Crime & Justice

Police file charges of sexual abuse against Indian wrestling federation chief

New Delhi, Jun 15 (EFE).- The police in the Indian capital of New Delhi on Thursday filed charges of sexual abuse and harassment, among others, against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief after more than five months of protests led by top athletes.

The Delhi Police said in a statement that after completing its investigations, they were filing a charge sheet against the accused Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh under the sections of sexual abuse, harassment and assault with the intention of outraging the modesty of a woman.

The police also filed charges against WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar, and canceled a sexual harassment case brought by a minor against Singh on grounds of not having found sufficient evidence, according to the statement.

The elite Indian athletes had agreed, after a meeting last week with the Indian Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, to suspend the protests until June 15.

In that meeting, according to media reports, the minister agreed to hold elections to the federation before June 30, in addition to dropping all charges against several of the protesters for allegedly causing riots and illegal demonstrations on May 29, when they tried to protest in front of the Parliament.

Bajrang Punia (Tokyo 2020 Olympics bronze medalist), Sakshi Malik (2016 Rio Olympics bronze medalist) and Vinesh Phogat (gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games) are some of the most visible athletes who in January denounced cases of sexual abuse suffered for years by women inside the federation.

The WFI chief, who is a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, has denied the allegations, calling it a political conspiracy, and refused to resign from his post.

Faced with the inaction of the authorities, the athletes resorted to almost a month-long protest in New Delhi until they were forcibly evicted by the police. EFE


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