Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshee Malikkh, Bajrang Punia, and others address a press conference on Thursday | Photo: ANI
New Delhi: India's ace wrestlers Sakshee Malikkh, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sarita Mor on Tuesday expressed their disappointment over not being consulted before the Oversight Committee was formed and said that they were assured that they would be consulted before the formation.
The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced on Monday that the oversight committee has been formed to probe into the sexual harassment allegations levelled against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and its chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Boxing great and Olympic medalist Mary Kom will head the five-member Oversight Committee.
"We were assured that we would be consulted before the Oversight Committee was formed. It is very sad that we were not even consulted before the formation of this committee. @narendramodi @AmitShah @ianuragthakur," Vinesh Phogat wrote in a tweet.
Other star wrestlers, Sakshee Malikkh and Bajrang Punia tweeted the same on their official Twitter handles.
The announcement of the commitment was made by Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday. Thakur announced on Monday that boxer Mary Kom will be heading the oversight committee formed to probe into the allegations levelled against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and its chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and other coaches.
"Oversight Committee has been formed today. Mary Kom will head the Oversight Committee. For the coming month, the committee will investigate the allegations put up by the wrestlers," Thakur told the media in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.
"Assistant Secretary WFI was sacked and an oversight committee will begin an impartial probe so that everything gets clear," Anurag Thakur said.
Meanwhile, the Wrestling Federation of India's (WFI) Annual General Body Meeting (AGM), which was supposed to start at 10 am on Sunday in Ayodhya, was called off amid the ongoing battle between the wrestlers and its governing body in the country.
Following the wrestlers' protest, this meeting was seen as being of utmost importance. The development comes after the central government on Saturday evening suspended WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar. Along with this, the activities of WFI were immediately banned till the completion of the investigation into the allegations of the wrestlers.
After late-night parleys with the protesting star grapplers, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday night announced that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will 'step aside' from the day-to-day affairs of the WFI till the 'oversight committee' led by Olympian MC Mary Kom completes its inquiry into the allegations against him.
The probe committee has been given a mandate of four weeks to submit its report, the minister added. The wrestlers, who were protesting at Jantar Mantar, called off their protest after a meeting with Union Sports Minister Thakur on Friday.