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Wrestlers Call Off Protest, WFI Chief To Step Aside Till Probe Is Completed

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New Delhi: BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will step aside from India’s wrestling body for four weeks during which an oversight committee will look into allegations of sexual harassment against him, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur told reporters today.

The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on Saturday announced the formation of an ‘Oversight committee’ to probe into the allegations levelled against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and its chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and other coaches.

“An Oversight Committee will be set up by the Ministry for the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), and it will enquire into the allegations made by prominent sportspersons of Sexual Misconduct, Financial Irregularities and Administrative lapses,” an official statement from the Sports ministry read. It further said that the committee will also undertake the day-to-day administration of the WFI and revisit the issues raised by players.

“The Oversight Committee will complete the enquiry in four weeks and till then, WFI President [Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh] will step aside from the day-to-day functioning and he has assured to cooperate in the investigation,” it read further.

Earlier, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, while addressing a press conference at his Delhi residence during the early hours of Saturday, announced the constitution of an oversight committee to probe the allegations levelled against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and assured that justice would prevail in four weeks.

“Considering the demands of the sportspersons, we have decided to constitute an oversight committee, whose names will be announced tomorrow. The investigation will be completed in the next four weeks, wherein all the allegations levelled will be thoroughly probed to take a final decision,” Anurag Thakur said.

Thakur also said that WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh would step aside till the probe ends.

“The committee will see all the day-to-day workings till the investigation completes, and till then Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will step aside and cooperate with the investigation,” he said.

Further addressing the media persons, Thakur had said that the players kept their demands and a detailed discussion about it took place. “We had issued a notice to the Wrestling Federation of India when the allegations were levelled and asked them to respond within 72 hours, and they did. Similarly, we seek their timely support and cooperation so that the matter can be resolved soon,” he added.

Wrestlers Sakshee Malikkh, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Ravi Dahiya and other sportspersons were also present with the Sports Minister during his media address.

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