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Wrestlers protest: Grapplers write to BJP female MPs, seeking help, says Vinesh Phogat


NEW DELHI : Indian ace wrestler Vinesh Phogat Sunday said no female parliamentarian from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come to talk to the wrestler protesting at Jantar Mantar to show support in their fight for women’s dignity. The wrestlers have decided to write to the female BJP leaders to urge them on.

“Not a single female BJP parliamentarian has come to talk to us yet, so we intend to write to the female BJP leaders urging them to listen to us,” protesting wrestler Vinesh Phogat tweeted.

Indian wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat, have been protesting at the Jantar Mantar in the national capital for the past 22 days, demanding the arrest of Brij Bhushan’s arrest over alleged sexual harassment of female wrestlers.

Phogat said that from Monday the wrestlers will hand or email letters to all women MPs from the ruling party to come and support them.

“If they talk about the safety of women in the country, then we are their daughters too and they should come out and support us,” said the top Indian wrestler.

“We are writing an open letter to them (female MPs from the ruling party) and our fellow wrestlers will deliver those letters by hand. We will also send letters by email. We feel that our voice, our grievances, have not yet reached them. … we feel like they will come and support us after they get the letters,” Vinesh added.

The decision of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to take over all activities of the Wrestling Federation of India is the “first step” in their fight against WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the protesters said. wrestlers sunday.

The IOA Saturday has banned all outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) officials from performing any administrative WFI function with immediate effect. IOA has sent a letter about this.

“Noting the letter from the Ministry dated 24.04.2023 informing the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) about the administrative gap in the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and requesting the IOA to establish a Transition Commission or an Ad Hoc Commission, to conduct elections for the Executive Council of WFI and the management of affairs of WFI, the IOA Executive Council, at its emergency meeting on April 27, 2023, unanimously decided that an ad hoc committee should be established to take charge of the affairs of the WFI,” the letter said.

Meanwhile, the IOA’s three-member ad hoc committee has made it clear that the process of electing new WFI office holders will be completed within the 45-day window and the task will be handed over to the elected body, PTI news agency. reported.

“Once the elections are held, administrative powers will revert to the WFI. The newly elected officials will run the show. It is only a temporary step that ad-hoc takes care of the federation’s affairs,” the report said.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.