India’s top wrestlers including Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Bajrang Punia and world championships medallist Vinesh Phogat are upset with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and they expressed it by staging a protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. Other top wrestlers in the country also joined Punia and Phogat at Jantar Mantar. The likes of Anshu Malik and Sangeeta Phogat also joined in while tweeting as well.
While there was no clarity on the reason behind the wrestlers being disappointed, Vinesh Phogat dropped a bombshell on Wednesday evening. The champion wrestler accused the WFI President, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has sexually harassed many girls and also claimed that Bhushan Singh called Phogat a ‘khotta sikka’ after her loss at Tokyo Olympics. Phogat also claimed that WFI coaches harass their female counterparts.
"Coaches are harassing women and some coaches, who are favourites of the Federation, misbehave with women coaches as well. They sexually harass girls. The WFI president has sexually harassed many girls,” Phogat said on the sidelines of the sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar.
"After my defeat in the Tokyo Olympics, WFI president called me a 'khota sikka'. The Federation mentally tortured me. I would entertain thoughts of ending my life every day. If anything happens to any wrestler, the WFI president will be to blame," she added.
"When we went to the Olympics, we did not have physio or a coach. After we started raising our voices, we were threatened," added another wrestler. Meanwhile, Bajrang Punia demanded that the current management is sacked and replaced. "We hope Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and Home Minister (Amit Shah) will support us in our quest," added Punia.
Don’t know what’s it about: WFI Assistant Secretary
Amid all these allegations and protests, WFI Assistant Secretary, Vinod Tomar said that he is unaware of what is it all about. He added that once the wrestlers approach the Federation, all the issues will be resolved and sorted out.
"Do not know what this is all about. However, we came to know from the letter to the WFI president that some wrestlers are sitting in protest. I have come to ask them about their problem," Tomar was quoted saying by ANI.
(With ANI Inputs)