26-Sep-2023  Srinagar booked.net


‘Touched Minor Wrestler’s Breasts’: What Does FIR Against WFI Chief Say



New Delhi: After six months of protest and Supreme Court’s intervention, two FIRs have been filed against President of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment.

Seven women wrestlers have levelled sexual harassment allegations on Singh including a minor.

According to the FIR filed under the POCSO Act, Singh allegedly held the minor wrestler tightly during the 2022 Ranchi National Games while pretending to get a picture clicked. He then allegedly touched her inappropriately.

“He had forcefully pulled the girl towards him and held her so tightly that she couldn’t move or free herself from his grip”.

“Mr. Singh further deliberately slid his hand down her shoulder and brushed his hand against her breasts,” her father said, in the FIR.

 According to her father, Mr. Singh told the victim to stay in touch with him. “If you support me, I will support you. Stay in touch with me,” Mr. Singh told the victim, to which she responded, “Sir, I’ve come this far on my own and I’ll work hard to go ahead”.

Another wrestler, in the FIR, said Mr. Singh first sexually assaulted her in August last year. “When I was training, the accused called me separately, to which I refused since the accused was also touching other girls inappropriately.

However, he called me again, pulled up my t-shirt and touched my belly on the pretext of checking my breath,” the wrestler said.

“He used to forcefully, and against the wishes of the female athletes, try to separate them from their group and then ask inappropriate personal questions which we were not comfortable answering,” she said.

The woman in the FIR asserted, “It is necessary to stop the accused from committing more acts of sexual harassment and exploitation and I request you register a case against him and put him behind bars.”

Another wrestler in the FIR narrated a similar ordeal. While getting a team photograph clicked, the wrestler, who was standing at the back, noticed somebody touching her inappropriately.

“The accused came and stood alongside me… To my shock and surprise, I suddenly felt a hand on my buttock. I immediately looked back and to my horror, it was the accused who had committed the act. I was stunned by the actions of the accused which were highly indecent and objectionable and without my consent. I immediately tried to move away from that spot in order to protect myself from further inappropriate touching by the accused. However, when I tried moving away, I was forcibly held by the accused. Somehow I managed to get free,” the woman said.

“He also offered to buy me supplements which I may require as an athlete in exchange for sexual favours,” another wrestler alleged.

Another wrestler, in the police FIR claimed that she was sexually harassed by the accused, when she sustained an injury during a championship.

The wrestler was called to the federation office, where Mr. Singh had allegedly told her that the federation will bear all expenses pertaining to the treatment, “provided she gives in to his sexual advances.

Wrestlers’ protest started in January this year, and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia, two-time world championships medallist Vinesh Phogat and Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik are the protest’s faces.