'Not Consulted Before Oversight Panel Was Formed, as Promised,' Say Top Wrestlers

The committee will look into grave allegations of sexual harassment and mismanagement against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. It is headed by boxing legend M.C. Mary Kom.

New Delhi: A section of the top wrestlers protesting against alleged sexual harassment and rampant mismanagement by the Wrestling Federation of India head have said that they were not consulted when the government formed the oversight committee to look into their claims.

Neither Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malilk, nor worlds medallists Vinesh Phogat and Sarita Mor were part of the process, they have alleged.

The four were part of an unprecedented protest by wrestlers in which they alleged grave wrongdoings by the WFI and especially its chief, the Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Singh has been asked to “step aside” by the Union sports ministry, which also promised the wrestlers that it would take concrete measures to inquire into their allegations.

“We were assured that we would be consulted before the setting up of the Oversight Committee. With sadness we say that our opinion was not taken at all before this committee was formed,” Vinesh Phogat tweeted in Hindi.

The three others also tweeted similarly worded posts, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and Union sports minister Anurag Thakur.

This Oversight Committee met for the first time on Tuesday, January 24,

It comprises boxing legend M.C. Mary Kom, Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt, Dhyanchand awardee Trupti Murgunde, SAI member Radhica Sreeman and ex-CEO of Target Olympic Podium Scheme, retired Commander Rajesh Rajagopalan.

The New Indian Express has reported its sources as having said that the sports ministry consulted the wrestlers “and in fact three members were suggested by the wrestlers.”

“Yogeshwar Dutt is one name they are wary about,” the report said.