Amid the ongoing protest by top wrestlers in the national capital, the Delhi Police told the Supreme Court that proper security has been provided to the grapplers including a minor complainant. Several top wrestlers of the country have been staging a sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar since April 23 and have levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Top wrestlers are staging a sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar after filing a complaint at the Connaught Place police station on April 21 stating that seven female wrestlers, including one minor, were harassed and exploited by Brij Bhushan in his capacity as Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief. The Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) too issued a notice to Delhi Police to register an FIR on the issue. Following a petition filed by wrestlers regarding their security, Delhi Police today told the Supreme Court that it has provided security to wrestlers.
After observing the petition’s purpose has been served, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud closed the matter at this stage. Supreme Court noted that the purpose of the wrestlers’ petition has been served as an FIR was registered and security has been provided to wrestlers including a minor complainant.
The top court said, “We close the proceedings at this stage. Further petitioners can approach the magistrate or the High Court in its jurisdiction if they wish for something else.” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta apprised the top court that proper security has been provided to the minor.
Mehta apprised the apex court that Delhi Police carried out a threat assessment for other wrestlers and found no threat to others. Mehta said that however proper security was given to the other six wrestlers and three armed police officers have been deployed at Jantar Mantar. Senior Advocate Harish Salve appeared for Brij Bhushan and apprised the court that his client has not been impleaded as a party in the matter and urged the court to be heard.
SG Tushar Mehta apprised SC that the investigation is ongoing and a sealed cover report has been filed. Further, he also informed the top court that the police have examined the complainants and a senior lady officer and her team are probing the matter.
Wrestler’s counsel told Supreme Court that the accused is giving an interview and naming the complainants. SG Mehta mentioned that the complaints were also giving interviews. SG Mehta also apprised the top court that two political leaders went with a truck full of beds in Jantar Mantar and Delhi Police prevented them to enter the protest side.
Earlier Delhi Police registered an FIR on the basis of allegations levelled by wrestlers. The top court had earlier directed Delhi police to make an adequate assessment of threat perception and provide security to minor girls. The court had also asked Delhi Police to file an affidavit mentioning steps taken to provide security to the minor girl.
The top court was hearing the wrestler’s plea seeking registration of FIR against WFI president Brij Bhushan. The court has noted that there is a serious allegation that is contained in the petition by wrestlers who have represented India. The court had also clarified that the identity of the petitioners should be redacted for the purpose of this petition.
Wrestlers had moved a plea in Supreme Court seeking the registration of an FIR against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Senior Advocate Narendra Hooda represented the petitioner in the matter.
Wrestlers urged the top court to issue directions to Delhi police to lodge FIR against Brij Bhushan as there is an inordinate delay in doing so. WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been accused by the wrestlers of sexual misconduct and intimidation.
After a protest led by some prominent wrestlers of the country this January, the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced the formation of an ‘oversight committee’ headed by boxer Mary Kom to probe allegations levelled against the WFI and its chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and other coaches. The committee was tasked with submitting a report on the issue to the ministry.
Top Indian wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Ravi Dahiya, and Sakshi Malik, held a sit-in protest in Jantar Mantar in January this year, demanding to remove Brij Bhushan from the head office and the Wrestling Federation of India be disbanded.