Vinesh Phogat Alleges WFI President Sexually Harassed Female Wrestlers, Coaches

Image credit: Twitter/@Phogat_Vinesh - Sakshi Post

New Delhi: India’s top wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Sumit Malik and Bajrang Punia held a protest here on Wednesday against the Wresting Federation of India (WFI) President and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh alleging sexual harassment and requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his removal.

Staging a dharna with fellow wrestlers at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, the 28-year-old Vinesh Phogat alleged that the BJP MP has been sexually exploiting female wrestlers for many years. Nearly 30 wrestlers participated in the anti-WFI dharna. 

Later, Phogat clarified that she has not faced such exploitation but she wanted to raise the voice for other aspiring wrestlers and woman coaches who suffer sexual harassment from some coaches. Phogat, a world championship medallist and Olympian, also claimed that she had received death threats for raising the issue with the Prime Minister when she met him after the Tokyo Games. 

“I know at least 10-12 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 Phogat told reporters. 

Meanwhile, WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan dismissed the allegations and said the protest reeks of conspiracy. He said the protesting wrestlers were not ready to give trials or fight at the national level. 

“It is alleged that the federation is acting like a dictator. Neither will you give trial, nor will you fight at the national level. The problem is when the federation makes the rules. These players, who are sitting on dharna today, not even a single one of them fought in the national,” Brij Bhushan said. 

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