India’s sports minister on Wednesday urged wrestling champions who staged protests accusing their federation chief of sexual harassment to wait for the outcome of investigations before deciding on their next action.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said the Metropolitan Police was investigating the case on the directives of the Supreme Court. The minister asked the wrestlers to trust the ongoing investigations.
Thakur was speaking a day after the Olympic medal-winning duo of Bajrang Punya and Sakshi Malik, as well as Asian Games champion Phinesh Phogat, said they would throw their medals into the Ganga river as part of their demand for the federation president’s arrest.
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A prominent leader of a farmers’ union persuaded them to cancel the procedure and promised a solution within 5 days.
Wrestling champions have been pitching tents in New Delhi since April 23 to demand action against Indian Wrestling Federation President Brij Bhushan Charan Singh, who has denied allegations of sexual harassment of female wrestlers.
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“Players, wait and trust the Delhi police investigation,” Thakur told reporters, referring to the complaint filed by the police. The police filed a preliminary report based on a directive from the Supreme Court.”
He added that while the investigation was taking place, it would not be appropriate to take any action that would harm any other sport or other players.
Singh, who is also a member of parliament for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party, has been stripped of all administrative powers.
Singh pleaded not guilty again on Wednesday.