“If we release the names of the victims, it would put them, including their families, at risk. We cannot release their identities because nothing has been put on paper and it has not yet been made official. We have come here to fight for our dignity and if it is taken away from us, what’s the point of protesting? We cannot share all the intricate details as this is a sensitive issue involving the self respect of female wrestlers. We will share all the details with you once everything is secured for us,” Phogat said while speaking to the media on Friday.
Wrestlers protest: WWE wrestler Kavita Dalal says she switched to pro wrestling due to harassment
“We are presenting all the issues. If it had only been about wrestling, the issue would have been resolved after discussion. But it is a big issue. It is not about one but several girls We cannot release their identities, and if we did, it would be a threat to their lives and families,” the wrestler added.
The Asian Games gold medalist also mentioned that the Union Minister Anurag Thakur assured to hold another round of talks with them and review the wrestlers’ requests.
“The Minister of Sports has given us the time to present our requests and discuss them. We want concrete assurances on each of our requests. If we had had them, we would not have held so many meetings. We have raised our problems, and the Union Sports Minister gave us time to see each other again,” said winner Arjuna.
Speaking about the aftermath of her performance at the Tokyo Olympics, Phogat said she asked the WFI President to meet with her after she returned from the Olympics, but he declined her request.
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh refutes allegations of ‘leaving doors open in hotels’
“He has not met me since my return from the Tokyo Olympics. Several players have written to the federation about the harassment they have faced, but there has been no response. If we return our problem public, the WFI chief will try to brush it under the rug using his influence,” the grappler alleged.
Olympian wrestler and 2022 Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Bajrang Punished also alleged that the WFI president may flee the country.
“His office is 500 meters from Jantar Mantar, why did he flee to Gonda? If he can flee from here, he might also flee the country,” Punia said.
Several aces wrestlers in the country, including Sakshi MalikBajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Ravi Dahiya organize a sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
Their protest began on Wednesday, with wrestlers alleging female wrestlers were sexually harassed by the WFI chief and their coaches. They also demanded a complete overhaul of the federation.
WFI Chairman Brij Bhushan Saran Singh refuted the allegations and said he would expose the ‘political plot’ at a press conference in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh today.
On Thursday, a group of wrestlers had a meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur which lasted until early this morning.
However, sources say the meeting remained inconclusive and the minister is expected to meet grapplers again today at his residence.
Meanwhile, Vinesh, Bajrang, Sakshi, Ravi and Deepak wrote to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President PT Usha on Friday over the ‘sexual harassment’ complaints against WFI President Brij Bhushan. Saran Singh.
In a letter to the IOA President, the star wrestlers accused the WFI President of sexual exploitation and financial irregularities.
(With ANI entries)