Delhi Police not filing girls’ complaints: Vinesh

- May 2, 2023
| By : Khurram Habib |

Wrestler says Delhi Police is delaying matters and giving excuses to give time to Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh

Sakshi Malik wearing a white T-shirt, Vinesh in green, and Bajrang Punia in a white T-shirt addressing a press conference at Jantar Mantar.

Asian and Commonwealth Games medallist Vinesh Phogat on Tuesday lashed out at Delhi Police for not registering complaints of wrestlers who have alleged sexual harassment against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

The Supreme Court had asked Delhi Police last week why it had not registered an FIR on the complaints of wrestlers to which the police replied through the Solicitor General last Friday (April 28) that the FIR would be registered on that day.

Vinesh, however, blamed the police for delaying matters at a press conference at the Jantar Mantar, the venue of the wrestlers’ protest that has entered the 10th day.

“Delhi Police is not cooperating. It is still not registering the statements of the girls. They are giving excuses. Sometimes they are saying that an officer has fallen ill. It is trying its best to delay the case as much as possible so that they can silence the girls with money, power and influence,” alleged the wrestler who addressed the conference along with Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia.

“They are delaying so that they (Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and his supporters) can take time to defend themselves and put pressure on us. Delhi Police is not performing its duty. We are looking up to Supreme Court, hoping that it delivers justice for the fight we have taken up.”

The 28-year-old wrestler, who became the first to win both Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medals, took potshots at the WFI president.

“The way he spoke at India TV [news channel], if a person who comes from a decent background behaves that way on camera [of news channel], you can imagine what kind of thinking that man has. Someone who can use that kind of language on national television, watched by 140 crore people, then you can imagine what that man can do to girls behind closed doors,” she alleged.

Vinesh also brought to light a case from 2012 when, during a wrestling tournament, a complaint of sexual harassment by 5-7 girls was filed at a police station leading to an FIR.

“But,” she said, “it was removed within the next 24 hours. There was a wrestler and his wife, who protested against sexual harassment. But they were removed from the national camp and haven’t competed until now.”

Vinesh demanded that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh should first be arrested under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012) and investigated.

“We want the police to arrest him under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012), and then do a fair investigation. If he comes out unblemished, then you can say that we were wrong,” she said.