Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh allegedly molested women athletes, including “running hands over breasts and touching the navel”. The BJP MP also allegedly demanded “sexual favour” in lieu of professional assistance and stalked the women, two FIRs filed with the Delhi Police state.
On complaint of women wrestlers at Delhi’s Connaught Place police station last month, two First Information Reports were filed that cite IPC Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354D (stalking) and 34 (common intention) that carry a jail term of one to three years.
One FIR was filed combining complaints of six wrestlers, while a separate one was registered based on the complaint of a minor’s father.
According to a report by Indian Express, the FIR filed by the minor’s father invokes Section 10 of the POCSO Act which entails five to seven years of imprisonment. Meanwhile, the complaint filed by six wrestlers also names WFI secretary Vinod Tomar.
The report stated that the incidents mentioned allegedly took place in India and overseas from 2012 to 2022. IE further stated that the minor’s complaint, filed by her father, alleges that his daughter was “completely disturbed and cannot be at peace anymore …sexual harassment by the accused (Singh) continues to haunt her”.
Brij Bhushan’s Ayodhya Rally
Amid the ongoing controversy, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh had scheduled to hold a rally in Uttar Pradesh on June 5. However, the Ayodhya district administration denied him the permission on Friday.
Circle Officer (Ayodhya) SP Gautam said in view of other programmes scheduled on the World Environment Day on June 5, the permission sought by BJP councillor Chamela Devi on behalf of Singh has been denied.
Singh, in a Facebook post, said he has postponed the ‘Jan Chetna Maharally’ at the Ram Katha Park for “a few days” due to the ongoing police probe into the wrestlers’ allegation against him.
Prominent wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, have been holding protests since April 23 accusing Singh of sexual exploitation. Singh is the BJP MP from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh.
DCW Seeks Action in Wrestlers’ Case, a BJP MP Too Wants Justice
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal on Wednesday issued a notice to police seeking action against a man who allegedly revealed the identity of a minor wrestler who has filed a sexual harassment complaint against BJP MP.
Maliwal has also issued summons to DCP New Delhi in the matter. “A man posing as the uncle of a minor girl who had filed a complaint against Brij Bhushan is revealing the identity of the girl by showing her documents to the press. I am giving notice to the police. There should be an FIR against this man under the POCSO Act. Are they letting Brij Bhushan roam free so that the victim can be pressured,” the DCW chief tweeted in Hindi.
A video is now being circulated on social media in which a person, claiming to be the uncle of the minor complainant, reveals her identity which is a criminal offence under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, the women’s panel said.
It asked the police for details including a copy of FIR to be registered against the person for revealing the identity of the girl and summoned them to appear before the Commission at 12 pm in June 6.
The DCW said it has also asked Delhi Police to inform the reasons for not arresting the main accused, Singh, till date.
BJP’s Maharashtra MP Pritam Munde also said that action should be take based on the complaint of the grapplers. “I, not as a member of Parliament, but as a woman, say that if such a complaint comes from any woman, then its cognisance should be taken. It should be verified,” Munde said was quoted by news agency PTI.
After verification, authorities should decide whether it is proper or improper, she said, adding that “If cognisance is not taken, then it is not welcomed in democracy.”
What Does Police Say?
Two days ago, the Delhi Police said it has not found sufficient evidence to prove women wrestlers’ allegations of sexual harassment against Singh and to arrest him. The police will submit a report in court within 15 days, a senior official said.
“During the investigation so far, the police have not found sufficient evidence to arrest the WFI chief. There is also no supportive evidence to prove their (wrestlers) claim. A report will be submitted in court within 15 days which could be in the form of a charge sheet or final report,” the officer said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the wrestlers’ complaint is being probed and action will be taken once the investigation is over. “The matter is being investigated. The government will take action in the matter once the investigation is over,” the defence minister told reporters.
(With inputs from PTI)