Delhi Police files FIR, wrestlers say ‘first step towards victory’

Six days after India’s elite wrestlers took to the streets demanding the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the Delhi Police on Friday agreed to file an FIR. , which the wrestlers claimed as their own. “The first victory in the pursuit of justice.”

New Delhi, April 28 (ANI): Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik talk to the media during a protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI photo/Rahul Singh) (Rahul Singh)

Appearing before a bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjay Y Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha, the police, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, said, “The FIR will be filed today.” As soon as the news became public, the protesting wrestlers and their supporters followed the developments on social media throughout the day.

Later, two FIRs were lodged against Singh at the Connaught Place police station. The first FIR pertains to the allegations made by a minor victim which has been registered under the POCSO Act as well as relevant sections of the IPC including outraging modesty etc. The second FIR was registered under relevant sections to comprehensively investigate the complaints of the other – adult complainants. , Delhi Police said.

Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Bajrang Punia told a packed press conference, “This is the first important victory in our long fight for justice. We appreciate the honorable Supreme Court for keeping our faith in the judiciary alive.”

The protesting wrestlers, along with seven complainants, including a minor, had approached the Connaught Place police station last Friday to lodge an FIR against Singh, but were turned away by the police after only filing a complaint. They started their dharna on Sunday and moved the apex court earlier this week.

Rio Games bronze medalist Sakshi Malik said, “We will not call off our sit-in until Brij Bhushan is arrested.” “This (FIR) is only the first step. We have come here for a long fight. We will decide our future course of action after internal consultations.”

The wrestlers reiterated their disbelief in the Delhi Police and said that any evidence related to the alleged sexual assault by Singh would be presented only to the Supreme Court and not “to any committee or the Delhi Police.”

“It took Delhi Police six days and the intervention of the country’s highest court to agree to register an FIR. How can we trust them? Some say there was no evidence of sexual harassment in the monitoring committee report .. I would like to say we have enough evidence and we will only share them with the court,” said multiple world championship medalist Vinesh Phogat.

Phogat said, “Singh has a long history of criminal offences. We cannot let such a man play our game. We want the harshest possible punishment for him. We also want his membership of Parliament to be revoked.” Go.” Singh is a six-time MP from Kaiserganj in UP and belongs to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Speaking against the backdrop of a banner listing Singh’s 38 criminal cases, Punia said, “As you can see, he has a long criminal past. We want protection for the complainants and for ourselves.” Punia and Phogat have repeatedly accused them of trying to intimidate them and the complainants.

Responding to the FIR, Singh said he had full faith in the court and promised to cooperate with the Delhi Police. Singh told ANI, “I have full faith in the judiciary. I am not running anywhere. I am in my house. I will cooperate with the Delhi Police. Whatever decision the Supreme Court takes, I will abide by it.”

‘Police is harassing us’

Later, Punia complained in an Instagram Live that the Delhi Police had disconnected the power supply at the protest site. He claimed that the police were also refusing to bring drinking water and food to the venue. “We are being denied basic electricity, food and water,” he said.

getting some support

Earlier, Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Neeraj Chopra led the bandwagon of athletes who took to Twitter to extend their support to the wrestlers.

Training in Turkey ahead of their next month’s season-opener, Chopra said, “As a nation, we are responsible for protecting the integrity and dignity of each individual, athlete or not.”

“What is happening should never have happened. It is a sensitive issue and should be dealt with in a fair and transparent manner. The concerned authorities should take prompt action to ensure justice is done.”

Chopra’s comments – a day after Beijing Games gold medalist Abhinav Bindra and six-time Winter Olympian Shiva Keshavan tweeted for wrestlers – followed a flurry of tweets from athletes across sports.

Prominent sportspersons who tweeted included cricketers Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan and Virender Sehwag, two-time world champion boxer Nikhat Zareen and trailblazing tennis star Sania Mirza.

Punia said, “I would like to thank all the sportspersons who have supported us. Both our individual gold medalists in the Olympics have tweeted in support of us, probably because they understand the pain of the athletes.”

Phogat called on other athletes who might “come forward and join us in our protest.”

She said, “This strike is not for wrestling alone. We need to throw people like Singh out of every sport. I urge my fellow athletes to muster courage and join us, who have faced such harassment.” done.”

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