WFI President and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Brij Bhushan Charan Singh, who has been accused of sexual harassment by female wrestlers, is set to hold a rally at Gonda in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday to celebrate his nine-year premiership. The government led by Minister Narendra Modi is in the centre.

Meanwhile, while talks are underway to resolve the wrestlers’ issues, one of India’s top athletes, Sakshi Malik, said wrestlers will not participate in the Asian Games unless the issue is fully resolved.

Malik’s comments came ahead of the Masters Trials scheduled for later this month. All wrestlers, including those involved in the protest, are required to compete in the trials and earn their place in India’s squad for the Asian Games, which will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8, 2023.

WFI President vs. Wrestlers Updates:

BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh asked his supporters, BJP office holders and staff, among others to join his rally in Gonda today. Madhya Pradesh Minister for Higher Education Mohan Yadav will be the chief guest at the event, which is seen as a show of strength after Brij Bhushan’s earlier ‘Jan Chetna Maharally’ proposal in Ayodhya on June 5 was shelved, according to a report by Hindu.

Olympic bronze medalist Sakshi Malik, who was in Sonipat on Saturday to attend the Mahapanchayat to decide on a future course of action for the wrestlers, who have demanded the resignation of outgoing IBF president Singh over allegations of sexual harassment, said participating in the Asian Games only when All these issues are resolved. You can’t understand how mentally exhausting it is and what we go through every day.”

▶ Malik also reportedly claimed that there was pressure on the protesting wrestler to compromise and that he is under pressure that the junior wrestler, who has made sexual harassment allegations against Brij Bhushan Sharan, has changed her statement.

“There is a lot of pressure on us to compromise,” Sakshi told a TV channel, claiming that people close to Brij Bhushan were calling and threatening them.

▶ Malik further claimed that efforts are being made to break the victims. “It is proven, the data was registered under section 161 and 164 and it was changed. We don’t understand that,” said Sakshi, referring to a minor’s withdrawal of sexual harassment charges, who is one of the seven plaintiffs in the case.

“The minor’s father was obviously under pressure,” she said. “The pressure is building. How long are we going to fight then?” “Bajrang is getting calls, baek gao, tut gau (take a bribe, end the protest). False stories are being prepared (by the media). It breaks our hearts,” she said.

▶ She also alleged that the complainant’s young wrestler’s father was depressed due to the pressure on him to withdraw the complaint.

Earlier on Wednesday, along with Bajrang Punia and others, Malik met Federal Sports Minister Anurag Thakur at his home and said the government had requested until June 15 to complete the police investigation.

The government had assured the wrestlers that an indictment would be filed against outgoing WFI President Singh by June 15, after which they stopped their protest.

▶ “The government asked for a deadline until June 15th to complete the police investigation. And it approved most of our proposals regarding wrestling. Now, we will reserve these proposals in front of our farmers’ unions, women’s unions, senior citizens’ unions, and khap panchayats. Therefore, we will not have any protest until June 15th but ‘our movement “Against WFI President will continue,” Sakshi said Ian.

▶ Malik said that efforts are being made to break the victims. “It is proven, the data was registered under section 161 and 164 and it was changed. We don’t understand that,” said Sakshi, referring to a minor’s withdrawal of sexual harassment charges, who is one of the seven plaintiffs in the case.

“We will not compete in the Asian Games until a proper solution is found in this situation. You cannot understand the mental anguish we go through every day,” Sakshi Bajrang Punya, one of the main members of the protest, said while speaking ▶. During the panchayat, they insisted that there was no politics involved in their rant against the WFI President.

▶ Later speaking to the media, Bajrang Punia, another key member of the protest, said, “We have contacted Panchayat to inform everyone about the discussion we had. If no strong action is taken by June 15, we will resume our protest.”

▶ He said that they have not yet decided on the location of the protest and it could be either “Jantar Mantar or Ram Leela Maidan”.

▶ The police has already made it clear that the wrestlers will not be allowed to return to Jantar Mantar.

▶ Vinesh Phogat was not part of the discussion when Thakur called the wrestlers to interact and was absent until Saturday. When asked about this, Bajrang and Sakshi both gave different answers.

▶ “Let me tell you that Sakshi, Bajrang and Vinesh are one. Vinesh is handling the legal case, and there are a lot of other works too. Rumors are circulating that we are stepping back. We are one, we are united in one,” said Sakshi.

▶ Bajrang said, “Vinesh is sick and that is why she is not here today.”

▶ Bajrang and Sakshi both criticized the Delhi Police for taking one of the victims to the WFI office in New Delhi when the accused was also present in the premises.

▶ Meanwhile, escalating its investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, Delhi Police on Friday escorted a female wrestler to WHI Chief Singh’s office in the national capital to recreate the sequence of events leading up to the alleged crime.

▶ International Referee Jagbir Singh has also come out in support of the protesting wrestlers and claimed to have witnessed Brij Bhushan Charan Singh’s inappropriate behavior towards female wrestlers on several occasions since 2013.

“I’ve been a UWW referee since 2007 and I was a referee before protest wrestlers were born. I’ve also known Brigg Buchan for a long time,” said Jagbir. PTI.

▶ “I couldn’t say much because until the girls registered complaints, I couldn’t do anything. But I saw the episode with my own eyes and felt bad,” he said.

▶ Jagbir, who has been an international refereeing coach since 2007, said he has seen Brij Bhuchan’s misconduct with his own eyes on many occasions.

(With input from the agencies)


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