Wrestlers protest: Post meeting with Amit Shah, Centre invites athletes for talks

The wrestlers have been demanding the arrest of BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for allegedly sexually harassing women wrestlers, a charge he has denied

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  7 Jun 2023 5:17 AM GMT
Wrestlers protest: Post meeting with Amit Shah, Sports minister Anurag Thakur invites athletes for talks.

New Delhi: Days after wrestlers met Home Minister Amit Shah, the Centre invited the protestors for talks to discuss their issues.

In a tweet post-midnight Tuesday, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said the government was "willing to have a discussion with the wrestlers on their issues". "I have once again invited the wrestlers for the same," he said.

The wrestlers have been demanding the arrest of BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for allegedly sexually harassing women wrestlers, a charge he has denied.

Anurag Thakur said a fair investigation will be conducted into the allegations of sexual harassment leveled by women wrestlers

"The government has already formed a committee (to probe the allegations against Singh). The police are investigating the matter by registering an FIR. A charge sheet will also be filed and a fair investigation will be done," he said.

Earlier, Delhi Police recorded statements of associates of WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and those working at his residence in Uttar Pradesh's Gonda as part of the investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him. They also said the girl whose statement was the basis of a case being registered against Singh under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has recorded a fresh statement under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Over 125 people, including family members and associates from both sides, have been interrogated and their statements were recorded. Singh has been questioned twice, sources said.

Technical, digital, and manual evidence has been collected. As soon as the investigation is concluded, a charge sheet will be filed in court, said the officials.


On January 18: India's top wrestlers began a sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia, two-time world championships medallist Vinesh Phogat, and Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik became the protest faces.

On January 19: Wrestlers met Sports Minister Anurag Thakur at his residence. The meeting lasts nearly five hours ending in the wee hours but no solution is found.

On January 23: the oversight committee, led by Mary Kom was formed, and the committee submitted its report to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on April 5 after questioning Bhushan and other witnesses. However, the findings of the report are not yet made public, and the report gave a clean chit to the accused Bhushan.

On April 23: the wrestlers resumed protests in April 2023 at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi demanding the arrest of Bhushan and that the report by the government-appointed committee be made public, claiming that nothing has been done to resolve their issues. Separate police complaints were filed by seven wrestlers against Bhushan but Delhi police did not register an FIR.

On April 25: Wrestlers move Supreme Court seeking registration of FIR against Singh.

On April 28: two FIRs, one under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO Act) and the other for outraging modesty, were filed against Bhushan by the Delhi Police after the hearing. Wrestlers said they will continue their protest against the WFI chief until he is sent behind bars.

On May 28: An advisory committee of the protestors decided that women's maha panchayat will be held at the New Parliament House during its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, before they protest, Delhi Police began heavily barricading and detained the wrestlers.

On May 30: The three wrestlers went to the Ganga in Haridwar to throw their medals, followed by an indefinite strike at the India Gate. After being convinced by Farmer leader Naresh Tikait, the wrestlers returned without immersing their medals. They gave an ultimatum to the Centre to return in five days if no action is taken.

On May 30: United World Wrestling (UWW) firmly condemns the treatment and detention of the wrestlers and threatened to suspend WFI.

On June 1: Samyukt Kisan Morcha called for nationwide support of the protests.

Several athletes Neeraj Chopra, Sania Mirza, Anil Kumble, Nikhat Zareen, Kapil Devi, Sehwag, and a few more extended their support to the wrestlers.

Several opposition leaders Arvind Kejriwal, Priyanka Gandhi, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Brinda Karat, Mamata Banerjee, Siddha Ramaih, Rahul Gandhi, Kalvakuntla Kavitha, MK Stalin, and many others supported.

Inputs from PTI

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