New Delhi: The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) refuted allegations made against its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh by wrestlers and said the federation is managed by an elected body and “there is no scope for arbitrariness and mismanagement”.
In its reply to the union sports ministry, which had sought an explanation from WFI on Wednesday after the country’s top wrestlers began a sit-in protest at the Capital’s Jantar Mantar area, the WFI rejected the allegations in its reply to the explanation and said its chief “has always acted keeping the best interest of wrestlers in mind”.
It said WFI is managed by the rules and regulations and “is not governed by the whims and fancies of any individual office bearers including president of WFI”.
The wrestlers, who were protesting at Jantar Mantar, called of their protest after a meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.
In a late night presser on Friday, Thakur, who was accompanied by protesting wrestlers, said an Oversight Committee will be set up by the Ministry for the Wrestling Federation of India.
The committee will inquire into the allegations made by prominent sportspersons of sexual misconduct, financial irregularities and administrative lapses and undertake day-to-day administration of the WFI. It will revisit the issues raised by players.
Thakur said the Oversight Committee will complete the enquiry in for weeks and till then, WFI President will step aside from the day-to-day functioning of the federation.
In its reply to Sports Ministry, WFI said it has enhanced the image of wrestling sport “nationally as well as internationally” under its present chief.
“The WFI is managed by an elected body as per its constitution and therefore there is no scope for arbitrariness and mismanagement of WFI by anyone individually including the President, WFI,” the federation said.
“The WFI in particular under the sitting President (3rd time) WFI has always acted keeping the best interest of Wrestlers in mind alongwith the best interest of India, national interest as well and under the sitting president, WFI, the WFI has enhanced the image of wrestling sport nationally as well as internationally,” it added.
WFI said no official report has been submitted to it regarding any grievances about policy, rules, regulations, instructions.
“The WFI further brings to the notice that no one has specifically brought to the notice of the management of WFI with respect to any of grievances about policy, rules, regulations, instructions etc. of the WFI nor to the knowledge of management any such policy, rules, regulations, instructions etc. of the WFI has so far been successfully questioned before any court of law”
“The WFI further brings to the notice that neither the management nor any office bearers of WFI allows any arbitrariness and mismanagement of WFI nor prefers any undue acceptance of the unreasonable request of any wrestlers or otherwise,” the federation said.
“The WFI is managed by the policy, rules, regulations, instructions etc. of the WFI or the Govt. of India or of International Body for the promotion of Wrestling as per its Constitution and Policy etc. and is not governed by the whims and fancies of any individual office bearers including President of WFI, which are also mostly available in the public domain,” it added.
WFI said it has already formed a sexual harassment committee.
“The WFI for redressal of grievances in respect of Sexual Harassment as required has already constituted a ‘Sexual Harassment Committee’, which consists of V.N. Prasood, Secretary General, WFI: Chairman; Jai Prakash, Olympain, Jt. Secretary, WFI: Convener; Vishal Singh, Executive Member; Debendra Kumar Sahoo and Sakshi Malik, Arjuna/Dhyanchand Khel Awardee Executive Member, WFI.”
(With Agency Inputs)