In the two FIRs filed by the Delhi Police against BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on April 28, wrestlers have detailed at least two instances of demanding “sexual favours” under the garb of professional assistance and at least 15 incidents of sexual harassment, according to several media reports.
The FIRs are based on complaints by seven women wrestlers – including one minor. Both FIRs are under IPC Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354D (stalking) and 34 (common intention), and the second one, based on the minor’s father’s complaint, also invokes Section 10 of the POCSO Act.
According to a report by NDTV, one of the wrestlers has accused Singh of trying to bribe her by offering to buy her supplements which she may require as an athlete, in exchange for sexual favours. She also said Singh hugged her forcefully when he made her talk to her parents on the phone.
Another complainant said when she suffered an injury during a competition abroad, Singh allegedly said the federation would bear the cost of her treatment if she gave in to his sexual advances, NDTV reported.
The FIR on the minor’s complaint says, according to The Indian Express: “Holding her tightly, pretending to get a picture clicked, the accused (Singh) squeezed her towards himself, pressed hard on her shoulder and then deliberately…brushed his hands against her breasts.”
Farmer outfits held a ‘khap mahapanchayat’ in Uttar Pradesh and a series of protests in Punjab and Haryana on Thursday, showing solidarity with wrestlers who have accused Wrestling Federation of India chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment.
On Tuesday, the wrestlers had travelled to Haridwar after announcing that they will throw their medals in the Ganga there in protest. But they were persuaded by khap and farmer leaders not to carry out the threat. The leaders sought five days' time from them to address their grievances.
The Delhi Police has filed two FIRs based on the wrestlers’ complaints. One of them relates to allegations by a minor wrestler and has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
(With inputs from PTI)