The letter enlists the demands of the protesting wrestlers.

Prominent wrestlers of India have submitted a formal petition to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as their protest rolls on to day 3. The petition to the IOA chief PT Usha categorically points out the accusations, including that of sexual harassment and fund embezzlement. The wrestlers have demanded a formal investigation into the accusations.

The letter, signed by the spearheads of Indian wrestling like Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Ravi Dahiya and other wrestlers also demanded a complete reconstruction of the wrestling federation.

The four demands, as listed in the letter, are:

  1. The appointment of an investigation committee to look into the complaints of sexual harassment and financial misappropriation. 
  2. Resignation of Brij Bhushan Singh from the role of the president of WFI.
  3. Complete dissolution of the federation. 
  4. Reconstruction of a new WFI after consulting the wrestlers. 

“On behalf of the wrestlers in the country, we would like to bring to your notice some very serious complaints of sexual harassment against WFI President Shri. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh,” the letter said.

Alongside the serious claims of sexual harassment of young female athletes, the letter also pointed out that Brij Bhushan Singh psychologically assaulted Vinesh Phogat. “Vinesh Phogat was mentally harassed and tortured by the WFI President after she missed out on an Olympic medal in Tokyo. She almost contemplated suicide,” said the letter.

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The allegations added, “In addition, there has been financial misappropriation on the part of the WFI. Contract payments were agreed with some of the senior wrestlers in the last few years through sponsorship received from TATA Motors. These payments were only partly made by WFI.”

It continued to claim that some of the coaches put in the national camp are incompetent. “They are just informants of the president and create a very bad atmosphere in the national camp.” The wrestlers ingeminated that the protest is purely in the interest of the improvement of the sporting atmosphere. There is no external body influencing the irritation, claimed the wrestlers. 

IOA president PT Usha had tweeted on Thursday asking the players to lodge a formal complaint and assured them that the agency will look into the matter to ensure justice. The sports ministry has also taken matters into their hands asking the federation for an explanation within 72 hours. 

The Delhi Commission of Women also took suo motu notice of the allegations. They have written to the Sports Secretary and asked the Deputy Commissioner of Police to divulge details. The wrestlers are firm on their stance and are also considering filing an FIR and suing the agency if their issues are not resolved.

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