Fri. Jun 21st, 2024


Mega Farmers' Meet Today To Discuss Wrestlers' #MeToo Protest: 10 Facts

New Delhi:
Several wrestlers continue to protest against former Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan despite calls from the government to trust the ongoing police probe. Farmers today will hold a ‘mahapanchayat’ to discuss the issue.

Here are 10 facts about the big story:

  1. The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has said that a grand meeting of all khaps will be held in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar today to discuss the wrestlers’ protest, who have levelled sexual harassment charges against embattled WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

  2. BKU leader Naresh Tikait says that several representatives of different khaps and their heads from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab Rajasthan, and Delhi will be participating in the mahapanchayat.

  3. Mr Tikait played a key role in persuading some of India’s best wrestlers to not immerse their medals in Ganga on Tuesday.

  4. Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat went to Haridwar on Tuesday and threatened to immerse their medals in the river due to the lack of action against the WFI chief. They refrained from doing so after being convinced by the farmer leaders and given a five-day deadline to the police.  

  5. The wrestlers have been on the warpath since January, demanding action against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, whom they accused of sexually harassing seven athletes, including a minor.

  6. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a BJP MP, has denied any wrongdoing and asserted that he would hang himself if the allegations against him were proven.

  7. “If a single allegation against me is proven, I will hang myself. If you (wrestlers) have any evidence, present it to the Court, and I am ready to accept any punishment,” he said.

  8. Union sports minister Anurag Thakur yesterday accused the protesting wrestlers of “changing goalposts” and in the government’s first comment on the issue in recent days, reiterated that they should not take any step that “hurts the sport or other athletes”.

  9. “The athletes themselves had said that the platform is not for doing politics. But later political parties came and went and shared this platform,” the minister told reporters, referring to visits by opposition leaders to the wrestlers’ protest site at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.  

  10. Internationally, the United World Wrestling (UWW), the sport’s governing body, issued a statement criticising the “lack of results” in the investigations against Mr Singh. The UWW reminded the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) of its promise to hold fresh elections for the WFI within 45 days and warned that failure to do so may lead to the suspension of the federation.


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