Chargesheet in Brij Bhushan Case by June 15; WFI Polls by June 30

Government Assures Wrestlers of Action Against WFI Chief and Elections, Agitation Suspended till June 15

New Delhi, TNI Bureau: In a significant development, the protesting wrestlers have agreed to temporarily suspend their agitation until June 15 following assurances from the government. The assurance includes the filing of a chargesheet against outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and the scheduling of elections for the sports body by the end of the month.

Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik held a meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur after being invited to discuss their demands and resolve the deadlock. This meeting took place three days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah also engaged with the wrestlers.

Following the five-hour-long meeting, Punia and Malik announced to reporters that the FIRs filed against them would be withdrawn, in addition to the government’s commitment to complete the police investigation into Singh’s case by June 15. Malik stated, “We have been asked to wait and suspend the protest until then.”

However, both Punia and Malik clarified that their agitation is not over, but rather suspended until June 15 as requested by the government.

The meeting between the wrestlers and Thakur comes as part of the government’s ongoing efforts to engage with the prominent wrestlers who have been protesting since April 23, demanding Singh’s arrest.

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During a subsequent press conference, Thakur described the meeting as constructive and stated that the government has accepted the protesters’ demands. He announced that a chargesheet will be filed by June 15, WFI elections will be held by June 30, and an Internal Complaints Committee headed by a woman will be established, all of which were unanimously agreed upon.

In response to another key demand, the government has also agreed not to allow Brij Bhushan Singh and his associates to contest elections, as Singh has already served three terms as WFI president and is ineligible as per the Sports Code.

Thakur further revealed that until the WFI elections, two women coaches will be added to the ad-hoc committee of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) overseeing the WFI’s affairs, focusing on the technical aspects. He emphasized that players will be consulted in the federation’s management after the elections.

Thakur mentioned that the wrestlers also demanded the withdrawal of cases against players, academies, coaches, or akharas (traditional wrestling training centers), and assured that their demands would be considered.

While Punia, Malik, and several other wrestlers have been at the forefront of the agitation, two-time Olympian Vinesh Phogat did not attend the meeting with Thakur. Earlier, the trio had even threatened to immerse their medals in the holy river Ganga in Haridwar if Singh was not arrested, but the threat was withdrawn after the intervention of farmer leaders.

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