Wrestlers call off protest as Govt assures investigation into allegations of sexual harassment

(Last Updated On: January 23, 2023)

Guwahati: On Friday night, the protesting wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Ravi Dahiya, decided to end their protest after two rounds of talks with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.

The minister assured them that an oversight committee would be formed to look into the allegations of sexual harassment and financial misappropriation of funds that had been levelled against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and its chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

The members of the committee will be named on Saturday, and it will also monitor the day-to-day activities of the federation.

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The aggrieved wrestlers had earlier reached out to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) demanding a probe. In response, the IOA set up a seven-member committee, headed by M.C. Mary Kom, to investigate the charges.

The panel includes wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, archer Dola Banerjee and Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) president and IOA treasurer Sahdev Yadav.

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The wrestlers were also given assurances of safety and security by the government. However, it must be noted that the wrestlers have not yet provided strong evidence that suggests sexual harassment of women wrestlers. It remains to be seen what the outcome of the investigations will be.

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