In a stunning case, female wrestlers have raised doubts about the motives of the oversight panel tasked with investigating the allegations of sexual harassment against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. They allege that the panel displayed clear bias in favor of Singh, according to the charge-sheet filed by the Delhi Police.
Today, the outgoing WFI chief, along with the Federation’s Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar, is set to appear before a trial court in response to the issued summons.
Led by the legendary Indian boxer MC Mary Kom, the government-appointed six-member panel had submitted its report to the authorities, although it was not made public.
The complainants, in their separate statements, claimed that the panel showed a leaning towards Singh, who is also a BJP MP.
The extensive 1599-page charge-sheet contains statements from 44 witnesses and six statements from the complainants, which were recorded under CrPC 164.
“After providing my statement before the (oversight) committee, whenever I visited the Federation office, the accused looked at me with disdainful and lustful eyes, making inappropriate gestures that left me feeling insecure,” expressed one of the complainants.
“Even during the video recording of my statement, the camera was intermittently switched off and on. Despite my request, the committee failed to provide me with a copy of the recording. I fear that my statement may not have been fully captured and may have been tampered with to protect the accused,” further stated the wrestler’s statement.
Another complainant disclosed that she was involuntarily included in the WFI sexual harassment committee without her consent. All national sports federations are required to have an Internal Complaints Committee.
“I was never officially informed or asked for consent regarding my inclusion in the sexual harassment committee of the Wrestling Federation of India. The accused, in collaboration with the second accused and other unidentified individuals, deliberately orchestrated this to suppress my voice and allegations against him. Without my approval or agreement, he made me part of the said committee and is now accusing me of falsely claiming to be a victim, despite being a member,” the complainant revealed.
The same ‘victim’ also accused the oversight panel of withholding the recording when requested.
“I strongly suspected that my video statement may not have been recorded in its entirety or may have been altered to protect the accused. Consequently, I requested a copy of the video recording. However, the oversight committee members outright rejected my request.” The Delhi police justified their decision not to arrest the accused, stating that both Singh and WFI Assistant Secretary Tomar complied with the investigation process as required by law.