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SC to agitating wrestlers: 'Approach Delhi HC or trial court for further relief'

Wrestlers argued that, "The accused is giving interviews to TV channels… he’s take names of complainants. He has become a TV star."

Reported By : Gonika Arora Edited By : Nivedita Dash
New Delhi
Updated on: May 04, 2023 14:10 IST
SC to agitating wrestlers Approach High Court first updates
Image Source : PTI SC to agitating wrestlers Approach High Court first updates

Wrestlers protest: In amajor set back to the agitating wrestlers, the Supreme Court on Thursday closed the proceddings on plea by women wrestlers and granted them the liberty to move Delhi HC or trial court concerned for further relief. Several wrestlers have been protesting at Jantar Mantar, demanding that the government make public the findings of an oversight panel that investigated the sexual harassment charges against Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

The Delhi Police also informed the SC that statements of four complainants, including minor, have been recorded and adequate security arrangements have been made for six women wrestler complainants protesting at Jantar Mantar.

"Accused is revealing the identities of victims on TV channels. SC said that our prayer was for FIR to be registered, they also gave directions for security & that, despite that if we have any grievances, we can go to Delhi HC or Magistrate. Monitoring is needed as Delhi Police didn't file the FIR earlier, they weren't ready to take the statements of victims as well. We were hoping that the probe must be monitored by a retired SC judge but the court closed the proceedings," Wrestlers advocate said.

However, the wrestlers' side argued, "Next day after registering the FIR the minor was interrogated for 3 hours. No formal 160 notice was given to her. 5 police constables came. Then there was radio silence on the part of the police. Then yesterday they came... No notice, and no complaint despite FIR being registered. Yesterday till late evening, they're recording statements of 4 girls."

Wrestlers argued, "The accused is giving interviews to TV channels… he’s taking names of complainants. He has become a TV star." 

Taking a strong note of political interference in the protest, where a late-night scuffle broke out between the protesting wrestlers and some police personnel, leading to head injuries to a couple of protesters, the court observed that two political leaders of parties went with a truck full of beds, that was prevented to enter the protest. Notably, Delhi Police has claimed that AAP leader Somnath Bharti had brought the folding beds. Reacting to this, wrestler Vinesh Phogat said, "We had ordered for the beds and not Somnath Bharati. And even if he had brought it, don't we even have the right to sleep. Were we committing a crime by bringing beds, was there a bomb or weapons? Their (Delhi Police) behaviour was very aggressive."

Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, said, "No threat perception was found out to any complainant. However, security has been provided to each & every complainant."

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