• Monday, March 20, 2023


India female wrestlers sexual harassment row: Women’s panel chief asks why federation chief not removed yet

Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal (L) meets Indian wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Anshu Malik, at a protest site in Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, on Wednesday, January 18, 2023.(ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Swati Maliwal, the chief of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), on Friday (19) asked as to why the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president has not been asked to resign, in the wake allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by women wrestlers.

Celebrated Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik and world championship medallist Vinesh Phogat, are staging a sit-in protest at the Jantar Mantar here for the last two days against WFI president and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentarian Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accusing him of sexual exploitation and intimidation.

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh (C) arrives to address a press conference in Gonda on January 20, 2023, following allegations of sexual harassment to wrestlers by members of the WFI. (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

“It has been 72 hours since the protest was launched by the Indian wrestlers. Why has the WFI president’s resignation not been sought? Why is an FIR not being registered in connection with the sexual harassment allegations? Why is the sports minister not making efforts to end the protest? Till when will the pride of the country sit on the street like this?” Maliwal asked in a tweet in Hindi.

Led by Phogat and Punia, the protesting wrestlers, including Sakshi Malik, Anshu Malik, Ravi Dahiya and Sarita Mor, met Indian sports minister Anurag Thakur at his residence in New Delhi on Thursday (19) night and demanded speedy action in the matter.

The two sides were involved in a marathon meeting that ended around 2 am, with the parties failing to find a tangible solution. The wrestlers refused to back down from their demand that the government initiate immediate steps to disband the WFI.


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