Babita Phogat included in Oversight Committee: Wrestlers raised objection; WFI was formed to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment on the President

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  • Vinesh Phogat VS WFI; Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh Sexual Harassment Case Babita Phogat Joins Oversight Committee Panel

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The Union Sports Ministry has included Babita Phogat in the Oversight Committee constituted to investigate and conduct the work on the allegations of sexual harassment against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

The ministry told on Wednesday that now there are 6 members in the Oversight Committee. Babita Phogat has been included in this. Now the committee has the names of MC Mary Kom, Khel Ratna Yogeshwar Dutt, Dronacharya awardee Trupti Murgunde, TOPS CEO Rajagopalan and Radha Sriman.

Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, who led the wrestlers who staged a sit-in in Delhi against the WFI President on January 24 last week, objected by tweeting.

Wrestlers allege – did not take opinion from us
Vinesh and Poonia tweeted together at 3 pm, while Sakshi tweeted alone at 3:40 pm. The three wrestlers wrote – We were assured that we would be consulted before the formation of the Oversight Committee. It is very sad that we were not even consulted before the formation of this committee.

All the three wrestlers also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur in their tweets.

Vinesh Phogat also made two tweets on Tuesday morning before questioning the Oversight Committee of the Sports Ministry.

Vinesh Phogat also made two tweets on Tuesday morning before questioning the Oversight Committee of the Sports Ministry.

Sports Ministry formed an oversight committee headed by Mary Kom
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur held a meeting with the wrestlers protesting against the WFI president on January 20 at his official residence in New Delhi. After this meeting which lasted till late night, Anurag Thakur came in front of the media along with the wrestlers and said that the Sports Ministry will form a committee to investigate the entire controversy, which will submit its report in 4 weeks. Brij Bhushan Singh will not look after the work of WFI till the completion of the investigation of the committee.

On the third day of this press conference, on January 23, Anurag Thakur announced the names of its members while informing about the formation of a five-member Oversight Committee. The committee was headed by world champion boxer Mary Kom while its members include Olympic medalist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, Dronacharya awardee Trupti Murgunde, TOPS CEO Rajagopalan and Radha Sriman.

Anurag Thakur said that this committee will look after the work of WFI. Now the wrestlers have raised questions on the absence of any discussion regarding the formation of this oversight committee of the Sports Ministry.

Wrestler Geeta Phogat’s entry in controversy
‘Dangal girl’ Geeta Phogat also entered the controversy after tweets related to the oversight committee of the three wrestlers. Geeta Phogat tweeted at 4.18 pm on Tuesday tagging the PMO, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur. Geeta wrote- I request the Honorable Prime Minister of the country, all the sisters and daughters of our country are looking towards you with lots of hopes and expectations. If all of us sisters and daughters do not get justice, then it will be a great misfortune for the history of the country.

Significantly, Geeta and her sister Babita are popularly known as ‘Phogat Sisters’. Babita Phogat has joined BJP. Babita Phogat had also reached there when the wrestlers started a sit-in against the WFI president at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and claimed that the central government would resolve the dispute very soon.

Bajrang supports Arjuna Awardee coach’s allegations
Bajrang Punia also made the first tweet at 11:39 am on Tuesday. In this, he has supported the allegations of Arjuna Awardee wrestling coach Kripashankar Bishnoi. Coach Bishnoi has said in his allegations that there are many problems in wrestling, I had also complained, but there was no hearing.

On December 17, 2022, Bishnoi had given information to the Wrestling Federation of India through mail including the names of 28 referees and called them novices. He also raised questions on the new rules of wrestling, but it was not taken into account. When he lodged an objection regarding the rules, he was removed.

Bishnoi had said that the favorites are being benefited here. Players have suffered a lot because Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary of the Federation, decides by looking at your face that what is your age? They do not accept birth certificates. The rule of birth certificate has come into force only 3-4 years ago. If a player gets it made, it is considered wrong.

What happened so far in the WFI-Wrestlers dispute, read in 6 points…

1. 18 January Wrestlers started picketing at Delhi Jantar Mantar. In which Vinesh Phogat wept and alleged that Federation President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and the coach sexually harass women wrestlers in the National Camp. Some coaches have been sexually harassing for years. Brijbhushan used to stay in the players’ hotel. which is against the rules. He even used to keep his room on the same floor where the female wrestlers stay. He deliberately kept his room open. After the defeat in Tokyo Olympics, the WFI president called me a fake coin. mentally tortured. I used to think about killing myself every day.

2. 18 January Sangh President Brij Bhushan came forward only. He said issues come to the fore when new rules are brought in. The wrestlers sitting on strike have not participated in any national tournament after the Olympics. He said that there was no harassment of any kind. If it has happened, I will hang myself. Describing the dharna as sponsored, he told Haryana Congress Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda behind it. He had said that now these players are not eligible to play even at the national level. Also, they want to establish their supremacy over wrestling. That’s why it’s all done.

3. 19 January Sports Minister Anurag Thakur held a meeting. He talked to the players for about four and a half hours and asked them to wait for the reply of the President of the Wrestling Association. Various assurances were given to the wrestlers. But the wrestlers were not satisfied with the talks. During that time he demanded that the WFI President be removed. After this, he talked about disbanding the wrestling association.

4. 20 January After talking to the Sports Minister, the players again started a sit-in at Jantar Mantar. Now players from all over Haryana started arriving here in support of the players. Even the Khaps of Haryana extended their support to the dharna. 7 Khaps from Charkhi Dadri marched to Delhi in support. Gradually the crowd started increasing at the protest site. From here the agitating players announced that they will not join any camp till justice is served. Nor will they participate in any competition. Now they will fight for the rights of sports and players.

5. On 21 January Seeing the growing movement, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) formed an inquiry committee. Whose chairman PT Usha made Mary Kom the chairman of the committee. Instructions were given to investigate by forming a committee of 7 members. The committee includes boxer Mary Kom, archer Dola Banerjee, badminton player Alaknanda Ashok, freestyle wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, Indian Weightlifting Federation President Sahdev Yadav and two lawyers.

6. On 21 January Anurag Thakur held a meeting again. In the late night meeting that lasted for 7 hours, the Sports Ministry decided to form an oversight committee. This committee will look after the work of the wrestling association till the investigation is completed. The committee will also investigate the allegations. Olympic medalist boxer MC Mary Kom has been made the chairman of this five-member committee. Giving information about this, Thakur said that the committee will submit its report within 4 weeks. After these assurances, the wrestlers called off the strike.

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