New Delhi, June 2
From quid-pro-quo unwelcome sexual advances to sexual assault,two FIRs filed against WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh reveal shocking details.
Demanding sexual favours in lieu of supplements and treatment costs,Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, allegedly groped the female wrestlers, touched them inappropriately during competitions, touched on buttocks without consent, and stalked the minor wrestler.
The female wrestlers alleged in the FIRs that he had been allegedly groping and molesting wrestlers since 2012 at various competitions in India and foreign countries, and in his office in New Delhi.
One of the Olympians had reportedly informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally about the sexual harassment by the WFI Chief and was assured of action.
“I had informed the Hon'ble Prime Minister about the repeated sexual, emotional, physiological, and physical trauma which was meted out upon me and other female wrestlers by the accused in connivance with his close aids, to which, the Hon'ble Prime Minister assured me that the Sports Ministry will look into such grievances and I (victim) will shortly be getting a call from the Ministry,” reads the FIR.
One of the wrestlers, in the FIR, said she had thoughts of committing suicide due to the mental trauma inflicted by the WFI President.
However, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct. On Wednesday, he issued a defiant statement, once again refuting all charges. "If a single allegation against me is proven, I will hang myself. If you (wrestlers) have any evidence, present it to the court, and I am ready to accept any punishment," he said.
The FIRs also revealed that the accused Brij Bhushan had told a wrestler that the federation was willing to bear the expenses for her treatment provided she gave in to his sexual advances.
In the absence of any Sports Code of Conduct in place, especially for female athletes, the WFI president would call the grapplers to his hotel room or office.
“He (WFI President) used to call girls to his room alone late at night, which clearly indicates his ill intentions. Since the accused was always on the lookout to engage us in inappropriate talk/gestures, all of the girls, including myself, collectively agreed to not to go alone for breakfast, lunch or dinner or for any other purposes for which we might have to leave the hotel room,” said one of the wrestlers in her complaint to the Delhi Police.
In the FIRs, one of the victims alleged, “I suddenly felt a hand on my buttock. I immediately looked back and to my horror, the accused had placed his hands on my buttock. I was stunned by the actions of the accused which were highly indecent and objectionable and without my consent.” This incident took place in Lucknow, last year, when the female grapplers stood to take a photograph.
One of the wrestlers, who won a gold medal at a multi-sporting event, said, “While I was lying down on the mat, the accused (Singh) came near me and to my shock and surprise leaned in and, in the absence of my coach, without seeking my permission pulled up my T-shirt, placed his hand on my breast and slid it down my stomach on the pretext of examining/checking my breathing and said that Main dekhna chahata hu teri sans kaisi chal rhi hai (I want to check your breathing).”
Another wrestler was allegedly sexually harassed in a similar manner in a foreign country for Olympic qualification in 2016. “One day, while I was out for dinner in the hotel restaurant, the accused person called me separately to his dinner table where he was sitting separately and to my utter shock and surprise and without my consent, placed his hand on my breast and groped me and then slid his hand down to my stomach. To my disbelief, the accused did not stop there and again moved his hand upwards to my breast. He groped my breast and then slid down his hand to my stomach and then back to my breast repeatedly for 3-4 times,” reads the FIR copy.
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