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Brij Bhushan's Inner Circle's Desperate Tactics to Deter Brave Wrestlers Sharing Testimony

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is currently facing allegations of sexual harassment from six women wrestlers, has been accused of attempting to intimidate the female complainants when they appeared before the government-appointed oversight committee. In a written complaint included in the extensive 1,600-page chargesheet filed by the Delhi police, it is alleged that Singh's associates approached the affected wrestlers, exerting pressure on them to retract their statements.

One of the complainants, who was leading the protest against Singh, sent an email to the committee on February 13, 2023, expressing deep concern about a breach of privacy that occurred during the statement recording process at JLN Stadium on February 9, 2023. The wrestlers were promised complete privacy and confidentiality during their testimonies, but to their surprise, individuals closely associated with Brij Bhushan, namely Jai Prakash, Mahavir Bishnoi, and Dilip, were seen loitering around the conference room throughout the day. This created an uncomfortable and inauthentic environment for the wrestlers.

The complainant pointed out that these individuals approached the victims and applied unwarranted pressure on them, which is wholly unacceptable. Their presence in the area where statements were being recorded violated legal guidelines. The breach of privacy was further exacerbated by the presence of an unidentified person who was never formally introduced to the wrestlers, contravening the rules that allow only six committee members to be present during such proceedings.

"All of these events have left us feeling violated and uncomfortable, and we strongly believe that such breaches of privacy should not be tolerated. I request you to take immediate action to ensure that privacy and confidentiality of all future proceedings are maintained and that necessary steps are taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future," stated the complaint.

The committee responsible for overseeing the case consisted of renowned individuals, including Mary Kom, chairperson of the Indian Olympic Association's athletes commission, Yogeshwar Dutt, a bronze medalist in the London Olympics, Babita Phogat, a three-time Commonwealth Games medalist, Trupti Murgunde, a former badminton player, and Radhica Sreemanand and Cdr Rajesh Rajagopalan, former officials of the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Interestingly, Babita disagreed with the committee's findings and signed the final report as a form of protest. She expressed her belief that the committee failed to fulfill its obligations and that the investigation was neither fair nor transparent. