Tue, 30 May 2023

New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): Thousands of supporters of the wrestlers on Tuesday held a candlelight protest from Jantar Mantar to India Gate under extremely heavy security marking a month of wrestlers' agitation against Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been accused of sexually harassing young athletes, including a minor.

Carrying the national flag, the protesters marched to India Gate, near the parliament building.

People in large numbers joined the protest to show their support. They carried banners and raised slogans demanding Brij Bhushan's dismissal as chief.

Bharatiya Kisan Union National Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait also arrived to join the candlelight protest by the wrestlers.

Security personnel were deployed at the protest site to maintain the situation. Khap Panchayat members also joined the protest.

Indian Wrestler Vinesh Phogat said that the wrestlers have decided to hold a women's Maha Panchayat in front of the new Parliament on May 28.

"We have decided to hold a peaceful women's Maha Panchayat in front of the new Parliament on May 28," she said.

Several ace grapplers including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshee Mallik have been protesting at the Jantar Mantar accusing the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment and demanding his arrest.

On May 19, the wrestlers marched from Jantar Mantar to Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in New Delhi on their 25th day of protest against Brij Bhushan.

Grapplers including Punia, Sakshi, Vinesh and others joined the march demanding the arrest of the WFI chief charged with sexual harassment of athletes.

The protestors have been demanding the registration of an FIR against the WFI chief and his arrest into the allegations of sexual harassment. Two separate FIRs were registered on April 28 following the Supreme Court's notice to Delhi Police into the plea filed by the wrestlers.

Earlier on April 24, The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will be forming an ad-hoc committee to conduct the elections for the Executive Committee of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) within 45 days of its formation, to manage day-to-day affairs of the body, including the selection of athletes and making entries for the participation of players in international events. This committee will be functioning for an interim period till a new Executive Committee takes charge.

Delhi Police has filed a status report on the application moved by woman wrestlers in an alleged offence of sexual offence levelled against WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.The court was also informed that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to investigate the matter.

Earlier this year, prominent wrestlers came forward to lead a protest against the WFI chief, following which the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur, announced the formation of an 'oversight committee' to probe allegations against the WFI, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and some coaches. Wrestling Federation of India Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar is also named as an accused in the FIR.

The movement has gained support from opposition parties and farmer unions, with many people voicing their concerns about the alleged sexual harassment. (ANI)

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