Sports Minister assures wrestlers: WFI elections to be held by June 30
New Delhi, June 7, 2023: Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur met with protesting wrestlers today and assured them that the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections would take place by June 30. Thakur also addressed the allegations of sexual harassment against former WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, stating that the police investigation would be completed by June 15. The meeting, which lasted for six hours, included Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, among others.
During the press conference following the meeting, Anurag Thakur announced that the wrestlers' demands would be addressed. He stated, "We have assured the wrestlers that the investigation will be completed by June 15, and chargesheets will be submitted. The WFI elections will be held by June 30." The athletes had expressed their concerns about Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's potential re-election for a fourth term as WFI president.
Thakur also disclosed that the wrestlers had agreed not to continue their protest until June 15. Additionally, he confirmed that an internal complaint committee, headed by a woman, would be established within the Wrestling Federation of India. The committee aims to address any grievances related to harassment and ensure a safe environment for wrestlers.
This meeting marks the second interaction between government officials and the protesting wrestlers, following their meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah last Saturday. The wrestlers had previously expressed their intention to continue their protest until June 15. However, with Anurag Thakur's assurances and the commitment to hold the WFI elections by the end of June, it appears that a resolution to the long-standing deadlock is within reach.