Friday, June 2, 2023

Wrestlers stir: Cong, AAP demand arrest of BJP MP, removal from all posts of WFI

The Congress and Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday demanded that BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, against whom charges of sexual exploitation have been levelled by women grapplers, should be arrested immediately following an FIR against him and that he be removed from all posts to help ensure a fair investigation.
Addressing a press conference, Congress Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson Deepender Hooda said they welcome the Supreme Court decision which ordered the FIR against Singh.
“This is the first step towards getting justice in the case,” he said, adding that their demand is that he should be arrested immediately and removed from all posts of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Hooda, who was accompanied by former Olympian and Rajasthan MLA Krishna Punia, said the Delhi Police had registered two FIRs against Singh Friday night, but was yet to provide a copy of the case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Earlier, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, accompanied by Deepender Hooda, met the protesting players at Jantar Mantar here and expressed solidarity with them. She accused the central government of “protecting” WFI chief Singh.
Priyanka also called for the WFI chief’s removal to ensure that he cannot “exert pressure” and “destroy” the careers of the wrestlers. “I want to ask why so much is being done to protect this man. What does it say about our country if we cannot save our girls,” she said.
“Very serious allegations have been levelled against a BJP MP, who claims himself as a ‘Bahubali’ and on whom more than 40 cases are going on. When such serious charges are made against an MP of the ruling party, in such a situation we demand that Delhi Police should arrest this person immediately so that fair investigation can take place,” Deepender Hooda said.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also met the wrestlers, accused the Narendra Modi government of protecting Singh, against whom women wrestlers have levelled allegations of sexual harassment.
“Why is this man being safeguarded by the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi?” said Kejriwal, pointing out that the wrestlers had to stage a sit-in and knock on the doors of the Supreme Court just to register an FIR. “The entire party has come together to safeguard one man. If anybody from the BJP is found doing any criminal activity, nothing will happen to them,” the AAP chief said.
Amid rumours of his resigning and wrestlers accusing him of pressurising them to end protest and the Delhi Police of high-handedness, Singh finally spoke to the media saying it was orchestrated by a political-industrialist nexus.
Denying any plan to resign– a cosmetic move given the incumbent WFI board has been replaced by an ad hoc committee and Mr. Singh himself declaring he won’t contest the next elections – the strongman from Gonda said he is ready for “any kind of investigation”. “I’m not a criminal. Resigning means I have accepted their allegations,” the BJP MP from Kaiserganj told reporters at his residence in Bishnoharpur, Uttar Pradesh.


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