Who is BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh, wrestling body chief accused of sexual harassment
BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh, the chief of Wrestling Federation of India, is facing multiple sexual harassment allegations by a group of wrestlers.
Top wrestlers including Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik intensified their protest again on Sunday in Delhi against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is also the president of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and is facing sexual harassment allegations.
The Olympian wrestlers, protesting at the Jantar Mantar in the national capital, demanded that the government make public the oversight panel's investigation into the allegations against the MP from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh. They had raised the issue first in January, however, their attempt at seeking accountability was projected as a publicity stunt by Singh, who suggested that “they can’t win medals anymore….their careers are over hence...”.
Who is BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh?
The 66-year old BJP leader with a criminal history has been the WFI chief since 2012. Other than allegations of sexual harassment and mental torture, wrestlers including Bajrang Punia and Ravi Dahiya have called for an end to the ‘dictatorial’ ways of the six-time parliamentarian.
He entered the Lok Sabha in 1991 and faces multiple charges including attempt to murder, punishment for dacoity, causing disappearance of evidence among others, although he has not been convicted in any one of these.
Singh was also named in the controversial Babri mosque demolition case. In December 2021, a video of him publicly slapping an athlete at Ranchi had gone viral on social media, for which he remained unapologetic. The same year in January, he suspended a Railways coach for being “too animated” on the sidelines, during the national championships in Noida.
In August last year, he abruptly stopped the trials to pick India’s representation in the 59 kg category for the World Wrestling Championship just 54 seconds after it had begun. His reason was that a group of seers from Ayodhya, the chief guests at the event, was not invited to give blessings before beginning it.
A month before the wrestlers’ rebellion, Singh was acquitted by a MP-MLA court in UP’s Gonda district in December in a 29-year old case related to the attack on former UP minister in the Samajwadi Party government in 1993 due to lack of evidence.