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Jantar Mantar protest live: system playing with Players?

Role of Delhi Police in the Case of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh Vs wrestler



Jantar Mantar

The Delhi Police’s role in the case of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh Vs wrestler is under the scanner. Do they have any role?

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On Wednesday night, a shocking incident took place at Jantar Mantar, where some of India’s top wrestlers have been staging a peaceful protest against the alleged sexual harassment by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The wrestlers, who have won several medals for the country at international events, claimed that they were manhandled, abused, and assaulted by drunk policemen from the Delhi Police when they tried to bring some plank beds to the protest site.

The reason for bringing the beds was to cope with the heavy rainfall that had flooded the streets and made it difficult for the protesters to sleep. However, instead of helping them, a lone male policeman, identified as Dharmendra, started pushing and shoving them around, without any female officer present. Vinesh Phogat, one of the most prominent wrestlers in the group, alleged that Dharmendra had hit her brother Dushyant Phogat on the head with a stick, causing him to bleed profusely. She also said that another policeman had pushed her and Sangeeta Phogat.

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The scuffle reduced Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik to tears, while Bajrang Punia, another Tokyo Olympics medallist, expressed his anger and frustration at the police’s behavior. “Is this how they respect daughters?” he asked. “Here we’re fighting for our dignity, and you will push us around like this? If I have won so many medals to see days like this, I hope no Indian athlete has to win medals again.”

The police, however, denied the allegations and said that no protester was beaten up. They also said that Dharmendra was not drunk and that he was wrongfully restrained by the protesters. They accused Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti and Congress leader Deepender Hooda of instigating the protesters and bringing the beds without permission. Both Bharti and Hooda were detained by the police along with two others.

The incident has sparked outrage among the public and other sportspersons, who have expressed their solidarity with the wrestlers and demanded justice for them. The wrestlers have been protesting at Jantar Mantar since April 23 and have filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking an independent inquiry into their allegations against Singh. They have also demanded his removal from the WFI and a fair selection process for upcoming tournaments.

The case of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and a six-time BJP MP, who has been accused of sexual harassment and intimidation by several women wrestlers, has raised serious questions about the role of Delhi police in ensuring justice for the victims.

The Delhi police, which functions under Amit Shah’s Home Ministry, filed two FIRs against Singh on April 29, 2023, hours after the Supreme Court ordered them to do so. One of the FIRs is over a complaint of sexual harassment by a minor, filed under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, which gives no scope for bail.

However, the Delhi police’s action came after months of delay and inaction, despite repeated protests by India’s top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia, who staged a sit-in at Jantar Mantar in January and April, demanding Singh’s arrest and removal from the WFI.

The wrestlers alleged that Singh had sexually harassed them on multiple occasions during national camps and international tournaments, and had threatened them with dire consequences if they spoke out. They also accused him of mismanagement and corruption in the WFI, which had affected their training and performance.

The wrestlers approached the Supreme Court after their complaints were ignored by the Sports Ministry, which had formed a six-member committee to look into the allegations against Singh and the WFI in January. The committee submitted its report on April 5, but the ministry did not make it public or take any action against Singh.

Singh, who is also a key leader of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh and was involved in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and the Babri demolition case, denied all charges and called them a “political vendetta”. He claimed that he had cooperated with the committee and was ready to face any investigation by the Delhi police.

The Delhi police have said that they will pursue the case actively and have sought custody of Singh for interrogation. However, many questions remain unanswered about why they took so long to register the FIRs, why they did not act on their own without waiting for the Supreme Court’s order, and whether they will be able to conduct a fair and impartial probe against a powerful politician.

The case of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has exposed the apathy and indifference of the authorities towards the plight of women wrestlers, who have brought laurels to the country with their achievements. It has also highlighted the need for a strong and independent mechanism to deal with cases of sexual harassment in sports federations, which are often dominated by influential men. The role of Delhi police, in this case, will be crucial in determining whether justice will be served or denied to the women wrestlers who have bravely spoken up against their alleged tormentor.

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