Vinesh and yogeshwar slams

‘Your Brother Leaked Info’: Vinesh Slams Yogeshwar Dutt

Vinesh and yogeshwar slams

Commonwealth Games medalist Vinesh Phogat on Saturday accused former wrestler and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yogeshwar Dutt’s brother being involved in leaking of confidential statements of women on alleged sexual harassment by Wrestling Federation (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh and of betraying the wrestling fraternity to protect the president of governing body of the sport in India.

Olympians Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat along with other wrestlers had been on a protest in the national capital since the beginning of this year in order to press for the arrest of the Brij Bhushan over allegations of sexual harassment.

Vinesh Phogat, along with Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik came live on social media.

“Our khaaps and other seniors have experience, they have seen this world. They know the difference between truth and a lie. You accuse of them being wrong and standing with the wrong people?. They saw something genuine in our emotions and that is why they came to support us,” said Vinesh in the video.

“Your brother called the husband of one of the girls who was there to give her statements before the committee, informing him that she was giving a statement. But inside, you had got a confidential letter signed saying nothing would be leaked or if it happens, proper action will be taken. We mailed the committee that Yogeshwar’s leaking all statements of women, but no action was taken. When we told you the same you talked rudely to us. You turned the camera off. You should have spoken to us with the camera on so that the whole country could have seen how civilised you were to us,” she added.

Vinesh said that the wrestlers supported his political career with a hope that he would do something great for wrestlers and wrestling.

“But here we are, fighting for justice on roads since six months. Our families are on the verge of ruin, but we will still keep fighting no matter what happens to us, no matter if we die. You are trying to protect Brij Bhushan Singh, but he will go to jail and we will make sure it happens. We are still fighting despite all of your conspiracies against us.”

“Brij Bhushan has been found guilty in the chargesheet filed by Delhi Police. He used to touch women wrestlers the wrong way, used to take photos with them, and hug them forcefully. He was proven guilty on basis of all audio/video proof that showed him doing all this. When you were in the oversight committee, you secretly met him. He must have given you the assurance that you would get the seat of chief of WFI. Out of greed, you protected him. Are you not ashamed of being such a traitor to wrestling? You are breaking the wrestling community so that you can rise to the top and run things according to your wishes,” she added.

Vinesh accused Yogeshwar of ignoring a coach’s request for trials while he was a part of the oversight committee.

“A coach came to you for trials of some wrestlers. But you switched your phone off. A court case was done, only then they played and got selected,” she said.

The wrestler further said that Yogeshwar was unfit and injured during the time of Rio Olympics 2016 but yet went to the event over other players and accused him of denying opportunities to players.

“We do not snatch anything from anyone. We have done our wrestling with honesty. I have played eight nationals and won gold medals in all of them. Now I do not play anymore because I feel my absence from nationals would benefit someone else, someone younger than me who wants to win medals and get a job. And young wrestlers have got the benefit,” said Vinesh.

In Rio Olympics, you could not warm up your knees, but you went over Amit Dhankad, Rajnish etc. We do not take others’ share. We fought with honesty. I have played eight nationals, and won gold in all of them. I told them I wanted to do good for others. They won medals and jobs,. We are not afraid of nationals and trials.,

On accusations by Yogeshwar that she gave prize money won for an event given by the Haryana government to Om Prakash Dahiya (who he said was maternal uncle of her husband) instead of her actual coach and uncle Mahabir Phogat, Vinesh clarified, “My husband has contributed to my wrestling as much as my own family. And it was Rs 35 lakhs given by your own government. He is not even related to us by blood. He has trained so many wrestlers and he is a Dronacharya awardee.”

On a concluding note, wrestlers said that they are yet to receive the chargesheets filed by Delhi Police against Brij Bhushan and they will continue their fight till they get justice.

Dutt on Friday expressed his disappointment over reports that the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) ad hoc committee has decided to exempt protesting wrestlers from the initial trials.

The reports claimed that six wrestlers — Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Sangeeta Phogat, Satywart Kadian and Jitender Kinha — have not just been exempted from appearing in the initial trials, but have also been promised that they will compete directly against the winners of the trials.

