PT Usha on wrestlers

Wrestlers Should Have Come To Us Instead Of Going On Streets: PT Usha

PT Usha on wrestlers

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president PT Usha said on Thursday that the wrestlers should have approached the IOA earlier instead of going out in the streets against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and its president Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, who the wrestlers accused of sexual harassment and mismanagement of athletes.

“Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is having a committee for sexual harassment, instead of going to the streets they (protesting wrestlers) could have come to us earlier but they did not come to IOA. It is not good for sports not only for wrestlers, they should also have some discipline,” said Usha to the media.
Ace Indian grapplers such as Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and many other wrestlers are involved in the protest against the WFI chief.

Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra supported the wrestlers in their protest with a poignant tweet on Wednesday.

“As athletes, we train hard every day to represent our country on the international stage. It is deeply concerning to see our athletes finding it necessary to protest on the streets regarding the allegations of harassment in the Indian wrestling administration,” Bindra tweeted.

“My heart goes out to all those who have been affected. We must ensure that this issue is handled properly, with the athletes’ concerns heard and addressed fairly and independently. This incident highlights the crucial need for a proper safeguarding mechanism that can prevent harassment and ensure justice for those affected. We must work towards creating a safe and secure environment for all athletes to thrive in,” he added.

Over the previous four days, the wrestlers have slept and trained at the protest location.

On Wednesday, grapplers held a candle march at Jantar Mantar in the national capital as they continue their protest against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and its president Brijbhushan Sharan Singh. Vinesh Phoghat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik were present in the candle march.

While talking to the media, Sakshi Malik said, “We urge PM Modi to listen to our Mann Ki Baat. Even Smriti Irani ji is not listening to us. We are trying to show them the light through this candle march,” said Sakshee to the media.

The wrestler said that no FIR had been filed after the wrestlers registered a complaint against the WFI and its chief on Friday.

“We trust Supreme Court that it will give us justice,” said Sakshi Malik.

Delhi Police on Wednesday submitted before the Supreme Court that a preliminary inquiry would be needed before lodging an FIR against WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh over allegations of sexual harassment. Delhi Police apprised the court that the police felt that there were some issues that needed preliminary inquiry. However, Delhi Police clarified that it has no hesitation to lodge FIR immediately if the court orders.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said that the matter is scheduled to be heard on Friday and the bench will look at the entire material. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued notice to Delhi Police on the wrestler’s plea seeking an urgent hearing on a petition seeking registration of FIR against WFI president Brij Bhushan.

The court noted that there are serious allegations in the petition by wrestlers who have represented India.

It was announced on Monday by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced on Monday that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will be forming an ad-hoc committee to conduct the elections for the Executive Committee of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) within 45 days of its formation, to manage day-to-day affairs of the body, including the selection of athletes and making entries for the participation of players in international events.

This committee will be functioning for an interim period till a new Executive Committee takes charge.

After a protest led by some prominent wrestlers of the country started this January, the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced the formation of an ‘oversight committee’ to probe allegations leveled against the WFI and its chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and other coaches.

The committee was tasked with submitting a report on the issue to the ministry. (ANI)

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