Last Updated: January 22, 2023, 13:52 IST
Wrestlers Protest LIVE: Amid grave allegations of sexual harassment against Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the Union Sports Ministry on Saturday suspended assistant secretary Vinod Tomar. Besides, the ministry also directed the WFI to suspend “all ongoing activities with immediate effect”, including the Ranking Tournament in Gonda, UP, Sharan’s stronghold.
It was earlier said that the meeting of the Executive Committee and Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Wrestling Federation of India will be held in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. However, fresh reports have suggested that the meeting is cancelled.
All eyes are set on whether Brij Bhushan will tender his resignation from the post, now that he has been asked to step aside until the Oversight Committee probes charges against him.
On Saturday, WFI Categorically denied claims of sexual harassment against Brij Bhushan, BJP MP from UP’s Kaisarganj. However, he has been ordered to step aside from the post and recluse himself from day to day activities.
The federation has also clarified that Brij Bhushan is neither a suspended or a terminated President. He is still a president who has reclused himself from duty.
Here are key updates you need to know:
- Wrestler Bajrang Punia took to Twitter to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President PT Usha and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur for their cooperation in the protests. Wrestlers have levelled sexual harassment allegations against Wrestlers Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
- WFI’s emergency general council meeting, scheduled for Sunday, was called off after the Sports Ministry directed it to suspend all ongoing activities owing to the various allegations against the sports body and its president.
- Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Saturday announced the formation of an oversight committee to probe the charges levelled by some of the country’s top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Ravi Dahiya, against Sharan and WFI.
- WFI will suspend all ongoing activities with immediate effect, unless the Oversight Committee is formally appointed and takes over the day to day functioning of WFI, a statement from the Sports Ministry read.
- According to sources, the ministry will announce the names of its oversight committee members on Sunday. The oversight committee of the ministry will have the powers to take all decisions on matters concerning Indian wrestling while also overseeing the day-to-day affairs of the federation.
- WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar was suspended by the Sports Ministry on Saturday, which also noted that his presence will be “detrimental to the development of this high-priority discipline”, a PTI report said.
- The aggrieved wrestlers had alleged that Tomar took bribes from athletes and was involved in financial corruption, helping him to build property worth crores.
- The ministry had sought an explanation from WFI over sexual harassment claims against Brij Bhushan. To this, WFI denied all the charges in its response to the government’s notice and asserted that “there is no scope for arbitrariness and mismanagement ” in the federation.
- The Indian Olympic Association had on Friday formed a seven-member committee of its own, headed by M C Mary Kom, to investigate the charges against Sharan. The IOA panel was constituted even as the wrestlers’ sit-in protest entered the third day.
- Boxer Mary Kom, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, archer Dola Banerjee and Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) president and IOA treasurer Sahdev Yadav, two advocates — Talish Ray and Shlok Chandra and former shuttler Alaknanda Ashok, constitute the 7-member panel.
- The meeting of the Executive Committee and Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Wrestling Federation of India will be held in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. According to reports, Brijbhushan Sharan Singh will take part in the meeting but will not chair it.
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