Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024


New Delhi:

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met protesting wrestlers at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar today to express solidarity with their demand for action against the alleged sexual harassment of women athletes by superiors. The wrestlers have been on a sit-in at Jantar Mantar demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on complaints of sexual harassment.

At the protest venue, the Congress general secretary hit out at the Delhi Police for not providing a copy of the First Information Report, or FIR, filed against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. 

“I don’t have any expectations from the PM (Narendra Modi), because if he is worried about these wrestlers, then why has he not talked to them or met them yet. Why the govt is trying to save him (Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh,” she said.

The Delhi Police on Friday filed two cases against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief after the Supreme Court ordered them to do so. One of the FIRs is over a complaint of sexual harassment by a minor, filed under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, which gives no scope for bail.

The Delhi Police will pursue the case actively, sources said.

But despite the assurance of police action, the wrestlers said they will continue their sit-in protest demanding the “immediate arrest” of the WFI chief.

“We respect Supreme Court’s order, but we don’t have faith in Delhi Police. This fight is not for an FIR. This fight is to punish people like him. He needs to be in jail and stripped of his portfolios,” the wrestlers said.

Earlier this week, Priyanka Gandhi had slammed the government, asking whether it wants to save the culprits in the matter.

The Congress general secretary had also said that the pleas of the sportspersons, who enhance the country’s honour, were being ignored, and asserted that “when the arrogance of a party and its leaders” is sky high, then such voices are crushed.

Congress leaders such as Bhupinder Hooda, Deepender Hooda and Udit Raj had also joined the protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar earlier this week to express solidarity with them.

Mr Singh, who is also a BJP MP, welcomed the Supreme Court’s order to file the police case into allegations of sexual harassment against him.

Mr Singh told reporters the wrestlers should have waited for the report of a committee that was tasked to look into the matter before they decided to sit on a protest in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.

“I am happy with the judiciary’s decision. The Delhi Police will investigate the allegations and I am ready to cooperate with them in every possible way. No one is bigger than the judiciary in this country. The order has come to file an FIR (first information report). The government had also said it had no objection to filing an FIR. I am not larger than the Supreme Court. I welcome the order,” Mr Singh told reporters.


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