The Congress on Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his ”silence” on sexual harassment allegations against BJP MP and WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, and accused him of trying to save his party’s leader.
India’s top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, are staging a sit-in at Jantar Mantar here, demanding the arrest of Singh for allegedly sexually harassing seven women grapplers.
In a tweet in Hindi, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, ”Sportspersons who have brought laurels to the country by winning medals have been demanding justice for more than four months, but the prime minister is trying to save his MP.” He urged PM Modi to break his silence on the issue.
Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala, who hails from Haryana, also visited the protest site and met the grapplers, expressing solidarity with their demands.
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Why does the Modi government not hear the cries of the daughters of the country and their pleas for justice, Surjewala said after meeting the wrestlers ”I extended full support to the daughters and noted wrestlers who have been protesting for the last 26 days at Jantar Mantar demanding justice for the atrocities committed against them. We are with these daughters with our thoughts, words and deeds in this struggle,” Surjewala said in a tweet in Hindi.
”My direct question to the prime minister is that the daughters who returned after winning medals, were your family members then. You didn’t hold back in building your image in the whole country by making video calls to them from thousands of miles away,” he said.
Now they are sitting a few kilometres away from your residence in bad weather for the last 26 days, Surjewala said.
”Leave alone listening to them, you want to get their peaceful dharna removed through police excesses. Instead of taking action against the accused, why have you kept silent on such a serious matter?” he said.
”Modi ji, you give the slogan of women empowerment and Beti Padhao-Beti Bachao all over the country. The reality of your slogan is visible at Jantar Mantar for 26 days,” he said.
The Delhi Police last Friday informed a special court here that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the allegations of sexual harassment levelled by women wrestlers against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president.
The submission was made before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Harjeet Singh Jaspal in response to the court’s earlier order directing the police to file a status report.
The Delhi Police has also recorded the statement of Singh, as well as the statement of the WFI’s assistant secretary Vinod Tomar.
Last month, the Delhi Police registered two FIRs against Singh.
The first FIR pertains to allegations levelled by a minor girl which has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act along with relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code concerning outraging modesty. The second one has been registered over complaints by adults pertaining to modesty outrage.