Wrestlers vs WFI Live: Wrestling Federation of India AGM in Ayodhya called off - The Times of India (2023)

22:32 (IST) Jan 22

WFI chief Brij Bhushan asks people not to put objectionable slogans on social media

Hours after the emergency general council meeting of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) was called off, its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, in a tweet, requested people not to put objectionable slogans or hashtags on social media that harm the dignity of political parties or communities, among others.

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20:16 (IST) Jan 22

Hooda says contemplating filing defamation case against WFI chief

Wrestlers vs WFI Live: Wrestling Federation of India AGM in Ayodhya called off - The Times of India (1)

Senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday said he is contemplating filing a defamation case against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for allegedly dragging him and his son Deepender Hooda in the row over sexual harassment charges against Singh.

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16:53 (IST) Jan 22

Anurag Thakur on the role of oversight committee

West Bengal | Centre has heard all the players pertaining to allegations levelled against WFI. A tournament was sto… https://t.co/21OdZt43h4

— ANI (@ANI) 1674386285000

12:41 (IST) Jan 22

Government's oversight committee

The oversight committee, whose members' names are to be announced today, will have the powers to take all decisions on matters concerning Indian wrestling. The committee will be probing the allegations of sexual harassment and corruption against WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

12:25 (IST) Jan 22

Wrestling president Sharan at Nandini Nagar event

Wrestlers vs WFI Live: Wrestling Federation of India AGM in Ayodhya called off - The Times of India (2)

While the Sports ministry has directed federation president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh to stay away from the day-to-day affairs of the WFI, he was present during the wrestling event in Nandini Nagar on Saturday.

11:45 (IST) Jan 22

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh: Strongman from Gonda caught off-guard by wrestlers' swift move

Accused of sexual harassment by a group of Olympians and international wrestlers, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been asked to stay away from the affairs of the federation for four weeks, till an Indian Olympic Association (IOA) panel probes and submits its report about allegations against him.

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10:48 (IST) Jan 22

WFI's assistant secretary suspension

On Saturday, WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar was suspended to ensure proper functioning of the federation. "The Ministry has taken note of the reports about the functioning of the WFI, including the role of Shri Vinod Tomar and, has the reasons to believe that his continued presence will be detrimental to the development of this high-priority discipline," the Sports Ministry said in the letter. The aggrieved wrestlers had alleged that Tomar took bribes from athletes and was involved in financial corruption, helping him to build property worth crores.

10:35 (IST) Jan 22

WFI's emergency general council meeting in Ayodhya called off

The Wrestling Federation of India's emergency general council meeting, scheduled 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 Saturday said it has directed 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.

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09:56 (IST) Jan 22

Sports Ministry to announce names of oversight committee members today

The Sports Ministry is expected to announce the names of its oversight committee members, who will probe the allegations of sexual harassment and corruption against Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, today. The tussle between the agitating grapplers and the WFI ended for the time being after the athletes called off their protest late on Friday night following assurances from the government. After a marathon meeting on Friday, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said that the government has decided to form an oversight committee to probe the charges levelled by some of the country's top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Ravi Dahiya. The committee will also oversee the day-to-day affairs of the federation.

09:45 (IST) Jan 22

Wrestling Federation of India's emergency general council meeting in Ayodhya called off - PTI

22:58 (IST) Jan 21

Sports ministry suspends all ongoing activities of Wrestling Federation of India

Wrestlers vs WFI Live: Wrestling Federation of India AGM in Ayodhya called off - The Times of India (3)

The sports ministry on Saturday decided to suspend all activities of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) until the Oversight Committee is formally appointed and takes over the day-to-day activities of the federation.

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22:32 (IST) Jan 21

The allegations are baseless. It has been 3-4 days (since the wrestlers sat in protest) and they still haven't produced any evidence. I have been associated with them for the past 12 years and I never came across any such incident or allegation

Suspended WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar

22:21 (IST) Jan 21

UPDATE: GoI has decided to suspend all activities of WFI until the Oversight Committee is formally appointed & takes over the day-to-day activities of WFI. This includes the suspension of ongoing ranking competition & return of entry fees taken from participants for any ongoing activities, reports ANI.

