Congress MP Shashi Tharoor criticized Indian Olympics Association chief PT Usha's remarks on the ongoing public protest by wrestlers who have alleged sexual harassment by Wrestling Federation India head Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Tharoor tweeted that it does not become Usha to disparage the justified protests of fellow sportspersons in the face of repeated and wanton sexual harassment.
Usha had earlier criticized the wrestlers' decision to stage a public protest before the committee investigating their allegations released its report. She called the protest indiscipline and said that it is tarnishing the image of India.
Priyanka Chaturvedi also criticised PT Usha's remarks
Another politician, from the Uddhav Camp in Maharashtra, Priyanka Chaturvedi, also differed with Usha's remarks, tweeting that the country's image is tarnished when MPs accused of sexual harassment go scot-free while victims have to struggle for justice. She said that instead of accusing sportswomen of tarnishing India's image, the country should speak up for them.
The wrestlers' protest has seen political leaders making a beeline to their venue after they returned to the streets alleging no action was taken on their charges. The protesters include star wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Ravi Dahiya, and Deepak Punia. They had first taken to the streets in January over the alleged sexual misconduct charges but withdrew their protest following an assurance by Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur formed a committee to investigate in the matter
Thakur had established a committee to investigate the allegations against the Wrestling Federation of India and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The six-member committee presented its findings to the Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry on April 5, but the ministry has not yet released its conclusions to the public. Thakur had also spoken in support of the wrestlers and said that the government spends a lot to help sportspersons and that the priorities are the sports and the players.
The protesters have also moved the Supreme Court for an urgent hearing, which is set to take place soon. The wrestlers have written to Usha to act on the matter and have expressed hurt over her comments, as they were looking up to her for support.
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