Wrestlers move plea in SC seeking registration of FIR against WFI president Brij Bhushan

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Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik address the media during a protest against the Wrestling Federation of India | ANI

New Delhi: Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat and other wrestlers have moved a plea in Supreme Court seeking the registration of an FIR against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Senior Advocate Narendra Hooda mentioned the plea before Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, who asked him to mention the matter again tomorrow as his petition was not in today's list of mentioned matters.

Vinesh Phogat and the other seven wrestlers have urged the top court to issue directions to Delhi police to lodge FIR against Brij Bhushan as there is an inordinate delay in doing so.

According to the lawyer connected to the case, the petitioners will again approach the court tomorrow for an urgent hearing.

WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh was accused by the wrestlers of sexual misconduct and intimidation. The government established a five-member oversight council to oversee WFI operations. Boxer Mary Kom is heading the oversight committee which was formed to probe into the allegations levelled against the WFI and its chief Singh and other coaches.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Police sought a report from the investigation committee set up by the Union Sports Ministry to investigate the allegations and has begun a probe into the fresh complaint by wrestlers.

"A report has been sought from the probe committee and after that, the investigation can get a direction. Seven players had filed a complaint against the WFI chief. Many facts will come to the fore after getting the report of the committee," said the Delhi Police official.

After a protest led by some prominent wrestlers of the country this January, the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had announced the formation of an 'oversight committee' to probe allegations levelled against the WFI and its chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and other coaches.

The committee was tasked with submitting a report on the issue to the ministry.

Top wrestlers have now resumed their sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar here in the national capital after filing a complaint at the Connaught Place police station on Friday (April 21) stating that seven female wrestlers, including one minor, were harassed and exploited by Brij Bhushan in his capacity as WFI chief.

Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia said that this time "all parties are welcome" to join them and they won't back down till action is taken against the BJP MP.

"It's been more than 48 hours since the complaint was made, but an FIR has not been filed yet," Punia told ANI.

Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) has issued a notice to Delhi Police to register an FIR on the issue.

Top Indian wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Ravi Dahiya, and Sakshi Malik, held a sit-in protest in Jantar Mantar in January this year, demanding that Brij Bhushan be removed from the head office and the Wrestling Federation of India be disbanded.

They had accused the WFI body and its chief of sexual harassment and mistreatment of wrestlers. (ANI)

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