Praising courage of female wrestlers who have come out in the open with allegations of sexual misconduct against the WFI chief, Mahavir Phogat said, “It is not easy to raise your voice against WFI”
Veteran wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, whose story of giving India two female Olympians made it to the celluloid in the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal on Thursday joined the ongoing wrestlers’ protests against the functioning of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) at Jantar Mantar. He lent his support to the agitating protesters led by his niece Vinesh Phogat, who made allegations of sexual and mental harassment and abuse of power against WFI chief and BJP Kaiserganj MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
“So many women wrestlers have turned out and joined protests. This is proof enough that their allegations are credible. Brij Bhushan said if these allegations are proven true then he will hang himself. He should keep the noose ready when the truth is out,” he told The New Indian.
The BJP MP had earlier said that he would hang himself if the allegations of sexual harassment against him were proven right.
It should be noted that his daughter Babita Phogat, who is a gold medalist in the commonwealth games is a BJP leader who acted as a mediator between the protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar. “The government stands with them and all wrestlers are together in this,” she told the media.
Praising the courage of the female wrestlers who have come out in the open with allegations of sexual misconduct against the WFI chief, Phogat said, “It is not easy to raise your voice against WFI. They have put their career at stake. These players are intimidated that they will be made to sit out tournaments if they raised their voice. They are very courageous”
Phogat senior highlighted the fact that ever since Singh took over as the WFI chief this allegation of misconduct, intimidation and threat has begun.
Narrating the ordeal of female wrestlers during a press briefing from the protest site, Vineet Phogat said, “Something extremely wrong has happened to women wrestlers. Several women wrestlers can vouch for this. I challenge it, if Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh sits with me for 2 minutes and looks into his eyes, everything will be proven. UP’s women’s wrestling has been totally ruined because of such exploitation by the Federation. Today I got calls from wrestlers from Kerala who said they have also faced harassment.” she said.
The protesting wrestlers said that they are not just seeking the WFI’s resignation. “We want WFI as a sports body to be dissolved. What’s the point of resignation if the same people keep running the affairs,” said Bajrang Punia.