Olympic medal-winning Indian wrestlers have accused the head of their sport’s governing body and its coaches of sexually harassing women athletes.
Hundreds of wrestlers from across the country have joined the protest in Delhi following the allegations made against Indian Wrestling Federation President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Mr Singh, a six-time Member of Parliament of the ruling BJP party, has denied all the allegations against him and called them a conspiracy.
He said the players had no evidence to support their claims and were open to any kind of investigation.
India’s Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has met some wrestlers and given the sport’s governing body until Saturday to respond to the allegations.
The protesting wrestlers are demanding Mr. Singh’s resignation and a complete restructuring of the federation.
The wrestlers have also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Supreme Court of India to intervene.
Vinesh Phogat, the country’s only double World Championship medallist, said she was not a sufferer herself, but claimed to know at least five or six athletes who were, and said her There are proofs.
He said that if we do not get a satisfactory answer, we will file a criminal complaint.
She added: “If Olympians are saying that something has gone wrong, don’t doubt us. I say with great shame that if girls like us go through sexual harassment, no woman in India is safe. I would say no girl should be born.India
“Our lives are in danger, we are afraid to go home and worry about what might happen to us.”
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In a letter to the president of the Indian Olympic Association, Ms. Phogat claimed that she was mentally harassed and tortured by Mr. Singh after being denied a medal, and said that she had taken her own life as a result. have thought
Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Bajrang Punia also joined the protest, telling reporters: “Now we are getting death threats for speaking out. This is to save the future of the sport and the future of women wrestlers.” It’s a protest. It’s not about politics, it’s a fight to end.”
Rio bronze medalist Sakshi Malik said, “I am not afraid of anything. My younger sisters have risked their careers to come here to protest. There is no politics here. We want a new beginning for wrestling.” .
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