‘Shocked…shameful’: Swati Maliwal meets wrestlers protesting against WFI president

By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
Jan 18, 2023 08:52 PM IST

Earlier this evening, Olympic medalist Vinesh Phogat claimed that at least 10-12 women wrestlers have complained of “sexual exploitation” at the hands of the WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal on Wednesday reached Jantar Mantar to meet the protesting wrestlers amid sexual harassment allegations against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Earlier this evening, Olympic medalist Vinesh Phogat claimed that at least 10-12 women wrestlers have complained of “sexual exploitation” at the hands of the WFI chief.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal at Jantar Mantar, Delhi(ANI)
DCW chief Swati Maliwal at Jantar Mantar, Delhi(ANI)

“I'm shocked. The women who've taken India to great heights have assembled in Jantar Mantar to ask for justice. It's shameful,” Maliwal said.

During a media briefing after a four-hour-long dharna at Jantar Mantar, Phogat alleged that coaches who are WFI “favourites” often misbehave with women and harass them. She also accused the WFI chief Brij Bhushan Singh of sexually harassing girls and calling her a 'khota sikka' after her defeat at Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Also Read | Why are wrestlers, including Olympic medalists, protesting at Jantar Mantar?

“I know at least 10-12 women wrestlers who have told me about the sexual exploitation they faced at the hands of (the) WFI President. They told me their stories. I can't take their names now but I can definitely reveal the names if we get to meet the Prime Minister and the Home Minister of the country,” Phogat said.

Singh, who has been at the helm since 2011, is also a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Uttar Pradesh's Kaiserganj. He was elected as the WFI president for the third consecutive time in February 2019.

Also Read | ‘Will hang myself if found guilty’: WFI president denies Vinesh Phogat's sexual harassment accusations

Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, world championship medallists Vinesh Phogat, Sarita Mor, Sangeeta Phogat, Satyawart Malik, Jitender Kinha and CWG medallist Sumit Malik were among the 30 wrestlers protesting against the alleged “dictatorship” of the WFI president at the iconic Delhi location.

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