Wednesday, June 7, 2023

WFI chief thanks Akhilesh for not siding with protesting wrestlers

Says ready to resign if protesters go back

Embattled WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Sunday praised Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav for not associating himself with the ongoing protest by top wrestlers of the country, saying Yadav was “standing with the truth”.
Various political parties, including the Congress, AAP and others, have lend their support to the protesting wrestlers.
The Delhi Police had on Friday registered two FIRs against Singh on allegations of sexual harassment levelled by seven women wrestlers. While the first FIR pertained to allegations of a minor wrestler and was registered under the POCSO Act, the second was related to outraging modesty.
Talking to PTI here, the WFI president said on Sunday, “I want to thank the leader of Samajwadi party, Akhilesh Yadav, (for not siding with the protesting wrestlers). I know him since his childhood. I am elder to him. Though there are political differences between us, Akhilesh knows the truth”.
“… if there are 10,000 wrestlers in UP, out of them, 8,000 are from the Yadav community and they belong to the Samajwadi family, and hence know the truth,” he said.
Singh, who has remained defiant of not quitting his post, however, said he was ready to resign if it would make the protesters go back home and sleep peacefully.
“If they (protesters) will go back (to their home) and sleep peacefully after my resignation, I am ready to resign,” he said.
The BJP MP from Kaiserganj added that the protesters are mere “toys” in the hands of the Opposition.
“All these players have become toys of the Congress and other opposition parties. Their motive is political, not my resignation,” he said, adding that he is yet to receive a copy of the FIR registered against him.

Media is supporting Bhushan more than players: Protesting wrestlers

Wrestler Bajrang Punia with a budding athlete from Hisar during wrestlers’ protest at Jantar Mantar. (PTI)

The protesting wrestlers on Sunday accused the media of helping WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh more than the players, saying the newspersons should not give him the platform to speak.
Accused of sexual harassment of women wrestlers, the Wrestling Federation of India chief has vowed to fight against the charges and claimed that the athletes’ protest was politically motivated.
“The media is supporting Brij Bhushan more than the players. You see his criminal records. Does any player, sitting here, or players from other sports, have criminal record?” Bajrang asked during a media interaction.
The Tokyo Games bronze medallist sought to convey the message that it’s more difficult to win an Olympic medal than becoming a Member of Parliament in this country.
“The players win medals for the country, and he is questioning the medal winners. How many people become MPs in this country, and how many people win Olympic medals. To date, there are hardly 40 Olympic medallists, and thousands have become MPs,” he said.
Double World Championship medallist Vinesh Phogat said Brij Bhushan’s charge that the wrestlers are involved in politics is baseless.
“We are not involved in any politics. We speak straight from the heart and it connects, and that is why so many people are sitting here in our support.”
She also appealed to the media not to give Brij Bhushan a platform to speak.
7 women wrestlers provided security
The Delhi Police on Sunday provided security to all seven women wrestlers who have lodged complaints against Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, the president of Wrestling Federation of India. The Supreme Court had asked the Delhi Police to provide appropriate security to the victims who have levelled allegations against Singh.
The Delhi Police have also called all the women wrestlers to join the probe and get their 161 CrPC statement recorded so that they could decide the future course of action.


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