‘Brij Bhushan aides tried to intimidate wrestlers deposing before panel’ | More sports News – Times of India


Complaint included in chargesheet
NEW DELHI: Close aides of former Wrestling Federation of India’s president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is accused of sexually harassing six women wrestlers, allegedly tried to intimidate female complainants on multiple occasions when they deposed before the members of the government-appointed oversight committee, according to a written complaint.
An email, sent to the committee by one of the complainants who was spearheading the protest against Singh, forms part of the Delhi police chargesheet running into 1,600 pages. It alleges that Singh’s men approached the ‘victimised’ wrestlers and tried to create pressure on them to retract their statements.
‘Privacy breach when statements were recorded’
In one of the emails written on February 13, 2023 to the committee, the complainant wrote: “I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the privacy breach that took place at JLN stadium on February 9, 2023 while statements were being recorded. As you are aware, we were called to the venue with the assurance of complete privacy and confidentiality. However, to our surprise, we found Brij Bhushan’s favourites Jai Prakash, Mahavir Bishnoi and Dilip roaming around the conference (room) the entire day while statements were being recorded… (it) made the environment completely uncomfortable and unauthentic.”
“We noticed they approached the victim wrestlers and tried to create pressure that’s completely unacceptable. Why were they roaming where statements were being recorded? As per law, they should have never been there. It completely breached our privacy. Who will be responsible if there is any mishappening with any of us (sic)? We noticed that there was another person present while the statements were being recorded, but he was never introduced to us formally, which goes against the laws as only six committee members are allowed to be present during such proceedings,” the complaint said.


“All of these events have left us feeling violated and uncomfortable and we strongly believe that such breaches of privacy should not be tolerated. I request you to take immediate action to ensure that privacy and confidentiality of all future proceedings are maintained and that necessary steps are taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future,” the mail read.
The committee was comprised of Mary Kom, also chairperson Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) athletes commission, London Olympics bronze-winning wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, three-time CWG medallist Babita Phogat, former badminton player Trupti Murgunde and ex-Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials Radhica Sreemanand Cdr Rajesh Rajagopalan.
As per the enclosures which form part of the chargesheet, it has been learnt that Babita didn’t concur with the findings of the committee and signed the final report in protest.
“The committee didn’t fulfill its obligation and the investigation wasn’t carried out in a fair and transparent manner. Apart from calling people relevant to the case, no efforts were made to invite independent witnesses to depose before the committee to unearth the truth. The committee never asked for physical evidence to corroborate the claims made by the female wrestlers. The investigation was nothing but merely a formality. The findings had been inconclusive in the absence of fair and transparent investigation. Instead, the committee must have strived to take necessary and justified action against the accused (Brij Bhushan and former WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar),” Babita stated.
Among other things, the committee agreed with the depositions made by other witnesses – Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Ravi Dahiya, reigning Asian Games and CWG champion Bajrang Punia and Deepak Punia – concurring that the players’ commercial contracts were breached by the WFI.

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