header
Government

Pictures, Phone Location, Other Evidence Show Brij Bhushan Allegedly 'Making Advances'

The chargesheet filed by Delhi Police says the former Wrestling Federation of India chief is liable to be prosecuted and punished for offences of sexual harassment, molestation, and stalking.

New Delhi: The “technical evidence” gathered by the Delhi Police shows former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh allegedly “making advances towards (one) complainant”, his phone location matching another’s testimony, and a set of photographs confirming his presence at an event where alleged sexual harassment took place.

According to the Indian Express, two particular photographs, his phone location, and another set of pictures are part of the “technical evidence” pieced together by the Delhi Police, which is investigating allegations of sexual harassment against Singh made by six wrestlers.

The chargesheet filed in the case notes that Singh is “liable to be prosecuted and punished for offences” of sexual harassment, molestation, and stalking under Sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 354 (outraging modesty of a woman), 354 A (sexual harassment), and 354 D (stalking) of the Indian Penal Code.

It also highlights that there was neither a Visitor’s Register nor any CCTV at the WFI office on Ashoka Road in Delhi, Singh’s home, and the scene of at least two incidents of sexual harassment, as per the complaints.

In response to police notice, WFI officials supplied four photographs, showing the presence of Brij Bhushan and the complainant in a foreign country (Kazakhstan), the chargesheet notes. “In two photographs, he is seen making advances towards the complainant,” it adds.

In total, the chargesheet records 15 cases of sexual harassment against Singh, and the police have so far examined 108 witnesses during the probe. Among the witnesses were WFI officials, coaches, referees, and fellow participants of the wrestling events, India Today reported.

The chargesheet noted that out of the total witnesses, 15 of them have confirmed allegations levelled against Singh. These include Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Mallik, and Bajrang Punia.

Six wrestlers, including a minor, had filed separate complaints with Delhi’s Connaught Place police station against Singh regarding sexual harassment and criminal intimidation on April 21.

Allegations and evidence

One of the complainant wrestlers, according to the chargesheet, said, “After (a medal), the coaches took me along to meet Brij Bhushan. There he tried to forcibly hug me. I had a flag in one hand, so I tried to push him away with my other hand but he didn’t relent.”

She also goes on to add, “(Once), I lost a bout in the wrestling league. As soon as I moved from the mat to my team box, Brij Bhushan headed towards me and hugged me forcibly. He held me for 15-20 seconds, I tried to push him but he didn’t let me go.”

According to the Delhi Police, there is evidence in the form of two photographs, which show him making advances towards the complainant. “The technical evidence, available in the form of photographs and videographs of the various events, clearly supports the allegation levelled by the complainant to the extent of the presence of the accused,” the chargesheet adds.

Another complainant said, “I was called in the WFI office where I went along with my coach… Bhushan, who was sitting on the chair, asked me to sit down … I informed him about my injury … He assured me of all the help, but asked me to get into a physical relationship with him for the same.”

In response to the allegation of the second complainant, the Delhi Police says there is evidence to show that on the day of the alleged incident, the complainant’s coach was present in the area where the alleged meeting took place. The coach’s mobile tower location was in the area of North Avenue near the vicinity of Ashoka Road, WFI office location, the charge sheet said.

Another wrestler alleged, “I was standing in the last row (for team photograph)… the accused (Singh) came and stood alongside me. I suddenly felt a hand on my buttock. When I tried moving away, I was forcibly held by my shoulder.”

To this, the police noted that there is evidence in the form of four printouts of coloured photographs shared by WFI relating to the event. In these photographs, the chargesheet said, the complainant is seen sitting in the front row with other wrestlers and these photographs also show the accused.

Singh was also accused of sexual harassment by another wrestler. “While I was lying down on the mat, the accused (Singh) came near me and to my shock and surprise leaned in and, in the absence of my coach, without seeking my permission pulled up my T-shirt, placed his hand on my breast and slid it down my stomach on the pretext of examining/checking my breathing.”

She also went on to say, “On my visit to the federation office… I was called into the room of the accused (Singh)… my brother, who was accompanying me, was categorically asked to stay back…The accused (Singh), upon the departure of other persons, closed the door… pulled me towards himself and tried making forceful physical contact with me.”

The evidence gathered by the police, in response to the above complainant’s allegation, shows the complainant is seen standing with other wrestlers along with Singh. It established the presence of the accused and the complainant at the place of the incident, the charge sheet notes. The police also noted that WFI did not maintain any visitor register at the office and no CCTV camera was installed at the premises.

Another wrestler alleged, “On the pretext of getting a picture clicked with me, he pulled me towards him by my shoulder… to protect myself, I tried moving away from the accused (Singh).”

To this, the police said there is evidence in the form of six-coloured printouts of the photographs of the championship, confirming the presence of the victim and the accused at the event. The photographs were provided by WFI, the police added.

Yet another wrestler alleged, “He made me talk to my parents on the phone since at that time I did not possess a personal mobile phone…the accused (Singh) called me towards his bed where he was sitting and then all of a sudden, he hugged me forcefully without my permission.”

However, in this case, the police noted that although notice was sent to WFI seeking any photographs of the event, details of the hotel, and room number where the wrestler stayed, no reply has been received.