WFI chief targets Deepender Hooda, says Akhilesh Yadav ‘knows the truth’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘If you want justice…’: Brij Bhushan to protesting wrestlers, targets Deepender Hooda

Apr 30, 2023 01:55 PM IST

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh claimed that 90 per cent of the athletes and their guardians from Haryana trust the WFI.

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, facing sexual harassment charges by female wrestlers, on Sunday claimed that 90 per cent of the athletes and their guardians from Haryana trust the organisation, while only one wrestling family continues to protest at Delhi's Jantar Mantar.

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh during an interaction with the media in Gonda on Saturday, (PTI)
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh during an interaction with the media in Gonda on Saturday, (PTI)

Singh also claimed that the girls who have levelled allegations against him belonged to the same ‘akhada’ led by Congress leader Deepender Hooda.

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"90 per cent of the athletes and their guardians from Haryana trust the Wrestling Federation of India. A few families and the girls who have levelled allegations belonged to the same 'akhada'...The patron of that 'akhada' is Deepender Hooda," the WFI chief said.

"...You don't get justice from Jantar Mantar. If you want justice, you have to go to the Police, Court. They never did that until now. We will accept whatever the court decides..," Singh added.

Political support poured in for the wrestlers, with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra among politicians visiting Jantar Mantar to express solidarity on Saturday. Representatives of various regional and national political parties, farmers’ unions, and community leaders have been coming to the protest throughout the week.

Also Read: ‘Both of you are…': Congress leader slams Babita Phogat, Smriti Irani over wrestlers' protest

When reporters asked Singh about why the Samajwadi Party chief stayed away from the issue while other opposition leaders have extended support to the protesting wrestlers, the BJP MP said, “Akhilesh Yadav knows the truth. We know each other since childhood. 80 per cent of the wrestlers in Uttar Pradesh belong to families with the Samajwadi Party ideology. They call me 'Netaji'. They say how their Netaji is.”

Now focus on their practice: Yogeshwar Dutt

Former Indian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, a part of the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) seven-member committee to probe the wrestlers' allegations, said that FIRs have been registered and now the grapplers should focus on their practice.

The Delhi Police on Friday registered two FIRs against WFI president Singh over allegations of sexual harassment and exploitation of female wrestlers by him. Top Indian grapplers such as Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and many other wrestlers are involved in the protest against the WFI chief. Over the last seven days, the wrestlers have slept and trained at the protest site near Jantar Mantar in the national capital.

"The wrestlers should have taken this step 3 months ago. FIR has been registered, now the wrestlers should focus on their practice. Even the prime minister does not have the right to punish only the court does," Dutt told news agency ANI.

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