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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Will not appear before ministry panel unless reconstituted: Bajrang Punia

FeaturedSports NewsWill not appear before ministry panel unless reconstituted: Bajrang Punia

In a new twist to the wrestling controversy, the protesting wrestlers on Tuesday accused the Union Sports Ministry of sexual harassment and financial irregularities against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and its president Brij. rejected the five-member monitoring committee announced to investigate. Bhushan Sharan Singh claimed that the government did not follow through on its word.

“We were assured that we would be consulted before forming the monitoring committee. It is very unfortunate that we were not even consulted before forming this committee,” said Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik. And read similar tweets by two-time world championship medalist Vinesh Phogat, who tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.

The committee announced by Thakur on Monday is headed by Olympic medalist and six-time world boxing champion MC Mary Kom. Other members are Olympic medalist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, former badminton player and Mission Olympic Cell member Tripathi Murgande, former Target Olympic Podium Scheme CEO Rajesh Rajagopalan and retired SAI Executive Director (Teams) Radhika Sriman.

The ministry’s order said the panel would “investigate allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and/or intimidation, financial irregularities and administrative lapses, leveled by prominent sportspersons”. The panel has been asked to complete the inquiry within four weeks and also take over the day-to-day administration of WFI till the investigation is completed.

It is learned that the committee held its first meeting on Tuesday and also cleared the Indian team for the international ranking tournament starting February 1 in Croatia.

Thakur held two long meetings with the wrestlers before announcing the inquiry. Subsequently, the wrestlers ended their three-day protest on Saturday night.

“We made it very clear during our meeting that our views should be examined before the committee is formed. This is a very, very serious matter and we want a fair and impartial probe into it,” Punia said. said on Tuesday.

“We were asked by the ministry to discuss the names we want to suggest and we will be consulted. But that never happened,” he said.

Asked if he had any objection to any member of the committee, Punia said, “No, we do not have any objection to any particular member. But we feel that our suggestions should have been considered. Otherwise, how can we be sure that the investigation will be fair?

“You can understand the man we are up against. He is very powerful and everyone knew what kind of things he was involved in. He is still the president of the WFI. The wrestlers are against his rule. It takes a lot of courage to come forward and protest.

Punia said he wanted the ministry to reconstitute the committee. “We are not going to appear before this panel. It needs to be reconstituted. If necessary, we will sit again after 15 days.

However, he said that the protesting wrestlers have no objection to the seven-member panel of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). It is also headed by Mary Kom, the Chairman of the Athletes Commission. Dutt is also a member of both the panels.

“We have no objection to the IOA committee as it is an internal committee of the IOA and will have members. The Sports Ministry panel will look into every aspect of the allegations,” the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist said.

In their letter to IOA president PT Osha, the wrestlers asked for the formation of a new committee to run the WFI in consultation with him.

Although there was no official statement from the sports ministry on the matter, informed officials said that two members, including Mary Kom, were favorites of the wrestlers.

Top wrestlers staged an unprecedented three-day protest at Jantar Mantar, demanding Singh’s immediate removal.

The Supervisory Committee held its first meeting on Tuesday and took over the functioning of the WFI. The executive body of the federation was on Monday directed by the ministry to immediately refrain from managing and managing day-to-day activities.

Mary Kom’s committee cleared the Indian squad to participate in Croatia so that their visas could be arranged. Punia, Vinesh, Sakshi, Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Ravi Dahiya and World Championship medalist Deepak Punia are part of the team but have said they will not participate in any tournament unless it is The problem is not solved to their satisfaction.

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