Addressing the media, Olympian Vinesh Phogat said, “It is very difficult to stand against a person who is misusing his power and position for so long.”
New Delhi: The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is the target of a protest in New Delhi by top wrestler Vinesh Phogat and other competitors. Phogat has said it is difficult to stand up to someone in a position of power who has been abusing that position for a very long time.
The WFI chief has been accused of sexual harassment, and the wrestlers want him arrested.
Vinesh Phogat, an Olympian, told the media yesterday: “It is very difficult to stand against a person who is misusing his power and position for so long.”
She disclosed that the wrestlers had their initial encounter with an official before to beginning their demonstration in Jantar Mantar. However, nothing was done.
“Three to four months before we sat at Jantar Mantar, we had met an official, and we had told him everything about how female athletes are subjected to sexual harassment and mental torture when no action is taken, then we sat on Dharna,” Vinesh continued.
Anurag Thakur, the Union Sports Minister, was also criticised by Vinesh Phogat for failing to act and for stifling the issue by creating a committee.
“We terminated our protest after speaking with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, who had been informed of the sexual harassment by all the sportsmen. He attempted to bury the issue there by establishing a committee, but nothing was done at the time, she said.
Bajrang Punia, a wrestler, responded to claims that they are protesting against changes made to the Olympic selection process.
“He (Brij Bhusan) claims that because we have established rules for the Olympics, these athletes are protesting; nevertheless, this is not a protest against the Olympics; rather, it is a protest against sexual harassment. The organisation will accept trials of athletes coming from the Olympics, anybody they want, he added, referring to the Olympic rule.
Earlier on Saturday, the WFI chief asserted that if he resigns, it would mean that he has accepted the allegations raised by the wrestlers.
Responding to the WFI chief’s remark, Vinesh Phogat said all they wanted was justice.
Delhi Police on Friday registered two FIRs against WFI president Singh over allegations of sexual harassment and exploitation of female wrestlers.
The BJP MP said 90 per cent of Haryana players stand with him while only one wrestling family continues to protest at Jantar Mantar.
On April 26, the wrestlers marched with candles to Jantar Mantar in an effort to get Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hear their ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
Wrestler Sakshee Malikkh stated to the media, “We want PM Modi to listen to our Mann Ki Baat. We are not being heard by Smriti Irani ji either. By conducting this candle march, we hope to illuminate their hearts.
Over the last six days, the wrestlers have slept and trained at the protest site near Jantar Mantar in the national capital.
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