Amid the ongoing protests by star Indian wrestlers to fight the alleged wrongdoings by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharaj Singh, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief PT Usha has slammed the athletes. Usha met the press on Thursday and spoke on the ongoing tussle between the wrestlers and the association’s chief Singh. Without taking any side, Usha said that wrestlers are only tarnishing the image of the country by protesting in the streets.
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Usha feels that wrestlers could have taken another route to put forward their demands. She said that protests will set a bad precedent and leads to indiscipline. “These protests are tarnishing the image of the country. There are other ways to put your point across. They could’ve approached the athletes commission. This sets a bad precedent and amounts to indiscipline,” Usha was quoted as saying by PTI.
Led by Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia, wrestlers began another protest demanding the government to make public the findings of the oversight panel that investigated the sexual harassment allegations against Singh. The wrestlers had also accused Singh for intimidating junior wrestlers. They had also accused Delhi Police of not filing FIR against Singh.
Three-member adhoc panel to run WFI
With the wrestling body’s affairs affected, the IOA has formed a three-member adhoc panel to run the association. It includes former shooter and Olympian Suma Shirur as well as Wushu Association of India boss Bhupendra Singh. The third member of the panel will be retired high court judge whose name is yet to be finalised.
Supreme Court issued notice to Delhi Police
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Delhi Police, told the bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha that if the top court felt that an FIR was to be lodged straight away, it may be done. “We, prima facie feel, that there was a need to conduct a preliminary investigation before the registration of the FIR,” the top law officer said.
The top court on Tuesday issued notices to the Delhi Police and others on a plea by seven women wrestlers seeking registration of an FIR against the WFI president over allegations of sexual harassment, saying the matter is “serious” and requires its consideration.