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Congress' Harish Rawat leads opposition protest in Dehradun, demands justice for women wrestlers

Dehradun: Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Tuesday staged a sit-in protest in Dehradun with several opposition parties and demanded justice for the female wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar in the national capital against Wrestling Federation of India chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

The former state's Chief Minister protested in Dehradun's Gandhi Park from 10 am to 12 noon today and expressed solidarity with the women wrestlers. The senior Congress leader said that following an all-party meeting, it was decided that all the opposition parties will close in ranks against the lack of action against Bhushan and also the works of the Uttarakhand government.

"It is a good effort by the party and I congratulate the Uttarakhand Congress and all the political parties who are concerned about protecting the constitutional democracy of the country," Rawat said.
Former State minister and Congress leader, Navprabhat said that they have contacted every party, opposing the BJP, to unite against the ruling party's policies.

Several ace grapplers including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshee Mallik have been protesting for over a month at the Jantar Mantar, Delhi, accusing the WFI chief of sexual harassment and demanding his arrest.
On May 19, the wrestlers marched from Jantar Mantar to Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in New Delhi on their 25th day of protest against Brij Bhushan.

Grapplers including Punia, Sakshi, Vinesh and others joined the march demanding the arrest of the WFI chief charged with sexual harassment of athletes.

The protestors have been demanding the registration of an FIR against the WFI chief and his arrest into the allegations of sexual harassment. Two separate FIRs were registered on April 28 following the Supreme Court's notice to Delhi Police into the plea filed by the wrestlers.

Earlier on April 24, The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will be forming an ad-hoc committee to conduct the elections for the Executive Committee of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) within 45 days of its formation, to manage day-to-day affairs of the body, including the selection of athletes and making entries for the participation of players in international events. This committee will be functioning for an interim period till a new Executive Committee takes charge.

Delhi Police has filed a status report on the application moved by women wrestlers in an alleged offence of sexual offence levelled against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Earlier this year, prominent wrestlers came forward to lead a protest against the WFI chief, following which the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur, announced the formation of an 'oversight committee' to probe allegations against the WFI, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and some coaches. (ANI)

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