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ABVP backs wrestlers protesting against the WFI president over sexual harassment claims

The student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), has come out in support of the wrestlers protesting against BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over claims of sexual harassment.

“Sportspeople are the pride and glory of the nation. “The ABVP demands that the government appoint a high-level committee to address the legitimate demands and challenges of the protesting players at Jantar Mantar and immediately settle their issues,” the group said in a statement.

Underscoring that the players had delivered accolades to the country, the ABVP National General Secretary stated late on Thursday, “The government would have to respond swiftly on the requests of players who have brought glories to the country in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. The government must investigate and clarify the points made during the protests. Facts-based action must be done in the best interest of the players. Various sports federations have been accused in the past, which is not ideal. The government and the Ministry of Sports should carefully consider the issues mentioned and come to a conclusion so that athletes experience no problems and can play at full vigour.”

Wednesday, the most decorated female wrestlers in India, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, accused Singh of sexual harassment. Addressing the media on behalf of the allegedly exploited female wrestlers, Vinesh Phogat, the nation’s sole two-time World Championship medalist, stated, “Wrestlers have been sexually assaulted at national camps by coaches and the WFI president, Brij Bhushan Sharan. A number of coaches at national camps have sexually harassed female wrestlers for years. The WFI president also commits sexual harassment.

The wrestlers have been staging a protest at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

Late on Thursday, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur met with the wrestlers, while Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president and former sprinter PT Usha urged them to “come up and share their issues” with the organisation. Usha tweeted, “We will guarantee a thorough probe to ensure justice.”

The WFI has resolved to conduct an emergency meeting of its general council in Ayodhya to discuss the claims, according to assistant secretary Vinod Tomar.

Earlier in the day, the sit-in protest venue in Delhi was crowded with international wrestlers and dangal pehelwans from Haryana, UP, and Rajasthan, as well as farmer activist Narendra Tau, in response to Olympic bronze medalist Bajrang Punia’s Instagram request for support the night before.

On Wednesday, while sharing the podium with Vinesh and endorsing the charges, India’s lone Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik stated, “We have only come to save them. We are battling for their benefit. When the moment is appropriate, we will speak up. We would provide the names of people who were exploited to whoever is conducting the investigation.”

Singh informed the media, in response to the allegations, “Is anyone claiming that the WFI sexually assaulted a wrestler? Only Vinesh has made this statement. Has anyone come out claiming sexual harassment? Even if only one wrestler comes out to allege sexual harassment, I am prepared to be hanged that day.”


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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