New Delhi, May 2
Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik have accepted that the fight to get justice in the sexual harassment case against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh would be a long-drawn-out affair. The protesting wrestlers said they have decided to put the other charges, including financial irregularities against the WFI, on the back burner because the issue of female athletes’ safety is paramount.
Our sport tests us both mentally and physically. The struggle and anxiety before a competition is very different. We do not have the same feeling here. This is no struggle. We are fighting for justice. Sakshi Malik
The wrestlers once again questioned why Singh has not yet been called in for questioning, especially when one of the alleged offences is abusing a minor. The Delhi Police had registered two FIRs on April 28.
“The Delhi Police have not done anything so far,” Bajrang said.
Sakshi said: “The victims’ statements are yet to be recorded. What kind of an investigation is this? Brij Bhushan is yet to be summoned.”
The duo said that training for the Asian Games was not even on their minds currently. “Brij Bhushan has retired us already, and we are ready to sacrifice everything to get justice,” Bajrang said. “We know that till the time either he or his people are in the federation we will not be allowed to compete. So we want a complete clean-up of the body. Singh and his people should leave,” he added.
‘Usha, Mary are politicians’
Sakshi and Bajrang said that they were hurt by the comments of former sprinter PT Usha, who in her new avatar as the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president criticised the wrestlers for continuing the protest. IOA joint secretary Kalyan Chaubey had alluded that the protest was harming the country’s image.
“We are much better than people like Mary Kom and PT Usha,” Sakshi said. “If former athletes such as them do not support us, it’s a matter of shame. We do not want them to sit here with us. We just want them to support us,” she added.
“I have been hearing since my childhood that politicians cannot be trusted as they turn on their families. They (Usha and Mary) have proved it. These are the people I grew up watching and aspired to become, but I have learnt my lessons the hard way,” the Rio Olympics bronze medal winner added.
Bajrang said: “PT Usha must realise that she got this position because of her sports achievements, but she has become a politician now.”
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