In a significant development, Anurag Thakur, the Union Sports Minister held a meeting with a group of protesting wrestlers at his residence in New Delhi on Wednesday, June 7.
During the meeting, Thakur provided assurances to the wrestlers regarding their concerns and made important announcements regarding the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections and the ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against former WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Thakur, after engaging in a six-hour discussion with the wrestlers, expressed his commitment to addressing their grievances. He assured them that the police investigation into the allegations against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh would be concluded by June 15. Furthermore, Thakur pledged to keep the wrestlers informed about the progress and status of the investigation.
The Union Sports Minister, in his interaction with the press later that evening, disclosed that the WFI elections would be conducted by June 30, thus fulfilling the demands of the wrestlers. Notably, some prominent wrestlers, including Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, were present during the meeting and expressed their concerns.
One of the primary demands put forth by the wrestlers was to prevent the re-election of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who had already served three terms as the WFI president. Thakur acknowledged this demand and assured the wrestlers that appropriate measures would be taken to address it.
In addition to these announcements, Anurag Thakur informed the media that the wrestlers had agreed not to continue their protest until June 15, considering the ongoing investigations. Furthermore, he emphasized the establishment of an internal complaint committee for the WFI, which would be headed by a woman, to address any future grievances within the organization.
The meeting between Anurag Thakur and the protesting wrestlers marks a significant step towards resolving the issues raised by the athletes. With the assurance of completing the investigation and conducting the WFI elections within the specified timeframes, the government aims to address the concerns and restore a favorable environment for wrestling in India.