New Delhi, May 28, 2023- The Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal on Sunday deplored ‘manhandling’ of protesting wrestlers by the city police and demanded immediate arrest of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh against whom the wrestlers were staging protest at Jantar Mantar since April 23 over charges of sexual harassment.
“Through this letter, I wish to inform you that the Delhi Commission for Women is deeply pained to note that Delhi Police has manhandled female wrestlers and their families protesting peacefully at Jantar Mantar and forcefully detained them today,” said Maliwal in the letter to Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora.
“Over a month back, several women wrestlers including a minor had made serious allegations of sexual harassment against the Member of Parliament Brij Bhushan Singh (Sharan) during his tenure as the President of Wrestling Federation of India. Upon intervention of the Supreme Court, two FIRs were registered in the matter against the accused person who already has around 40 other ongoing criminal cases against him.
“However, despite a minor girl alleging sexual harassment by the accused parliamentarian, Delhi Police has failed to arrest him till date. This has forced the female wrestlers to stage a protest at Jantar Mantar which has been ongoing since the past one month,” she said.
“In Delhi, every day around 6 cases of sexual assault are reported and in each case, Delhi Police attempts to arrest the accused person. Then why has Brij Bhushan Singh not been arrested till date? If this is not blatant injustice, what is? This apparent partisan attitude of Delhi Police which is being seen as siding with the accused parliamentarian has made a mockery of justice and forced the women wrestlers to sit and sleep on the streets of Delhi,” Maliwal wrote in the letter.
“Further, in an unprecedented move, the women wrestlers today along with their families were manhandled and forcefully detained and taken away by Delhi Police. Several videos depicting the same have been going viral on social media. The manner in which these women champions are being dragged on the streets by Delhi Police is extremely unbecoming of the force,” she said.
“I wish to remind your good self that the female wrestlers – Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and Sangita Phogat – are all heroes and champions of this country. They have earned laurels for the nation on several national and international forums including the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. By denying them justice and forcefully detaining them for raising their voice against sexual harassment, Delhi Police is demoralising the women and girls of this country against reporting cases of sexual harassment and fighting for justice,” said Maliwal.
In the letter, Maliwal demanded Singh to be urgently arrested and female wrestlers and their families be immediately released by the Delhi Police.
She also demanded action against the officers responsible for detaining them. (Agency)