Wrestlers row: India's Sports ministry on Saturday directed the WFI to suspend all of its activities until Oversight Committee is formally appointed and takes over the day-to-day activities of the WFI. This includes the suspension of ongoing ranking competition and return of entry fees taken from participants. The announcement follows a decision on 20th January by the Government to appoint an Oversight Committee which will take over the day-to-day activities of the WFI.
The Sports Ministry also suspended the WFI Assitant Secretary Vinod Tomar. The Ministry took the action after WFI wrote to the Sports Ministry and rejected the allegations against its President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
The Wrestling Federation of India and some of the top wrestlers of India are in a face-off situation since the latter levelled serious allegations, including sexual harassment against the body's President. The WFI sent a reply to the Sports Ministry on Saturday. The Wrestling Federation of India has sent a reply to the Sports Ministry of India over the allegations against its Presiden Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The Federation has rejected all the allegations made by the Indian wrestlers, including that of sexual harassment against the body's president Singh.
"The WFI is managed by an elected body as per its constitution, and therefore, there is no scope for arbitrariness and mismanagement in WFI by anyone individually, including the president," the WFI said in its response to the sports ministry. "The WFI, in particular, under the sitting president has always acted keeping the best interests of wrestlers in mind. The WFI has enhanced the image of wrestling sport nationally as well as internationally and for the record of this ministry, it is not possible without fair, supportive, clean and strict management of WFI," it added.
The wrestlers ended their demonstration on Friday evening after receiving promises from the government that their complaints would be taken care of, the initial action being the resignation of the Wrestling Federation of India Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh who was facing criticism.
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The government decided to form an oversight committee which will investigate the allegations of sexual harassment of women wrestlers by the WFI president. The committee, members of which will be named on Saturday, will also oversee the day-to-day affairs of the federation. Making the announcement, Thakur said the committee will submit its report in one month's time.
(Inputs from PTI)