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How protesting wrestlers reacted to Delhi Court framing charges against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh

Published at :May 11, 2024 at 7:51 PM
Modified at :May 11, 2024 at 7:51 PM
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(Courtesy : @barandbench/X)

Ajay Gandhar

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Priyanka Rajpoot found prima facie material to frame charges.

In a significant development in the high-profile case involving allegations of sexual harassment leveled against the former chief of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), a Delhi court on Friday ordered the framing of charges against BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Priyanka Rajpoot found prima facie material to frame charges against Singh for offences including sexual harassment, stalking, outraging the modesty of women, and criminal intimidation. The charges pertain to incidents alleged to have occurred between 2016 and 2019.

The court also ordered the framing of charges against Vinod Tomar, the former WFI assistant secretary, who is a co-accused in the case. Both Singh and Tomar are currently out on bail.

The Delhi Police had filed a chargesheet against Singh on June 15, 2023, invoking sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354D (stalking), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

The case against Singh was initiated after several prominent female wrestlers, including some of international repute, came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation against the former WFI chief. The Delhi Police’s 1,500-page charge sheet relied on statements from at least 22 witnesses, including wrestlers, coaches, referees, and physiotherapists from four states, supporting the accusations made by six female wrestlers.

Singh and his colleagues were among the 220 WFI staff members, wrestlers, referees, and coaches examined during the investigation.

The court had previously rejected Singh’s plea seeking further investigation in the case.

In a related development, one underage wrestler and her father, who was the complainant, had withdrawn their allegations against Singh in a new statement before a magistrate. Consequently, the Delhi Police filed a 550-page report requesting the cancellation of the POCSO (Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences) Act case against Singh.

Initially, two FIRs were registered against Singh based on the complaints filed by the wrestlers.

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The protesting wrestlers were abuzz with the ruling and took to social media to express their reactions. Prominent wrestler Bajrang Punia hailed the court’s decision as “a big victory for the struggle of women wrestlers.” He stated, “The daughters of the country have had to go through such a difficult time, but this decision will give relief. Those who trolled the women wrestlers should now introspect.”

Here are some of the reactions:

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