The protesting Indian wrestlers, who are currently sitting on a dharna in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, have sent official correspondence to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president, PT Usha, in which they have listed four demands.
Commonwealth Games medallist Vinesh Phogat shared the letter on her Instagram account, as the grapplers continue their protest against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is accused of sexually, and mentally, harassing female players.
In the letter signed by Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia, the wrestlers demanded the implementation of the following steps:
Appointment of a committee to investigate sexual harassment complaints.
Resignation of WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Dissolution of WFI.
Appointment of a new committee to run WFI, in consultation with wrestlers.
“We would like to bring to your notice some very serious complaints of sexual harassment against WFI President Shri. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. These complaints have been informed to us by several young wrestlers,” the letter read.
Besides accusing Singh of sexual harassment, the wrestlers also highlighted financial misapprehension by the WFI, as they stated “In addition, there has been financial misappropriation on the part of WFI. Contract payments were agreed with some of the senior wrestlers in the last few years through sponsorship received from TATA Motors. These payments were only partly made by WFI.”
Vinesh Phogat ‘Almost Contemplated Suicide’ Following Mental Torture
Phogat, who made it to the quarter-finals in Tokyo Olympics before losing out to eventual bronze medallist, Vanesa Kaladzinskaya, further mentioned that she was mentally tortured by Singh after her defeat, following which she ‘almost contemplated suicide.’
“Vinesh Phogat was mentally harassed and tortured by the WFI President after she missed out on an Olympic medal in Tokyo. She almost contemplated suicide,” the letter mentioned.
The wrestlers concluded their correspondence by corroborating their intention of not halting the protest until their demands are met, and the WFI chief is sacked from his position. “It has taken a lot of courage for us wrestlers to come together and protest against the WFI President. We fear for our lives. If he is not sacked, then the careers of all the young wrestlers who have joined this dharna will be over,” the letter concluded.