New Delhi, June 7
The protesting wrestlers on Wednesday agreed to suspend their agitation till June 15 after the government assured them of filing a chargesheet against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accused of sexually harassing women players, by then and holding the elections to the sports body by the end of the month.
Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik met Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, who invited them for a meeting to break the deadlock, three days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah met them and discussed their demands. After the meeting that lasted over five hours, Malik and Punia told reporters that they had also been assured that the FIRs lodged against them would be withdrawn. The protesting wrestlers and several of their supporters were booked for violation of law and order on May 28 when they marched towards the new Parliament building without permission.
Among takeaways, wfi chief won’t fight
- Brij Bhushan and his aides won’t contest the WFI poll
- A new woman-headed complaints panel to be formed
- Till poll are held, 2 women coaches to be added to IOA
- Players to be consulted to get ‘best people to run WFI’
- Security for players, if needed
‘No word on arrest’, Vinesh skips meet
- Vinesh Phogat was conspicuous by her absence at the meeting with Anurag Thakur, leading to speculation that she was unhappy as the govt appeared non-committal on the arrest of Brij Bhushan
In another key decision, the government also agreed not to allow Brij Bhushan, who has completed three terms as president, and his associates to contest the WFI elections. Brij Bhushan, who first became the WFI president in 2012, is already not eligible to contest the elections as per the Sports Code.
Thakur said, “The wrestlers suggested that the chargesheet be filed by June 15, the WFI elections be held by June 30 and a woman-headed internal complaints committee be formed… all these proposals were agreed to unanimously.”
Till the elections were held, two women coaches would be added to the Indian Olympics Association ad-hoc committee that was running the WFI affairs to look into the technical aspects, Thakur said.
Apart from Bajrang and Sakshi, the meeting was attended by Satyawart Kadian, Jitender Kinha and a few coaches. Vinesh Phogat conspicuously missed the crucial meeting, leading to speculation that she was against the understanding. It is believed the sticky issue of Brij Bhushan’s arrest did not dominate the discussion as the wrestlers are learnt to have been told by Shah that the arrest would only happen once the investigation was over. (With PTI inputs)
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