search for

India police to register case against wrestling chief

Published on 2023-06-04 14:56:24 source:NBC News

Police in India's capital Delhi have told the Supreme Court that they will register a case against the chief of the country's wrestling federation.

The court was hearing a petition by top wrestlers against Brij Bhushan Singh over allegations of sexual abuse by several female athletes.

The protesters had alleged that the police did not register a case against Mr Singh despite several complaints accusing him of sexual harassment.

Mr Singh has denied the allegations.

The wrestlers had called off protests in January after the government promised to look into their complaints.

But they relaunched the agitation last week, demanding immediate action against Mr Singh, who is the president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and a lawmaker and politician from the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The top court had said the allegations in the petition were "serious" and asked the Delhi Police for an explanation. The police then said that they needed to do a "preliminary enquiry" before filing a case, adding that they were prepared to do so right away if directed by the court.

However, on Friday, the Delhi police told the Supreme Court that they would file a case against Mr Singh before the end of the day.

On Thursday, PT Usha, president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and one of India's most prominent athletes, sparked outrage when she accused the protesting wrestlers of tarnishing the country's image by "protesting on the streets". She said that they should have approached the IOA's athletes' commission instead.

Her comments drew sharp reactions from opposition politicians and the protesting wrestlers.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted that India's image would be tarnished only if the concerns raised by the wrestlers were ignored.

Wrestler Sakshi Malik, an Olympic medallist who is part of the protests, asked how the protests amounted to indiscipline when the protesters were voicing their concerns peacefully. "Being a woman athlete, she isn't listening to other women athletes," she said.

The wrestlers have received support from some prominent sportspersons. Neeraj Chopra, who won the gold medal in javelin in the last Olympics, said that it hurt him to see India's athletes having to demand justice by hitting the streets and urged authorities to deal with the issue in an "impartial and transparent" manner.

Another Olympic medallist, Abhinav Bindra, said that the athletes' concerns should be "heard and addressed fairly and independently", while tennis star Sania Mirza said it was "time to now stand with them in this difficult time".

On Friday, #IStandWithMyChampions began trending on Twitter as people used it to show support for the protesting athletes.

Boxing world champion Nikhat Zareen joined the trend and said that she hoped justice would be served at the earliest, while Bollywood actress Swara Bhasker tweeted that it was "shameful" that athletes were protesting on the streets while a "BJP MP is being consistently shielded by the government".

In January, Vinesh Phogat, one of India's most decorated women wrestlers, alleged that at least 10 woman wrestlers had told her that they were sexually exploited by Mr Singh. She and other protesters also said that some coaches had misbehaved with athletes and criticised the WFI's functioning. At the time, the WFI had denied all the allegations made by the wrestlers, including that of sexual misconduct.

The government eventually asked Mr Singh to step aside for a few weeks and formed a panel to oversee the federation's activities. The IOA also set up a committee to investigate the allegations against Mr Singh.

The committee submitted its report in April but its findings haven't been made public yet.

The IOA has also set up a panel to oversee the daily functioning of the WFI and hold elections to its executive committee.

BBC News India is now on YouTube. Click here to subscribe and watch our documentaries, explainers and features.

Randomly recommend to you
Copyright statement: All resources on this website come from the internet. If your rights are violated, please contact us and we will delete them within 24 hours。

Copyright © 2016 Powered by India police to register case against wrestling chief,NBC News   sitemap

Back to top