The fighters cancel the protest; Federation head will stand aside until investigation is complete, says Sports Minister Anurag Thakur | Wrestling News –

After receiving assurances that their grievances would be addressed, the wrestlers called off their protest following a second round of meetings with the union’s sports minister, Anurag Thakur, which ended after midnight on Saturday. The minister assured the fighters, who included big names such as Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, World Championship medalist Vinesh Phogat, among others, that the investigation regarding their allegations of sexual misconduct against the trainers and president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will complete in four weeks. A monitoring committee will be formed to investigate the allegations, Thakur added. WFI chief Brij Bhushan will stand aside until the oversight committee completes its investigation.

“It has been decided that an oversight committee will be formed. Names for which will be announced tomorrow. The committee will complete its investigation within four weeks. The fighters presented their demands. I have assured them that appropriate action will be taken. All allegations of sexual harassment and financial embezzlement will be investigated,” Thakur said at a news conference on Saturday.

“Until the investigation is over, he (Singh) will stand aside and cooperate with the investigation and the oversight committee will handle the day-to-day business of WFI.”

Wrestler Bajrang Punia, who has been a leading figure in the protest, thanked Thakur for his prompt response. “We have received guarantees from the respected minister. Thank you. We protest only as a last resort. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has really helped our game,” Punia said.

Earlier, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) formed a seven-member committee to investigate allegations of sexual harassment by wrestlers against federation president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The great boxer and Olympic medalist Mary Kom will chair the panel. Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) President Sahdev Yadav, archer Dola Banerjee, Olympic medal winning wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt are part of the panel among others. The committee will also have two lawyers. The panel will speak first with the protesting fighters and then with WFI before coming to a conclusion.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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