Wrestlers’ protester ‘may not be taken seriously’, says WFI

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The wrestling body, in response to SAI’s query over the abovementioned allegations, said the wrestlers have “evidently” acted in personal interest or under a bigger conspiracy to malign the image of WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh — who is ordered to step down from his role — and are accountable for it to the Union government.

Wrestlers end protest on sports minister assurance; Brij Bhushan to step aside as WFI president for probe

Prominent Indian wrestlers in Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Ravi Dahiya and hosts of others staged a protest at Jantar Mantar on January 18, demanding the resignation of the WFI president and disbandment of the body all together.
While further pointing at a larger controversy, WFI also suggested that all of the protesting wrestlers hail from Haryana.

“The Media protesters may not be taken seriously, who have evidently acted more in personal interest or under undue pressure or under any larger bigger conspiracy to malign and defame the present sitting management of the WFI or President, WFI for vested interest only, for which the protesters wrestlers are accountable to explain for themselves, to the public as well as the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Department of Sports, Govt. of India particularly when mostly the protestors evidently are seen coming together from a particulars region/State of Haryana,” wrote the federation.

WFI was further confident of a hidden agenda as the timing of the protest is also dubious with federation elections are due later this year.

“It would also be worth drawing attention that even the next election for the management of WFI is due in near future of the year 2023. All such reasons and facts relating to the aforesaid evidently points that the protest is not in the best interest of the Wrestlers nor for the promoting good Wrestling in India, but it has some personal as well as hidden agenda to dislodge the current fairest and strict management of WFI and also by conspiracy to create such adverse atmosphere in public to create undue pressure with a view to malign and defame thereby for their hidden agenda directly or indirectly,” wrote WFI.

WFI’s sexual harassment committee never received a complaint

wrestling protest

Sports minister Anurag Thakur with protesting wrestlers at his residence on Friday.

In its reply to SAI, who sought an explanation from WFI over the serious accusations, the Singh-led body wrote that it already has a Sexual Harassment Committee in place, with one of the protesting wrestlers (Sakshi Malik) being part of it. The reply also added that the committee is yet to receive a complaint, hence the claims of any such act are baseless and are only done to harm the image of its president.

“Any single allegation of sexual harassment is accepted nor has ever been noticed nor found nor so far complained nor reported to sexual harassment committee to WFI, hence allegations to that effect is equally malicious and unfounded without being any truth in the matter except to come to public through media for making soft target to the prestige of the present management of the WFI as well as the sitting President,” wrote WFI.

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