List of athletes supporting wrestlers protest against Brij Bhushan Sharan
Indian wrestlers, including top athletes, organized a second protest against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and its president, Brijbhushan Sharan Singh. The wrestlers have accused Singh of sexual harassment and mismanaging athletes.
In their previous protest, the fighters avoided getting involved in politics, but this time they have invited all political parties to participate. Bajrang Punia clarified that the protest is not affiliated with any particular party, and all parties are welcome to join.
He said: ‘This time, we are not affiliated with any party, so whether it is BJP, Congress, AAP or any other party, everyone is welcome to support our protest.’
A group of Wrestlers, whose identities have been protected by the court, have filed a petition seeking the registration of an FIR against a member of Parliament from the ruling BJP party named Singh.
The petition is based on allegations of sexual assault and harassment, as well as financial mismanagement. The fighters have been protesting since January, and the Supreme Court’s decision to intervene is notable because it is a rare case of Indian officials responding to their demands.
Despite the seriousness of the allegations and the high-profile nature of the case (the wrestlers are reigning medalists at the Olympic Games, World Championships and Commonwealth Games), there has been little attention paid by governmental and other agencies, such as ministries, commissions, and councils.
List of athletes supporting wrestlers protest
Wrestlers have received very little support from their peers, with only a handful of elite athletes and former athletes speaking out on their behalf or joining their cause.
Who is Brijbhushan Sharan Singh?
Brij Bhushan, an experienced politician and administrator, has won the Gonda Lok Sabha seat six times, including in 1991, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019.
He contested all these elections on the BJP ticket except for 2009, when he ran for the sp. He hails from Gonda and was involved with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. According to his 2019 election affidavit, he was named in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
Brij Bhushan, 66, is a self-proclaimed wrestling enthusiast and has held various management positions within the sport. He has served as president of the WFI, vice president of the Asian Wrestling Federation and as a member of the government’s Mission Olympic Cell.
This latter position involves identifying athletes for Target’s Olympic Podium Scheme and taking action on their training proposals. Brij Bhushan has a reputation as a political strongman and wields significant influence over wrestling in India, often having the last word on matters related to the sport.
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