22:09 (IST) Jan 21

Sports ministry suspends WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar

Wrestlers vs WFI Live: Wrestling Federation of India AGM in Ayodhya called off - The Times of India (4)

The union ministry of sports announced the suspension of Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Saturday.

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21:53 (IST) Jan 21

Vinod Tomar reacts after his suspension

"I did not know about this. I only learned through a call from ANI that I have been suspended. I did not get any prior information regarding this. I have not done anything wrong," Vinod Tomar, told ANI on Saturday.

21:37 (IST) Jan 21

Earlier on Friday, under-fire Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh termed the protest by the country's top grapplers "dharna of Shaheen Bagh" and reiterated that he won't quit from the post.

21:25 (IST) Jan 21

Who is Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh - the controversial head of WFI and 6-term MP?

Wrestlers vs WFI Live: Wrestling Federation of India AGM in Ayodhya called off - The Times of India (5)

02:53

21:16 (IST) Jan 21

Earlier in the day, the WFI rejected all the allegations, including that of sexual harassment against its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, and claimed that the wrestlers' protest was motivated by a "hidden agenda to dislodge the current management".

21:01 (IST) Jan 21

Sports Ministry to announce names of oversight committee members on Sunday

Wrestlers vs WFI Live: Wrestling Federation of India AGM in Ayodhya called off - The Times of India (6)

The tussle between the agitating grapplers and the WFI ended for the time being after the athletes called off their protest late on Friday night following assurances from the government, the first step of which was the temporary sidelining of Singh.

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20:54 (IST) Jan 21

The Sports Ministry will announce the names of its oversight committee members, who will probe the allegations of sexual harassment and corruption against Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, on Sunday, ministry sources said.

20:50 (IST) Jan 21

Sports Ministry suspends Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), reports ANI.

19:30 (IST) Jan 21

No protest on Sunday, we trust our government: Bajrang Punia

Wrestlers vs WFI Live: Wrestling Federation of India AGM in Ayodhya called off - The Times of India (7)

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18:32 (IST) Jan 21

The WFI in its letter also said that the federation is ready to cooperate with the government and will provide all the necessary information the ministry seeks.

18:18 (IST) Jan 21

"The protesting wrestlers are accountable to explain for themselves, to the public as well as the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, particularly when mostly the protestors are seen coming together from a particulars region/state of Haryana," the federation wrote.

18:07 (IST) Jan 21

Any aggrieved person/wrestler may approach the said committee for its grievances if any, and the committee is bound to inquire as per law. However, no such complaint of any such nature as has been received from the protestors/wrestlers

WFI wrote to sports ministry

17:54 (IST) Jan 21

Wrestlers are not at all happy. They feel they were fooled by the ministry. When they saw the news in the morning that the competition is on and Brij Bhushan is relaxed and enjoying bouts as president, (they think) nothing changed, so they are planning to restart their protest on Sunday or Monday

Sources told IANS

17:43 (IST) Jan 21

"The wrestlers are feeling "cheated" and could resume their protest till Brij Bhushan is sacked. They are also unhappy that the national trials are continuing in Lucknow without them," reports IANS quoting sources.

17:33 (IST) Jan 21

IOA panel to send report in 8-10 days to PM, MHA: Yogeshwar Dutt

Former Indian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, a part of the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) seven-member committee to probe the wrestlers' allegations of sexual harassment against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, said that the panel will prepare a report within eight to ten days, which will then be submitted to the sports ministry, home ministry and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

17:21 (IST) Jan 21

The government decided to form an oversight committee which will investigate the allegations of sexual harassment of women wresters by the WFI president. The committee, members of which are yet to be named, will also oversee the day-to-day affairs of the federation.

17:12 (IST) Jan 21

Earlier late last night, the wrestlers called off their three-day long sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar after a breakthrough was achieved during a marathon second round of talks with union sports minister Anurag Thakur.

17:03 (IST) Jan 21

The WFI has enhanced the image of wrestling sport nationally as well as internationally and for the record of this ministry, it is not possible without fair, supportive, clean and strict management of WFI

WFI said in its response to the sports ministry

16:52 (IST) Jan 21

WFI rejects wrestlers' allegations against president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh

Wrestlers vs WFI Live: Wrestling Federation of India AGM in Ayodhya called off - The Times of India (8)

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has rejected all the allegations, including that of sexual harassment against its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, saying "there is no scope for arbitrariness and mismanagement " in the sports body.

