The sexual harassment scandal involving Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and national wrestlers has taken a fresh turn with former Asian Games gold medalist Vinesh Phogat making serious allegations against an oversight committee member. The committee, led by legendary boxer MC Mary Kom, was formed by the sports ministry on January 23 to investigate the charges against the WFI president.
Vinesh Phogat, who is one of the national wrestlers demanding the removal of Brij Bhushan from the wrestling body, has claimed that a member of the probe committee is leaking ‘sensitive information’ to the media. Phogat has demanded strict action be taken against the person.
In a post on her social media account, Vinesh Phogat said that a certain member of the oversight committee has allegedly leaked the contents of the complaint to the media. She also questioned the ‘attitude of the person against women’.
“It has come to my recent awareness that a sportsperson member of the Oversight Committee has been allegedly leaking contents of the complaint of sexual harassment while reading certain media reports since yesterday. Being a sports person it is extremely disheartening to see a fellow sports-person member of the Oversight Committee has behaved so recklessly. Their attitude towards women is evident from such behaviour,” she wrote.
Requirement of action against a member of the oversight committee for leaking sensitive information to the press. @ianuragthakur pic.twitter.com/cUPDDUXhaf— Vinesh Phogat (@Phogat_Vinesh) February 26, 2023
“It is even more appealing that this sportsperson is a member of both the committees inquiring upon the sexual harassment allegations against high-ranking office bearers of the WFI. All this has placed great mistrust towards the committee proceedings. , am feeling let down at the not just weak but also strategic attempts of this committee member towards what should have been a fair and just investigation. I request that strict action be taken against the member for using his position in such a manner and that he should be immediately removed from the committee.
“The concern is not limited to the proceedings of this investigation itself as I am sure that the former President is finding support from this member. This member has been acting against the interest of women from day one. The lack of empathy and insensitivity displayed by this sportsperson was shocking during the proceedings of the committee. I request this matter to be investigated and all necessary actions to be taken immediately,” the post added.
Babita, the cousin of Vinesh Phogat and sister-in-law of Bajrang Punia, was included in the committee later on into the oversight committee at the wrestlers’ request. Vinesh and Bajrang led the protest against WFI President Brij Bhushan at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi last month leveling serious allegations including sexual harassment and misappropriation of funds against him.