About 30 national and international level wrestlers have opened a front against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Wrestlers have made many serious allegations against Brij Bhushan. Wrestlers are protesting at Jantar Mantar for the third consecutive day against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and Wrestling Federation. Now the government has also come into action in this whole matter. Sports Minister Anurag Thakur also had a meeting with the players.
Wrestler Vinesh Phogat had alleged that the WFI president has been sexually harassing women wrestlers for years. Brijbhushan Sharan Singh has denied this allegation. By the way, this is not the first time that the players have made such allegations against the coach or the officials associated with the Federation. In the past also many cases have come in the Indian sports world. Strict action was taken in some cases, while in some the accused were proved innocent. Let’s know about such cases…
1. Sandeep Singh Case: On 29 December 2022, a junior coach accused Haryana Sports Minister and former Team India captain Sandeep Singh of sexual harassment.
Action: On January 1, 2023, the Chandigarh Police registered a case against Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh on charges of sexual harassment and illicit relations on the complaint of a junior coach. Sandeep Singh gave up his portfolio on the same day.
2. Case involving Alex Ambrose: In July 2022, India Under-17 women’s football team assistant coach Alex Ambrose was accused of sexual harassment.
Action: Assistant coach Alex Ambrose was sacked in July 2022 following the allegations.
3.Women Cyclist Case: In June 2022, Indian cycling was embroiled in controversy when a female cyclist accused national team head coach RK Sharma of sexual harassment during an overseas training camp in Slovenia.
Action: On 8 June 2022, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) terminated the contract of chief cycling coach RK Sharma. Sai had sacked the coach of Tamil Nadu.
4. Case of Junior Athletes: In June 2018, around 15 junior athletes from Tamil Nadu sent a complaint in broken English to the SAI headquarters, leveling serious allegations against the coach.
Action: Sai sacked a coach from its Tamil Nadu centre. In the same year, Adille Sumariwalla, president of the Athletics Federation of India, demanded appropriate punishment for serious cases of sexual harassment of junior athletes in SAI’s regional centres.
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5. Allegations of molestation of female cricketer: In January 2020, Gautam Gambhir told via Twitter that a female cricketer had come to him seeking help in a sexual harassment case.
Action: In January 2020, the Delhi Police registered an FIR against a coach in the Nizamuddin area of south-east Delhi on a complaint by a female cricketer.
6. Female Gymnast Case: In September 2014, a female gymnast accused coach Manoj Rana and gymnast Chandan Pathak of sexual harassment.
Action: On 17 September 2014, SAI launched an inquiry into the allegations of sexual harassment. Despite this, the accused coach and the gymnast flew to Incheon for the 17th Asian Games.
7. Women’s hockey team alleges coach: In July 2010, a member of the Indian women’s hockey team accused the team’s coach and Olympian chef Kishan Kaushik of sexual harassment.
Action: Maharaj Kishan Kaushik resigned from his post after allegations of sexual harassment. He was cleared of all charges by an inquiry committee constituted by Hockey India and the Sports Authority of India.
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8. Athletes who commit suicide: In April 2022, coach Ravi Singh was facing serious allegations of mental and sexual harassment in the case of suicide of a Kerala-born basketball player in Bihar. In May 2015, a 15-year-old Indian athlete died after eating a poisonous fruit, while three other athletes were hospitalized in what was suspected to be suicide. In November 2009, a woman boxer committed suicide in her hostel at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, allegedly due to harassment by the coach.
What do official figures say?
In response to a question in the Rajya Sabha in July 2022, it was stated that the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had received 30 complaints of sexual harassment against coaches and staff, of which two (2) were anonymous complaints. The reply did not specify whether action was taken and only stated that necessary action was taken in all the 30 cases.
Report- Dolly Chingakham