A day after FIRs lodged over alleged sexual harassment of women wrestlers, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh received a ‘hero’s welcome’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda, where he was garlanded with flowers.
Top grapplers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, have been staging a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi since this month, demanding the arrest of Brij Bhushan Singh, who is a BJP MP from Kaiserganj. They have said they would not stop their protest until the WFI president is arrested.
The Delhi Police on Friday registered two FIRs over sexual harassment allegations levelled by several women wrestlers against Brij Bhushan Singh. The first one pertains to allegations levelled by a minor victim, which has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act along with relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code concerning outraging of modesty. The second FIR has been registered for carrying out comprehensive investigations into the complaints tendered by other adult complainants under relevant sections pertaining to outraging of modesty.
Reacting to the FIRs filed against him, the WFI chief, who was seen heavily garlanded, told reporters, “I have not yet received the FIR copy. I will speak once I have received the FIR copy. I will not comment on anything right now.”
In January, Brij Bhushan Singh was garlanded while he was reportedly attending a wrestling event in Gonda.
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The protesting wrestlers said they would not end the protest until strict action was taken against Brij Bhushan Singh and he would be arrested. Several people from the sports and political fraternity have extended their support to the grapplers.
“We will continue to sit at Jantar Mantar. An FIR was lodged on the basis of the complaint of the girls. This fight was not limited to FIR. The fight is to get him arrested,” said Vinesh Phogat at Jantar Mantar.
She appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack the WFI chief from all positions.
“I appeal to PM Modi that on moral grounds, Brij Bhushan should be sacked from all positions. He could influence the investigation,” the star grappler said.
Meanwhile, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia on Saturday reached Delhi’s Connaught Place police station, where the FIRs against the WFI chief were lodged.