Wrestlers protest: BJP MP Pritam Munde demanded action in the case against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment allegations saying cognisance should be taken of a complaint made by any woman.
She is among very few BJP leaders who spoke on the matter as the accused is a saffron party MP. Her comment comes amid intense protest by wrestlers demanding the arrest of the accused.
Munde said later, authorities can decide whether the complaint is proper or not. She was speaking to reporters in Maharashtra's Beed district on Wednesday, adding that she expects action to be taken in the present case.
The Olympic and World Championships medal winning wrestles, including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sangeeta Phogat, have been protesting in New Delhi demanding action against Singh for allegedly sexually harassing several women wrestlers, including a minor.
"I, not as a member of Parliament, but as a woman say that if such a complaint comes from any woman, then its cognisance should be taken. It should be verified. After verification, authorities should decide whether it is proper or improper," she said.
"If cognisance is not taken, then it is not welcomed in democracy," the Lok Sabha member from Beed said. "The cognisance of this case is now being taken at an international level. Now if I demand an inquiry committee, it will be a publicity stunt. I expect that action will be taken in this case," Munde said.
The wrestlers recently threatened to immerse their medals in the river Ganga, following which Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Wednesday urged them to be patient and have faith in the Supreme Court, the Sports Ministry and Delhi Police.
The Delhi Police have said the cases filed by women wrestlers are still under consideration and status reports are being filed before the court. It would be against the procedure to say anything before the report is submitted to court, the police said after deleting three tweets on the case.
Supports mounting for wrestlers
Farmer leaders held mahapanchayats in Muzaffarnagar on Thursday and in Kurukshetra today (June 2) in support of the protesters. Some former cricketers also came forward in solidarity with the wrestlers. India's 1983 ICC World Cup winnings team has thrown their support for the ongoing wrestlers' protest and has urged them not to take any hasty decisions. Members of the World Cup-winning team, including captain Kapil Dev and legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar, released a statement on Friday, May 2, to show concern regarding the treatment of the wrestlers.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said the way protesting Indian wrestlers were treated by the Delhi Police over the weekend was "very disturbing" and that allegations by the wrestlers should be followed up on by an unbiased, criminal investigation.
Opposition leaders' support
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a candle march protest in Kolkata against the alleged manhandling of wrestlers at New Delhi's Jantar Mantar on Sunday.
The Congress too lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking why he did not appeal to the protesting wrestlers to not throw their medals in the Ganga.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Singh said he will hang himself even if a single allegation is proved against him.
(With PTI inputs)