Anurag Thakur, India’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, stated via Twitter that the national government is open to having a “discussion” with protesting wrestlers.
“The administration is open to talking with the wrestlers about their concerns. For the same, I have once more invited the wrestlers,” Thakur said on social media Wednesday night after midnight.
The declaration was made four days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah hosted a group of wrestlers who were protesting at his official residence in the city.
Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, as well as a number of coaches, reportedly attended the meeting, which reportedly lasted more than two hours and finished after midnight. “There was a meeting with the Home Minister. I can’t comment further,” Bajrang had told the sources.
Several of the best wrestlers in the nation, including the bronze medalist from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, have been protesting in the nation’s capital for more than a month now. They are calling for the arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the head of the Wrestling Federation of India, on charges of sexual harassment and misconduct.
As this publication reported on Friday, two FIRs were filed against Singh by the Delhi Police on April 28. These two FIRs detail close to 15 instances of sexual harassment, including 10 instances of inappropriate touching, molestation, which includes running hands over breasts and touching the navel, and several instances of intimidation, including stalking.
One Olympian, a Commonwealth gold medalist, an international referee, and a state-level coach are among the 125 potential witnesses from four states whose statements have been taken down by Delhi Police, according to some unknown sources, who also claimed that they have corroborated the claims of at least three female wrestlers.
The main topic brought up by the wrestlers at their meeting with Shah was the current state of the investigation into these charges against Singh, as we have learned. The wrestlers emphasised their need for a prompt filing of a substantial chargesheet. It is rumoured that the Home Minister stated that the proper procedure must be followed.