Stalking, Running Hands Over Breasts, Threats: Accusations Against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh in FIRs

One of the FIR mentions that when wrestler Vinesh Phogat informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi of Singh's misconduct, he assured her that her grievances will be looked into by sports ministry.

New Delhi: The two FIRs filed by the Delhi Police against BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on April 28 detail “least two instances of demanding “sexual favours” in lieu of professional assistance; at least 15 incidents of sexual harassment that include 10 episodes of inappropriate touching, molestation that includes running hands over breasts, touching the navel; several instances of intimidation including stalking — and a shared sense of fear and trauma”, The Indian Express has reported.

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.

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.”

“She clearly told the accused (Singh) she had already told him that she was not interested in having any sort of physical relationship and that he should stop stalking her…,” it continues.

The complaints by the adult wrestlers, mentioned in the other FIR, also detail instances of groping, inappropriate touching and trying to force physical contact. Several women said Singh would touch their breasts and stomachs on the pretext of checking their breath during practice.

One also says he threatened her when she tried to rebut his advances: “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)… Since I was not comfortable with the behaviour of the accused of forcing me, I, in order to escape, (his) clutches, repeatedly resisted his attempts and tried to push him away to which he (threatened): “Zyada smart bann rahi hai kya…aage koi competition nahi khelne kya tune?” (Acting too smart? You don’t want to be considered for tournaments in the future?)”

On May 30, Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, and Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat went to Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar along with their supporters to throw their medals in the Ganga river.

But after farm leaders persuaded them not to take the drastic step, the wrestlers decided not to throw their medals in the river.

The farm leaders have sought five days’ time to address their grievances.

The wrestlers had also planned to sit on a hunger strike at India Gate after immersing their medals in the Ganga, but the Delhi Police hasn’t given them permission to hold a protest there.

The wrestlers were brutally manhandled by the police when they took out their protest march towards the new parliament on May 28.

Ahead of the parliament inauguration, Phogat had said, “Even after all that if he attends the parliament on Sunday then you can understand where the country is heading.”

Singh attended the inaugural, while the wrestlers were forcefully detained during their protest march.

In response to the protests, sports minister Anurag Thakur has said that the government is handling the situation sensitively. One of the FIRs even mentions that Vinesh Phogat met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and informed him of Singh’s misconduct. The Prime Minister assured Phogat that her grievances will be looked into by the sports ministry, according to the FIR.

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra took to Twitter to highlight that the Prime Minister was apprised of the MP’s misconduct and that he did promise action. “You assured her of full support. You did NOTHING,” Moitra wrote on Twitter referring to Modi.

The wrestling champions and others have been protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar since April 23, demanding Singh’s arrest.