Yogeshwar took to Twitter and posted a video, questioning the criteria and parameters on which the protesting grapplers were exempted from the trials.

“I came to know from a newspaper report that the ad hoc committee of IOA has decided to give (the wrestling protesting against Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh) an exemption from the trials. They will take part in a final trial. I don’t know what parameters or criteria were taken into consideration by the committee to let all six wrestlers take a direct final trial,” Yogeshwar said in the video.

Also questioning the wrestlers’ protest, he said he had doubts if the protest had more to do with exemption from the trials than allegations of sexual harassment against the WFI chief.

The BJP leader said he had information that the wrestlers wrote to the ad hoc committee of the IOA, seeking an exemption from trials.

“Was this protest against sexual harassment or getting an exemption from trials? I also came to know the protesters wrote to the ad hoc committee seeking an exemption from trials,” Yogeshwar added.

He reasoned that there are other grapplers, who have a stronger and more claim to exemption from trials, than those who have been away from the mat for more than a year.

“If you want to give such exemptions, give it to Ravi Dhaiya, an Olympic gold medallist, or Deepak Punia (secured 4th place in Olympics), Anshu Malik (World Wrestling Championships silver medallist), and Sonam Malik. Giving these six athletes an exemption from trials is beyond my understanding and this is clearly not the right thing to do. This wasn’t done even by the previous federation. You took the decision without going over the rules or setting any criteria. All wrestlers should raise their voices against this. I am not saying they should protest but they raise their voices through the media, write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, IOA, and (Union Sports Minister) Anurag Thakur,” Yogeshwar added.

Notably, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections have been postponed from July 6 to July 11, as per the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

In the election, the members of the executive committee of WFI will be decided. The occupants of the post of president, one post of senior vice-president, four posts of vice president, one each position of secretary general and treasurer, two posts of joint secretary and five posts of an executive member will be decided, as per a letter from IOA.

The last date for receiving names for the electoral collage will be June 25 by 5:00 PM. Two nominations from each State/Union Territory will be made. All state/UT wrestling federations will nominate two persons each of their respective associations, who are part of the executive body to form the electoral collage for the election to elect the WFI’s executive committee, added the letter.

Preparation and display of the electoral college, circulation to affiliates and publishing the same on websites of IOA/WFI will be done on June 28.

Submissions of nominations for election will be from June 29 to July 1 from 11 AM to 5 PM. The preparation and display of nominations received by returning officer will be done on July 3 by 1 PM.

The scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on July 4 by 11 AM. The submission of the notice of withdrawal of candidates will be done between July 4 to July 7, till 5 PM. On July 8, a final list of candidates will be made by 11 AM, added the letter.

Polling will be done on July 11 from 11 AM to 1:20 PM. The counting of votes will start from 1:30 PM and results will be declared on the same day.

Earlier on June 13, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections were announced to be held on July 6 amid the ongoing protest by wrestlers against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, by the newly-appointed returning officer for WFI elections Mahesh Mittal Kumar in a statement.

The process of filing nominations was also announced to start from on June 19.

“Whereas, the undersigned has been appointed as the Returning Officer by the Indian Olympic Association vide its letter No. IOA/I-28/2023/1350 dated 12th June 2023 for the purpose of conducting the election of the Executive Committee of the Wrestling Federation of India(WFI), which is an affiliate member of the Indian Olympic Association(IOA),” the statement by the office of the returning officer read.

The Indian Olympics Association (IOA) organised a three-member ad hoc committee in April as mandated by the Sports Ministry, and two members were named to oversee WFI’s day-to-day activities and pick wrestlers for international events in the interim term.

After a meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia on Wednesday said the government assured that the ongoing probe by Delhi Police against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will be completed before June 15.

Earlier in June, former Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice Mahesh Mittal Kumar was appointed as the returning officer for the Wrestling Federation of India elections by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Joint Secretary and Acting CEO Kalyan Chaubey on Monday confirmed the appointment of Justice MM Kumar through an official letter, also authorising him (Kumar) to appoint an Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) and other staff to assist him in conducting the elections.

The elections will be critical in moulding the future of wrestling in India and deciding the federation’s leadership. (ANI)

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