Wrestlers Suspend Protest As Govt. Finally Promises Probe
NEW DELHI (IANS) – In the wake of the United World Wrestling (UWW), the sport’s international governing body, threatening to suspend India if it fails to hold a fresh election this month and condemning the lack of action taken to hear the wrestlers who have been protesting sexual harassment, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said on June 7 he had had a “very positive discussion” with the athletes.
India’s top wrestlers on June 7 also said they had decided to suspend their protests after Thakur, the sports minister, promised a probe against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh who has been accused by several women athletes of being sexually harassed by him.
The wrestlers who had been protesting under dire conditions in New Delhi since April seeking his arrest were arrested in May and have to deal with government silence thus far. Many of the athletes like Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik and Asian Games champion Vinesh Phogat have brought India the medals that it so rarely wins in international sports. Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia was part of the wrestling delegation that met Thakur at his home for nearly six hours.
Sports Minister Thakur, said the police would file a chargesheet by June 15, and that the wrestlers had assured him they would refrain from any demonstration until then.
“They have asked us to complete the investigation and file the chargesheet by June 15, we will do that,” the minister told reporters.