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Centre to Form Committee for Probing Allegations Against WFI Chief: Report

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports asked WFI to furnish a reply within 72 hours.

Updated
Wrestling
2 min read
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Following allegations of sexual harassment and mental torture against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Centre will reportedly form a three-member committee to investigate the accusations. According to a report in Republic, the committee will comprise two female members.

Top Indian grapplers, including Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, gathered in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar to launch a protest against the WFI chief on Wednesday, 18 January. They accused Singh, alongside coaches employed by the organisation, of sexual misconduct.

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“The girls have braved all odds to bring out the allegations today. The worst thing that could happen to a female sportsperson is sexual harassment, but they have been facing it for a long time. This is the truth of WFI,” Punia informed The Quint.

“We will continue with our protests until the WFI president is removed from his position, and correct measures are taken against the perpetrators. This has been going on for years, but we will put an end to it,” he further clarified.

Vinesh Phogat, who spoke to the media at Jantar Mantar, claimed “His sexual harassment of the wrestlers happens on a daily basis. Since we have known the President, we have heard such stories. It has happened to 1-2 women who are sitting here as well.”

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Ministry Seeks WFI’s Reply Within 72 Hours

Following the protest, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports stated that they have ‘taken cognizance’ of the events and also asked WFI to furnish an explanation within 72 hours.

“Since the matter pertains to the well-being of athletes, the Ministry has taken a very serious view of the matter. The Ministry has further stated that if WFI fails to furnish the reply within the next 72 hours, the Ministry will proceed to initiate action against the federation in terms of the provisions of the National Sports Development Code, 2011,” the official statement read.

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Meanwhile, speaking with The Quint, WFI’s assistant secretary Vinod Tomar stated that they will plan their course of action following a general council meeting on Sunday, 22 January.

“Till date, there hasn't been any official complaint received by us regarding sexual harassment. Alternatively, wrestlers can also report such instances to SAI, but we have spoken with SAI and confirmed they haven't received such complaints either. We can only clarify our further plan of action only after the meeting on 22nd,” he said.

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