Don’t take any step that undermines sports: Union minister Anurag Thakur tells wrestlers; Opposition slams govt | More sports News

NEW DELHI: Minister of Sports Anurag Thakur Wednesday asked protesting wrestlers not to take any action that could undermine the sport or hurt players and said they should wait for the investigation to be completed, even if political parties step up their attacks on the government over the matter .
Delhi Police said the cases filed by the wrestlers are still under review and status reports are being filed in court. It would be against procedure to say anything before the report goes to court, police said after deleting three tweets about the case.
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A day after wrestlers, who are demanding the arrest of former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over allegations of sexual harassment of grapplers, threatened to dip their medals in the Ganges, Thakur urged them to be patient and to trust the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Sports and the Delhi Police.
He promised appropriate action once the investigation is completed and also said that the WFI would hold elections and a new body would be elected soon.

The government has drawn more criticism over the opposition issue with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee joining a protest in Kolkata against alleged abuse of wrestlers at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Sunday. The Congress also lambasted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him why he did not call on protesting wrestlers not to throw their medals into the Ganges.

The wrestlers, except Sakshi Malikreturned home to Haryana and did not speak to media on standby in Haridwar due to a “vow of silence” on Wednesday.
The wrestlers, who had been protesting at Jantar Mantar here since April 23, were evicted from the site by police on Sunday after they attempted to march towards the new parliament building after its inauguration.

“I urge wrestlers to be patient until the outcome of the investigation. I also urge them not to take any action that could undermine the sport or injure any athlete,” Thakur said when answering questions from reporters.
He stressed that his department acted quickly on the wrestlers’ complaint and that appropriate action would be taken once the investigation is complete.
The WFI president has stepped down and a board of trustees set up by the Indian Olympic Association is making day-to-day decisions, Thakur said.
Delhi Police said the sexual harassment case against Singh was under investigation and the progress report of the investigation would be submitted to court.
Earlier in the day, police sources said the force had not found sufficient evidence to support the allegations made against Singh by female wrestlers and would submit the report within 15 days.

As the news hit the media, Delhi Police took to Twitter to say, “This news is clarified to be false and the investigation into this sensitive matter is being carried out with full sensitivity.”
A Delhi Police public relations officer also shared the same message with reporters. After nearly an hour, Delhi police deleted his tweet. The PRO also deleted the message she had shared in the official WhatsApp group for journalists.
Later, the PRO posted another message in Hindi which read, “The cases filed by the female wrestlers are still under review. Status reports are being filed in court regarding the investigation into the said cases.
“As the cases are under investigation, it would be against procedure to say anything before the report is filed in court,” the message read.

Speaking to a program in Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said he would hang himself even if a single allegation was proven against him.
The BJP MP also said that all the wrestlers are like his children and he will not blame them as his blood and sweat also contributed to their success.
“I say once again that even if a single allegation is proven against me, I will hang myself,” Singh said during a speech at the Mahadeva auditorium in the Ramnagar area here.
“They (the wrestlers) have been wanting me to hang for four months, but the government is not hanging me. So they were going to dip their medals in the Ganges. Brij Bhushan will not be hanged by throwing medals in the Ganges. If you have proof, give it to the court and if the court hangs me, I will accept it,” the Kaiserganj MP said.

Holding a placard with the message ‘We want justice’ written on it, Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee took part in the rally in support of Kolkata wrestlers which started at the Hazra Road junction in the southern part of the city and culminated in Rabindra Sadan, the cultural hub of the eastern metropolis.
Banerjee joined the 2.8km rally in Bhawanipur, his own constituency.
She was flanked by former footballers Kuntala Ghosh Dastidar and Shanti Mallick, ex-footballers Alvito D’Cunha, Rahim Nabi and Dipendu Biswas and several other sports figures and everyday people.

The Congress attacked the BJP, stating that the slogan “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” now means “Beti BJP ke netaon se bachao (save the daughters of BJP leaders)”.
Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia and asian games gold medalist Vinesh Phogat had traveled to Har ki Pauri to protest the inaction against 66-year-old Singh.
Addressing a press conference at AICC headquarters, Congressman Deepender Hooda said, “These medals are their life, they represent their struggle, the sacrifices of their families and the pride of the nation. What kind of cruel government is this? We want to ask the Prime Minister and the government why they didn’t even urge the wrestlers not to throw in their medals.”
“The Prime Minister and ministers, who used to line up to take pictures with these sportsmen when they won medals, didn’t even make a call. It sent the message that they are not only anti-sports but also anti-medals,” the Haryana Congress chief said.
“You talk about the Uniform Civil Code, won’t that apply to BJP leaders. Is there a separate law for them,” Hooda asked.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said the way protesting Indian wrestlers were treated by Delhi police over the weekend was ‘very worrying’ and said the wrestlers’ claims should be followed by an impartial criminal investigation.
The IOC’s reaction follows criticism from United World Wrestling (UWW) over the grapplers’ detention at their protest at Jantar Mantar, in which the world sports body threatened to suspend the national federation if it failed to hold its election on time.
“The treatment of Indian wrestling athletes over the weekend has been deeply concerning. The IOC insists that the wrestlers’ allegations are being followed up with an impartial criminal investigation in accordance with local law,” the IOC said. in the press release.
“We understand that a first step towards such a criminal investigation has been taken, but further steps must follow before concrete actions become visible. We urge that the safety and well-being of these athletes be duly taken care of. taken into account throughout this process and that this investigation will be concluded quickly.”


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