, who slept overnight at the protest site, continued their protest even as the status of sexual harassment complaints against Singh remained unclear.

"We want support from all other sportspersons as well. From all different organisations, women, farmers, khap panchayats," 2020 Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia called for support.

A lot of support outpoured for the grapplers on the second day as Women Commission activists and local politicians flocked to the protest site.

The protestors maintained that they are determined to take this to the end not fall into the fake promises and assurances like those made three months back when they were in a similar situation.

"Right now we are not going to come into these false promises. WFI office was open. Their people were running. We do not want to run the federation. We want FIR against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. We want to get justice. Till then we are here," said 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik.

With more than 72 hours passed by, there has been no update on the police complaint. The wrestlers believe that if their plea of justice is ignored anymore, they will move to the Supreme Court to put their complaint forward.

Vinesh Phogat said, "For 3 days, FIR hasn't been registered. We will go to the Supreme Court. We have faith that we will get justice from them. We want a fair investigation."

Meanwhile, the Sports Ministry, on Monday, stalled the WFI elections scheduled on 7th May 2023, and asked the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to constitute an ad-hoc committee to conduct the polls within 45 days of its formation and also manage the sports body.

Sports ministry also mentioned that the Oversight committee has submitted the report which is being examined and the committee is disbanded now.

Earlier during announcement of WFI elections, Brij Bhushan had confirmed that he will not contest for the president's post but hinted that he might look for a new role within the federation.

Brij Bhushan has already served as WFI president for 12 years, with three terms of four years. He is ineligible to apply for the post again under the Sports Code.

With no clarity on the updates of sexual harassment complaint against the WFI President, it remains unlikely as to how long some of the best grapplers in the country will have to sit at under a canopy at Jantar Mantar.

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