Wrestlers vs Brij Bhushan: WFI's emergency general council meeting in Ayodhya called off
WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been accused of sexually harassing women wrestlers and working like a dictator by some of the country's top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Ravi Dahiya.
The Wrestling Federation of India's (WFI) emergency general council meeting, scheduled in Ayodhya for Sunday, was called off after the Sports Ministry directed it to suspend all ongoing activities owing to the various allegations against the sports body and its president.
The ministry on Saturday said it had asked the WFI to suspend "all ongoing activities with immediate effect", including the Ranking Tournament in Gonda, UP, the federation president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's stronghold.
Brij Bhushan has been accused of sexually harassing women wrestlers and working like a dictator by some of the country's top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Ravi Dahiya.
The ministry on Saturday also suspended WFI's assistant secretary Vinod Tomar, a fallout of the grapplers' allegations of sexual harassment and corruption against the sports body's chief.
It had decided to suspend Tomar, "with immediate effect, to ensure proper functioning of WFI".
On Friday, Brij Bhushan's son Prateek said his father would issue a statement on the allegations against him after the sports body's meeting.
While the ministry has directed Brij Bhushan to stay away from the day-to-day affairs of the WFI, he was present during the wrestling event in Nandini Nagar on Saturday.
Also on Friday, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur announced the formation of an oversight committee to probe the charges levelled by the top wrestlers against Sharan and his body.
The ministry is expected to announce the names of its oversight committee members on Sunday.
In a press release on Saturday, the ministry said it "has communicated to the Wrestling Federation of India on Saturday that in view of the Government's decision to appoint an Oversight Committee to investigate the various allegations raised by athletes against the Federation, WFI will suspend all ongoing activities with immediate effect, unless the Oversight Committee is formally appointed and takes over the day to day functioning of WFI".
(With inputs from PTI)