DCW issues notice to Delhi Police seeking WFI chief's arrest, wrestlers' release

May 28, 2023 07:17 PM IST

The dramatic detention of protesting wrestlers by Delhi Police on Sunday was condemned by several politicians who termed the act as “shameful.”

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Sunday issued notice to Delhi Police seeking the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh in connection with the sexual harassment case and the immediate release of wrestlers who were detained from the protest site earlier today. The police dragged away and detained the protesting wrestlers as they tried to march to the new Parliament House demanding the arrest of Singh, a BJP MP, over allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation.

Police personnel drag wrestler Sangeeta Phogat to detain her during the protest march from Jantar Mantar to New Parliament House.(ANI)
Police personnel drag wrestler Sangeeta Phogat to detain her during the protest march from Jantar Mantar to New Parliament House.(ANI)

The Delhi Police has filed two FIRs against Singh, one of which relates to allegations by the minor wrestler and has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, while the other is related to outraging modesty of adult women wrestlers.

In a letter to Commissioner of Police Sanjay Arora, DCW chief Swati Maliwal said she was deeply pained by the manhandling and detention of female wrestlers and their families protesting at Jantar Mantar.

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She noted that the Delhi Police has “failed to arrest” the lawmaker despite a minor girl alleging sexual harassment.

“In Delhi, every day around 6 cases of sexual assault are reported and in each case, Delhi Police attempts to arrest the accused person. Then why has Brij Bhushan Singh not been arrested till date? If this is not blatant injustice, what is?” Maliwal asked rhetorically.

“This apparent partisan attitude of Delhi Police which is being seen as siding with the accused parliamentarian has made a mockery of justice and forced the women wrestlers to sit and sleep on the streets of Delhi,” she said.

Referring to the viral videos and images of police action against the aggrieved grapplers, Maliwal said the “manner in which these women champions are being dragged on the streets by Delhi Police is extremely unbecoming of the force.”

Reminding Arora of the laurels these female wrestlers have earned for the nation on multiple national and international fora. including the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics, the DCW chief wrote, “By denying them justice and forcefully detaining them for raising their voice against sexual harassment, Delhi Police is demoralising the women and girls of this country against reporting cases of sexual harassment and fighting for justice.”

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