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Wrestlers protest: Sports Minister Anurag Thakur meets players, says allegations are serious in nature

Thakur said that the Ministry has already taken cognisance and sent a notice to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Updated on: January 19, 2023 23:58 IST
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur
Image Source : PTI Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur

Wrestlers protest: Amid protests, a crucial meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and the agitating wrestlers was held at his official residence in Delhi. Earlier today, while interacting with media personnel, Thakur said that the Ministry has already taken cognisance and sent a notice to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

According to him, the ministry asked the federation to reply within 72 hours. "The upcoming camp has also been postponed with immediate effect. I am going to Delhi and will meet the wrestlers," Union Sports Minister said in Chandigarh. 

"Allegations levelled by wrestlers are serious in nature. Taking swift action, the Government of India sent a notice to WFI and sought a reply within 72 hours. I will try to meet the wrestlers after I reach Delhi. We will talk and listen to them," he said.

WFI President  likely to resign following sexual assault allegations

The Indian sporting community has been rattled by an explosive revelation made by Vinesh Phogat on Wednesday. Phogat alleged Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexually exploited women wrestlers for many years. Wrestling stalwarts such as Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Anshu Malik joined her at Jantar Mantar and this is their second day of protest. The WFI president who also happens to be a Member of Parliament for the BJP rejected all the allegations made against him.

This is the second consecutive day of their protest and they attended a press conference to address the media about their demands. The wrestlers are also demanding to end the dictatorship that has been going around in the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Looking into the matter, a few members of the sports ministry decided to meet 4 wrestlers and after an hour-long meeting, it is now being said that the WFI president might resign from his position. Vinesh Phogat has been in a continuous tussle with the Wrestling Federation of India since the Tokyo Olympic Games. Phogat said that several coaches exploited women at the National Camp in Lucknow. Vinesh further clarified that she never faced such exploitation. 

Top players join the protest

Top Indian wrestlers including three-time CWG champion Vinesh Phogat and the Olympic bronze medallist duo of Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, sat in protest at the Jantar Mantar for the second day straight against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh who has been accused of sexual harassment. Babita, a former wrestler, arrived at the protest and heard the demands of the grapplers. Bajrang, Vinesh, Rio Olympics medallist Sakshi Malik, world championship medallist Sarita Mor, Sangeeta Phogat, Satyawart Malik, Jitender Kinha, and CWG medallist Sumit Malik were among 30 wrestlers who assembled at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday (January 18) and have been joined by several other wrestlers.

Also Read: WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh likely to resign following sexual assault allegations

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