Wrestlers’ Protest: From Sania Mirza to Neeraj Chopra, here’s how sports fraternity showed solidarity
The wrestlers’ protests have started enjoying support from some of the biggest names of the Indian sports fraternity.
India’s top wrestlers have restarted their protest against BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh at Jantar Mantar on April 23 (Sunday) after ending it three months ago. The protest garnered support from prominent and respected figures in the Indian sports fraternity to amplify the voices of those who are facing injustice and mistreatment. The wrestlers have cited the lack of action taken against Singh, despite assurances made in January as the reason for resuming the protest.
The wrestlers mentioned that they have lost faith in the committee that investigated the allegations of sexual harassment against Brij Bhushan and that the government has been delaying the release of the report. The wrestlers have voiced their discontentment over the fact that WFI has resumed its operations despite the ongoing investigation. They have further alleged that Brij Bhushan still wields power, citing the national tournament held in Gonda, his hometown as evidence.
Who is the target of the wrestlers’ protest?
Brij Bhushan Singh has been involved in wrestling administration in various roles, including as the president of the WFI, vice-president of the Asian Wrestling Federation, and a member of the government’s Mission Olympic Cell, which identifies athletes for the Target Olympic Podium Scheme and takes action on their training proposals. Brij Bhushan Singh is also known as a political powerhouse and has a significant influence on the sport in India, having the final say on all wrestling-related matters.
Seven women wrestlers have filed individual police complaints against the WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh alleging sexual harassment and criminal intimidation. The complainants have referred to a series of incidents that span from 2012 to 2022 as evidence of the accused’s misconduct. The wrestlers supported by their male peers have demanded his removal from office as well as the disbandment of WFI. On April 21, the wrestlers filed a complaint with the police, but an FIR was not registered, prompting them to approach the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court has issued directives to the police to ensure the safety of the minor complainant in the case and ordered the filing of an FIR based on the complaints made by the wrestlers. The court has taken note of the seriousness of the allegations of sexual harassment and has asked for updates in the investigation at a hearing scheduled for May 4.
This move has been welcomed by the wrestlers but filing the FIR on Friday evening is just one step towards their larger goal of achieving justice, and they will continue their protest at Jantar Mantar until justice is served.
Indian Sports Live Coverage on Khel Now
- Neeraj Chopra withdraws from FBK Games in Hengelo with muscle injury
- Avinash Sable finishes 10th in men’s 3000m steeplechase at Rabat Diamond League
- Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra reacts to protesting wrestlers being detained by Delhi Police
- HS Prannoy defeats Weng Yang to claim maiden BWF World Tour title at Malaysia Masters 2023
- Asian Games 2022: List of Indian athletes to have secured qualification
- Who after Neeraj Chopra? Top five exciting Indian prospects to cross 80m mark in javelin throw
- Badminton: Why doubles event is India’s best medal hope at Paris Olympics 2024?
Which wrestlers are protesting?
Among the group of protesters are India’s top wrestlers such as Olympic bronze medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia and world championship medallist Vinesh Phogat. The wrestlers have been camping at the protest site, sleeping and training, for the past five days. As their protest progressed, they held a candle march at Jantar Mantar in the national capital on Wednesday.
The protesting wrestlers have been receiving support from notable Indian Sports icons. The backing of sports legends can not only provide moral support to the wrestlers but also lend credibility to their cause and potentially lead to greater accountability for those responsible. The support of fellow sportspersons can be extremely significant in raising awareness and bringing attention to issues within their sport.
Who tweeted in support of the wrestlers’ protest?
For more updates, follow Khel Now on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and join our community on Telegram.
posted in :