Who Will Win – Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh or Indian Wrestlers?

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh at the Parliament House complex during Budget Session, on February 6, 2023 in New Delhi, India.

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the chief of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), who has been demoted, claimed on May 1 that “forces involved in Tukde Tukde gang” have planned an attack on him. “Forces associated with the ‘Tukde Tukde gang’, including Shaheen Bagh, appear involved in it (the wrestlers’ protest).” As per Singh’s statement given to the news agency ANI, “These athletes are paid, and their ultimate goal is to hamper the dignity of BJP party, not mine.”

He continued, “Protest is growing like Shaheen Bagh; they want to split UP and Haryana.” Famous Indian wrestlers have been staging a dharna in Jantar Mantar in New Delhi since April 23. These athletes include Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik.

The conflict between Indian wrestlers and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who they accuse of sexual harassment, has moved into its second stage. In this article, we will cover all the important aspects of this incident to make you aware that who is at fault and who is not.

 

Why did the wrestlers end their initial protest in January and start it up again?

Due to the committee’s lack of credibility, the delay in releasing the findings on the sexual harassment charges against him, and the failure to hold the MP accountable as promised in January, the wrestlers continued their protest.

They were particularly angry that despite the seriousness of their claims, the WFI carried on as usual. According to their assessment of the situation, Brij Bhushan was still in charge. This idea is supported by the fact that his hometown of Gonda hosted the first national competition following the dispute.

 

About Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh

Six times an MP, the 66-year-old Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is an experienced politician. In 1991 and 1999, he won the Lok Sabha seat for Gonda and in 2004, he won for Balrampur. In 2009, 2014, and 2019, he won for Kaiserganj. With the exception of the 2009 election, which he won on an SP ticket, he ran as a BJP candidate every time.

His achievements and support for Indian Wrestling have improved many things for the association as well as the wrestlers. He also serves on the government’s Mission Olympic Cell, which chooses athletes for the Target Olympic Podium Scheme. He is the president of the WFI along with Vice-President of the Asian Wrestling Federation.

Click on Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh to know more.

 

Who is Brij Bhushan being accused of?

Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, during a protest against WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over different allegations, at...

Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia have been at the forefront of the protests since January, but the identities of the seven complainants who filed police complaints against Brij Bhushan remain unknown.

Anshu Malik, Sonam Malik, Ravi Dahiya, and Deepak Punia had also appeared at Jantar Mantar or posted videos in support of their fellow protestors during the initial round of demonstrations in January.

 

Additional Disputes Concerning Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh

  • One of the defendants in the Babri demolition case was Brij Bhushan. However, the BJP MP was cleared of all allegations in September 2020 following a protracted judicial battle.

  • Known for his frank speech, Raj Thackeray’s MNS was becoming more and more aligned with the BJP when Singh earlier threatened to discipline him if he reached Ayodhya.

  • And now the 66-year-old head of the WFI is being accused of pestering female wrestlers in a sexual manner.

  • Although he previously avoided serious consequences after being accused of violating TADA and in the Babri demolition case, the accusations of sexual harassment made against him by several renowned wrestlers have thrust him back into the spotlight.

 

Why are Phogat, Malik, and the rest leading the demonstrations?

Female wrestlers began calling Phogat frequently to complain about Brij Bhushan’s treatment of them and the “unsafe environment” at a camp in Lucknow. Phogat thought it needed to be addressed after speaking with Malik and Punia.

 

What have the wrestlers accused Brij Bhushan of?

Sexual assault, poor financial management, criminal intimidation, and arbitrary WFI operations. His offenses allegedly occurred between the years 2012 and 2022, and the first charge is the most serious, where a minor is one of his purported victims.

In a letter the Sports Ministry addressed to the Indian Olympic Association on Monday, the wrestlers also mentioned more officials and coaches in addition to Brij Bhushan.

 

What are the wrestlers’ demands?

They demand an FIR to be registered against Brij Bhushan basis their police complaint. They also want him to be arrested under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act since one of the complainants is a minor. In addition, they want him removed as the WFI president and the federation to be dissolved.

To check out the protest video, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZHwrVMNOuQ

 

What has been Brij Bhushan’s and the WFI’s response to the allegations?

Brij Bhushan’s allegation of sexual harassment was found untrue. He stated during the January demonstrations that he was “willing to be hanged.” The WFI has also denied allegations of financial mismanagement and operational arbitrariness.

 

What actions has the government taken, exactly?

To address accusations against Brij Bhushan and oversee the WFI’s daily activities, the government established an Oversight Committee in January, which convinced wrestlers to halt their protest.

The MC Mary Kom-led group was given four weeks to deliver its recommendations, but instead delivered the document in the first week of April, the committee has been disbanded since that time.

The government nullified the existing WFI election process, which was set to take place on May 7, in reaction to fresh protests, and ordered the IOA to establish an interim panel to oversee elections within 45 days and WFI activities until new members take over.

 

What conclusions has the oversight committee reached?

The report is now being examined but has not yet been made public. On Monday, the Sports Ministry published the initial findings, emphasizing the following crucial issues:

  • The absence of an Internal Complaints Committee that has been duly established in compliance with the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act of 2013 and the dearth of adequate channels for educating athletes and resolving complaints.
  • The requirement is for greater communication and consultation between the Federation and its stakeholders, such as athletes.
  • How crucial it is for the Federation and its athletes to communicate clearly.

 

Court Date

The Supreme Court will hear about the matter on April 28. Wrestlers say that they would protest until their demands are met.

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