‘Touched inappropriately, was shell-shocked’, says female wrestler in FIR against WFI chief
One of the women grapplers, who have levelled sexual harassment allegations against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, has accused him of touching her inappropriately.
New Delhi: One of the women grapplers, who have levelled sexual harassment allegations against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, has accused him of touching her inappropriately.
In the FIR filed by the Delhi Police, the wrestlers have given the details of the harassment they faced over the years.
One of the wrestlers has said in the FIR, “In 2016 at Mongolia the WFI chief, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh called me to his dinner table where he was sitting separately, and to my utter shock and surprise and without my consent placed his hand on my breast and groped me and then slid his hand down to my stomach. To my disbelief, the accused did not stop there and again moved his hand upwards to my breast… repeatedly 3-4 times.”
“I tried to resist the actions of Singh but could not react to the indecent and continuous acts of groping and molestation by Singh as I was shell-shocked due to the acts of the accused person to the extent that it sent a chill down my spine and my body froze and I could not react in any manner.
“I was deeply shocked and traumatised by the acts of Singh that I could not sleep or eat properly for the next few days. Being a young professional at the said time, I could not even muster the courage to speak about the incident to anyone, let alone reporting the same to the authorities as Singh was an influential and powerful person,” she said in the FIR.
According to the FIR registered at Connaught Place police station, Singh and Vinod Tomar, the Secretary of WFI, committed the offences of using criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty, sexual harassment, criminal intimidation, criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication and criminal conspiracy with the grappler.
“In September 2017 while I was training at Bellary, Karnataka for Asian Indoor Games. During the training, I suffered a serious concussion and got injured due to which I had to be hospitalised and was almost on the death bed. Since I had lost movement in all my body parts, I informed the Wrestling Federation of India by email that due to the injury suffered by me, I would not be able to participate in the upcoming Indoor Asian Games,” she further said in the FIR.
But to her utter shock and surprise, the federation without considering her emails instead issued a show cause notice to her for “indiscipline” and directed her to visit the office in Delhi.
“Though I was not in the physical state to visit the office of the federation, but out of fear of any unjust action being taken against me and in compliance with the notice, I visited the federation office. I had also taken along with me all the medical documents/records. There I met Singh, Vinod Tomar, who upon meeting, informed me that a disciplinary committee had been constituted to take the decision in relation to the show cause notice issued to me. Tomar asked me to go inside the office of the President (Singh) alone…,” she further stated.
“… In the said meeting, Singh first started scolding me for the tweet which I had posted in the past highlighting the issues of WFI and other reforms which it needed and also about my inability to play in the Indoor Asian Games, this was despite the fact that I had supplied the federation all relevant medical records and details of my injury,” she further stated.
“While all this conversation was happening, I was sitting on a different sofa from that of Singh, who was sitting slightly far away from me. However, in the next few minutes, he walked and sat right next to me on the sofa. As he sat next to me, his tone changed and he began to reassure me that no harm will come and while doing so, he started touching me inappropriately on my palm, knee, thighs and shoulders without my consent,” she had alleged in the FIR.
“I started shivering at that very moment. Suddenly, Singh called Tomar and instructed him to not act adversely against me and to let me off with a warning. I was called to the federation office the very next day also since Singh informed me that the internal committee members will come tomorrow and they will take a call on my case,” she said.
Next day, a document was brought to Singh’s office, and she was forced to sign it without being permitted to read it.
“After I signed the document, Singh asked everyone to leave his office, but I was instructed by him to remain in his office. When I also sought permission to leave he replied: “ltni kya jaldi hai, kaha jaana hai, baitho idhar he (why so much hurry, where do you have to go, sit here)”.
“While saying this, he pressed my shoulders. While we were sitting, he was touching his legs against mine and continued talking and even touched my knees. Again to my shock and surprise, he put his hand on my breast and slid it down my stomach on the pretext of examining/checking my breathing and asked me to take deep breaths, but his only intention was to touch me inappropriately with the intent to outrage my modesty. I started shivering and requested him to let me go,” according to the FIR.