Amid sexual harassment allegations, Centre suspends all activities of WFI | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Amid sexual harassment allegations, Centre suspends all activities of WFI

By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
Jan 21, 2023 11:18 PM IST

Earlier in the day, the ministry suspended WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar, a fallout of the grapplers' allegations of sexual harassment and corruption against the sports body's chief.

The sports ministry on Saturday suspended all activities of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) until an Oversight Committee is “formally appointed and takes over the day-to-day activities”. The Centre's move comes amid sexual harassment accusations against the its president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. This will also include the suspension of ongoing ranking competition and the return of entry fees taken from participants for any ongoing activities, the government said, as quoted by news agency ANI.

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh (Photo by AFP)
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh (Photo by AFP)

Earlier in the day, the ministry suspended WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar, a fallout of the grapplers' allegations of sexual harassment and corruption against the sports body's chief. It also cancelled the Open championship, which was to begin in Sharan's UP stronghold of Gonda.

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Also Read | WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar suspended by Sports Ministry

The WFI has rejected all allegations made by the protesting group of wrestlers against Brij Bhushan Singh, and claimed that the agitation was motivated by a “hidden agenda to dislodge the current management”.

“The WFI, in particular, under the sitting president has always acted keeping the best interests of wrestlers in mind,” it said.

Also Read | Under-fire Brij Bhushan says will attend Sunday’s Wrestling Federation AGM

A group of 30 wrestlers, including Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, world championship medallists Vinesh Phogat, Sarita Mor, Sangeeta Phogat, Satyawart Malik, Jitender Kinha and CWG medallist Sumit Malik, had staged a sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi earlier this week.

The grapplers, however, called off their protest last night after getting assurances from the government that their grievances would be addressed, the first step of which was the stepping aside of under-fire Brij Bhushan.

The allegations come months after the coach of the country's national cycling team was sacked following sexual harassment charges.

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