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16:42 (IST) Jan 21

Protesters have acted more in personal interest or under undue pressure to malign and defame present sitting management of WFI: Federation

16:27 (IST) Jan 21

Protest has some personal as well as hidden agenda to dislodge current management of WFI: Federation

16:19 (IST) Jan 21

Breaking: There is no scope for arbitrariness and mismanagement in WFI by any one individually including president: WFI to Sports Ministry, reports PTI

12:14 (IST) Jan 21

Supporters welcome Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh with garlands in wrestling event despite molestation charges

Wrestlers vs WFI Live: Wrestling Federation of India AGM in Ayodhya called off - The Times of India (9)

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11:54 (IST) Jan 21

TOI has learnt that the emergency council wasn't happy with how the wrestlers went public with their grievances without first talking about them with the sports ministry, the IOA and the Sports Authority of India or SAI. The timing of the wrestlers protest is also being discussed, considering the WFI elections are scheduled in March

11:54 (IST) Jan 21

The IOA held an emergency council meeting on Friday, with Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra also joining it as an athletes' commission member of the International Olympic Committee or the IOC.

11:16 (IST) Jan 21

So what happens next?

There is no time limit that has been set for the IOA committee to submit its report and findings. The IOA cannot dissolve WFI, as demanded by the wrestlers. The members of the committee formed by the IOA will be holding talks with the wrestlers who have been protesting and investigate all the charges levelled against Singh and the WFI. If the wrestlers are fine with sharing the names and identities of the victims of alleged sexual harassment, the committee members will be meeting them as well, with everything being done in strict confidentiality.

11:15 (IST) Jan 21

On Friday multiple young wrestlers also came forward to say that they had not heard or seen anything that would lead them to believe that wrestlers were being subjected to sexual harassment of any kind by anyone in the WFI, including the president.

10:58 (IST) Jan 21

On Friday, TimesofIndia.com spoke to a few wrestlers who said they were quite shocked to learn that Sakshi Malik, an Olympic medal winner and one of the protesting wrestlers had been unaware about the alleged sexual harassment, despite being a member of WFI's anti-sexual harassment committee.

10:57 (IST) Jan 21

Singh's son Prateek Bhushan, who is an MLA from Gonda, later said that Singh would issue a statement about the allegations on Sunday, January 22. Singh has said that the wrestlers are protesting as part of a political conspiracy against him and the BJP.

10:57 (IST) Jan 21

Brij Bhushan Singh meanwhile did not hold his press conference, which was scheduled for Friday. It was postponed thrice during the day and finally called off. In a chat with media personnel however he ruled out his resignation. His words were - that his revelations would "trigger a tsunami"

10:37 (IST) Jan 21

Meanwhile the Indian Olympic Association, which is currently headed by one of India's most well known athletes - PT Usha, formed a 7 member committee to look into the allegations of sexual harassment against Singh. This committee will be headed by ace Indian boxer MC Mary Kom. On Friday the wrestlers also wrote a letter to Usha where they reiterated their demand for Singh's sacking and a thorough probe into the very serious allegations of sexual harassment against female wrestlers

10:36 (IST) Jan 21

We have full faith in the committee as announced by the minister. We are happy that a probe has been ordered. We are calling off our protest for now.

Bajrang Punia

10:17 (IST) Jan 21

TOI has learnt that the oversight committee is likely to have three eminent sportspersons, with two of them being female athletes.

10:02 (IST) Jan 21

So what happens in this one month period?

During this time, an oversight committee will look into all the allegations that the wrestlers have levelled at Brij Bhushan and the WFI - those of sexual harassment and also financial misconduct. The committee will also, during this time, run the day to day affairs of the federation.

10:02 (IST) Jan 21

For now Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, an elected president of the WFI has been asked to step aside for a period of 4 weeks.

09:56 (IST) Jan 21

Wrestlers protest so far

The protesting wrestlers called off their 3 day stir against the Wrestling Federation of India and its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh late night on Friday after another marathon rounds of talks with the sports minister Anurag Thakur.

09:29 (IST) Jan 21

Who is Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh - The controversial head of WFI and 6-term MP?

Wrestlers vs WFI Live: Wrestling Federation of India AGM in Ayodhya called off - The Times of India (10)

02:53

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