New Delhi: Olympian wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and other top Indian grapplers continued their protest for the second consecutive day against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). The protest started after Vinesh Phogat, the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold in both the Commonwealth Games (CWG) and Asian Games, on Wednesday alleged that WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been sexually exploiting women wrestlers for many years.
Meanwhile, the protesting wrestlers on Wednesday spent the night at a temple in Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi. "All wrestlers were awake till late in the night. They were discussing further plans for the agitation. They were sharing messages on social media, requesting more wrestlers and people of India to join them at Jantar Mantar on Thursday," sources told IANS. "Some senior SAI (Sports Authority of India) officials also met them at the temple. This morning they ate prasad and left for Jantar Mantar to continue their protest."
Earlier, the Sports Ministry on Wednesday sought an explanation from the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) "within the next 72 hours", after Vinesh Phogat levelled serious allegations of sexual harassment of female wrestlers against the sports body's coaches and president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medallist broke down while speaking to reporters on Wednesday, as more than 30 wrestlers, including Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, staged a protest at the Jantar Mantar here. Vinesh said she was subjected to mental harassment by Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, adding that she had even contemplated suicide.
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