Wrestling for Justice
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Indian wrestlers continued their protests in the capital this week over the government’s inaction against the head of the country’s wrestling federation whom they accuse of sexual harassment, Al Jazeera reported Thursday.
For 10 days, the protesting athletes – including Olympic medalists – have been camping outside India’s parliament to demand the “immediate arrest” of Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, the president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
The wrestlers have accused Singh and a number of coaches of sexually harassing female athletes and financial misappropriation from the sport’s governing body.
Singh has denied all the allegations and has accused the demonstrators of being pawns of the opposition, which has been backing the wrestlers.
The issue initially began earlier this year when wrestlers demonstrated in New Delhi and accused Singh of sexual harassment. But athletes called off their protests after the government said it would set up an oversight committee to look into the allegations.
The committee completed a report into the matter in April but the findings were not made public, prompting wrestlers to demand the document’s release and action against Singh.
The situation has even prompted the Supreme Court to ask the police why they have not initiated a probe targeting the WFI president, calling the allegations “serious.” Authorities later informed the court they would investigate.
Meanwhile, demonstrators and their supporters have also criticized government officials and ministers for “trying to suppress” the issue.