Boxing master and Olympic medallist, the legend, Mary Kom will now be seen at the forefront, leading the ministry of sports’ Oversight Committee and upkeep the day-to-day affairs of the wrestling body amid the #MeToo row. On Saturday, the ministry had instructed the Wrestling Federation of India to eliminate “all ongoing activities with immediate effect”, which also includes the Ranking Tournament in Gonda, UP, Sharan’s major threshold.
It further suspended Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) assistant secretary Vinod Tomar, on the charges of sexual harassment and corruption against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Last week, union sports minister Anurag Thakur subtle discussion with wrestlers ideated an outcome of a an oversight committee, after long talks with Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Babita Phogat, among others.
“It has been decided that an oversight committee will be formed. Names for which will be announced tomorrow. The committee will complete its investigation within four weeks. The wrestlers put forward their demands. I have assured them that appropriate steps will be taken. All allegations of sexual harassment and financial misappropriation will be probed,” Thakur averred during a press conference on Saturday.
“Till the investigation is over, he (Singh) will step aside and co-operate with the investigation and the oversight committee will run the day-to-day affairs of WFI.”
Rio Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik, world championship medallist Sarita Mor, Sangeeta Phogat, Anshu Malik, Sonam Malik, Satyawart Malik, Jitender Kinha, Amit Dhankar and CWG medallist Sumit Malik were among the chunk of ace wrestlers who were a part of the non-violent protest at Jantar Mantar.
“It’s better to die once rather than slowly dying everyday. We are not able to sleep at night as we have no idea whether we are going to participate in the competition or not. Whether we will be going to the national camp or not. We doubt that these coaches and their supporters may spike our food and we may get positive during the doping test,” NDTV quoted the words of Vinesh Phogat during an interview.
“So we are worried about all these things. As the president Brij Bhushan ji was saying that he is innocent, I am telling you that we have sent numerous mails to him but he never replied to any of them. Now do we have to go to his room for each and everything?”
Vinesh, stated that several coaches over the years at a national camp in Lucknow have exploited and harassed female wrestlers, under the hold of the WFI President.
“Some coaches are close to the national federations. Those coaches have exploited young girls. Don’t know how many young girls have suffered due to them,” Vinesh averred.
“I know at least 10-20 women wrestlers who have told me about the sexual exploitation they faced at the hands of (the) WFI President. They told me their stories. I can’t take their names now but I can definitely reveal the names if we get to meet the Prime Minister and the Home Minister of the country,” Vinesh said.
“I have received death threats from people who are close to the WFI President. If anything happens to any of us sitting here, only the WFI President will be responsible.”