The wrestlers, who accused the WFI president of sexual exploitation and intimidation, continued their dharna for the second day as other wrestlers joined them in what they called a fight to give “new life to the Indian struggle”.
Wrestlers Protest: As It Happened
Three-time CWG medallist and BJP leader Babita Phogat came to the protest site with a “message” from the government and assured grapplers their demands would be met as athletes took turns sharing their bad experiences.
Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Ravi Dahiya pleaded for more support while youngster Anshu Malik told how the WFI President’s presence in the players’ hotel in Bulgaria during the World Junior Championship last year had made female wrestlers uncomfortable.
It can be noted that Anshu, 21, did not participate in this championship because she was injured.
‘WFI chief Brij Bhushan kept his hotel room open which made the players uncomfortable’: CWG silver medalist Anshu Malik
A team of wrestlers, including Bajrang Punished, Vinesh PhogatAnshu, Sakshi Malikand her husband Satyawrat Kadiyan, were later summoned for a meeting with the government as they discussed their issues with Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi, SAI Chief Executive Sandip Pradhan and Deputy Secretary (Sports) Kunal.
During the hour-long meeting, the wrestlers were told to end their protest and assured that their grievances would be addressed.
However, the wrestlers wanted concrete and immediate action and decided to continue their protest unless the president of the WFI was removed from office and the national federation was dissolved along with all the state wrestling associations in the country. .
WFI Chairman Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh set to step down
Speaking to the media later, Vinesh did not reveal what happened at the meeting, but said, “Unfortunately, we did not get a satisfactory response.”
“Yesterday we had 1-2 victims among us but now we have 5-6 wrestlers, who were (sexually) harassed. We can’t name them now, after all, they are someone’s daughters and sisters. one. But if we are forced to divulge their identities, it will be a dark day,” said Vinesh, a two-time World Championship medalist.
“It’s not just about his (Brij Bhushan) resignation. We will send him to jail. We didn’t want to take the legal route because we had hoped for a resolution, but if a proper solution is not provided, we will file FIRs against the President.
“We are world championship and Olympic medalists, don’t suspect us, we tell the truth, believe us.”
WFI Emergency General Council in Ayodhya
It has been learned that the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) called for an Emergency General Council in Ayodhya on Sunday to discuss the matter.
“Yes, a meeting has been called and a future course of action will be discussed. I cannot say whether the WFI president will resign or not. It needs to be discussed,” a WFI official said.
It should be noted that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s third term as WFI President is coming to an end soon and he is no longer eligible for the competition. He was elected president of WFI for the third time in February 2019.
According to the National Sport Code, a person can serve as President, and therefore Board Member, of the NOC/NSF for a maximum of three terms or 12 years with or without interruption, after which his term as President must not have the right to return as a member of the NSF office or board of directors.
Trust us, we don’t lie
Bajrang said, “The whole wrestling center (brotherhood) is here. We have proof, we’re not lying. We want wrestling to live, to start a new life.”
Vinesh, 28, said she received appreciation calls from female wrestlers in Kerala and Maharashtra for taking up the cause.
“At least 5-6 girls will house FIRs tomorrow and it will be a black day if this happens in a country like India where ‘Durga’ and ‘Lakshmi’ are revered. So I would say no women are in safe in this country and no daughter should be born to anyone.”
Asked to give details of the meeting they had with the government official, Vinesh said: “They didn’t give any time frame, they just gave assurances.”
“It’s all on the line now. We haven’t even taken police protection and (are) sitting here. But where is the WFI chairman; his office (is) locked. Where are those eyes that scared us .”
When reminded that London Olympics medalist Yogeshwar Dutt supported the WFI President with Asian Championship medalist Divya Karan, Vinesh said that Yogeshwar was definitely sitting on WFI’s lap and that Kakran herself had spoken out against the president in the past. We have proof.”
“All videos (in support of WFI President) are made where he has this ‘aatank ka adda’ (center of terror), people should come and make videos here at Jantar Mantar sitting in front of the audience.
“We want the government to take control of WFI and we will not compete under the current president.”
Sakshi Malik said that all state wrestling associations should be dissolved in the country as the WFI President has all his men in these sports bodies.
Brinda Karat asked to leave the protest
Earlier in the day, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, who arrived at the protest site in support of the wrestlers and wanted to speak, was told to leave by the grapplers, saying they would not did not want anyone to give their campaign a political dimension. Color.
“We ask you, madam, not to make this political,” Bajrang said.
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women (NCW) said female wrestlers can approach it with their complaints.