Olympic Bronze medallist Bajrang Punia along with several other famous wrestlers have joined a protest at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi against the Wrestling Federation of India. They have raise several charges including sexual harassment against the officials and coaches and also several other serious allegations.
Punia has urged wrestlers and also fans to join them at the protest as they are fighting for their own rights against WFI. The veteran grappler has accused the WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of abusing and hitting wrestlers and this has gone on for a long time until they decided to protest. He has been joined by some known faces like Vinesh Phogat, Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik and many other renowned faces from the wrestling world.
“Wrestlers are being harassed by WFI. Those who are a part of WFI know nothing about the sport,” Bajrang Punia told reporters in a press conference.
“Our fight is not against the government or the Sports Authority of India (SAI). It is against WFI. We will share details later in the day. ‘Yeh ab aar paar ki ladai hai’ (It’s a fight to the finish),” Bajrang had earlier told PTI.
Female wrestlers led by Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik also raised sexual harassment allegations. Wrestlers like Sarita Mor and Sangeeta Phogat were also in attendance as Vinesh shared her concerns and it is alarming to the core. She clearly shared how the WFI president was harassing female wrestlers and the thing has gone too far so much so that Vinesh revealed that she was thinking to commit suicide.
“No one takes responsibility for injuries. They talk of banning wrestlers from nationals. The WFI president called me khota sikka (useless). I wanted to commit suicide,” she added.
The Sports Ministry has intervened in this situation and has given the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) a 72-hour window to come up with a proper explanation on the basis of the serious allegations made against the Federation and the president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
However after the allegations were made against the WFI and the WFI President, Wrestler Divya Kakra has come in support of brij Bhusan Sharan SIngh and shared how he always ensured help and support from the federation to all the grapplers. She also shared how Singh has only improved the situation at the national camp for wrestlers coming from lesser known areas of the country and never discriminated any anyone.
“I have been attending national camps for over 10 years. I have never faced anything of such sort from Brij Bushan Sharan Singh. In fact, he ensures that wrestlers coming from states which are traditionally not known for the sport are never discriminated against,” Diya Kakran shared, refuting claims made by Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia.