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'Is this the standard of your reporters?': Vinesh Phogat calls out news agency for ‘heavily misquoted’ interview

By, New Delhi
Jun 11, 2023 01:29 PM IST

Both Reuters – the news agency in question – and Rupam Jain, the reporter, are yet to respond to Phogat's allegations.

Wrestler Vinesh Phogat has alleged she was ‘heavily misquoted’ by Reuters in an 'on-record' interview, which, according to the news agency, is her first since wrestlers protesting against the national federation chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh were evicted by Delhi Police from their Jantar Mantar protest site, on May 28.

Also Read | Two wrestlers asked to give photo, audio, video proof against WFI chief: Report

Vinesh Phogat (Image courtesy: PTI)

“@Reuters journalist @rupamjn interviews me and publishes heavily misquoted story. When I try to argue that she has misquoted me on various occasions in the story, she threatens that ‘it’s not a Hindi newspaper that I will change whatever you want. Is this the standard of your reporters?” Phogat tweeted at 11:25pm on Saturday.

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Phogat, however, did not mention the ‘misquote(s)’ she was referring to. Both Reuters and Rupam Jain, the reporter, are yet to respond to the Commonwealth and Asiad gold medalist's post.

Rupam Jain's Twitter wall (Image courtesy: twitter.com/rupamjn)
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The story, titled ‘Top Indian wrestler accuses government of silence over sexual harassment probe’, on the other hand, acknowledges an amendment was made to the original copy: to a quote in paragraph 5.

A screenshot from the Reuters interview.

What did the story say?

In the interview, the grappler reiterated her previous charge that she had informed prime minister Narendra Modi in 2021, that Singh, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief, who is facing allegations of sexual harassment, sexually harassed several female wrestlers, including minors.

Also Read | No case of hate speech made out against protesting wrestlers: Delhi Police

“The PM's silence over the issue hurt me…I have only felt a deep sense of humiliation since I mustered the courage to protest. It's been emotionally draining, the PM has not said anything about the case,” she is quoted as saying.

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Sports minister Anurag Thakur, on the other hand, was informed about Singh's alleged actions in ‘greater details’, Phogat further said, claiming that Thakur was ‘just not interested’ in listening to her concerns, and was busy with his phone throughout their meeting.

Also Read | Baahubal: Wrestlers on compromise claim; Complainant taken to WFI office

Singh, who like Modi and Thakur is a parliamentarian from the ruling BJP, has repeatedly denied the sexual harassment allegations. He is being investigated by the Delhi Police, who have filed 2 separate cases against him, including one under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

What is the current status?

As many as 7 female athletes, including a minor, have accused the BJP MP of making sexual advances. The non-arrest of Singh is the biggest bone of contention between the Union government and wrestlers, whose agitation is being led by Phogat and Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, and who have agreed to suspend their stir till June 15.

Also Read | ‘Neither compromised nor defeated’: Wrestlers warn restarting stir if…

In a meeting with Thakur earlier this week, the athletes were assured that the police will complete their probe before and file a charge sheet by the said date.

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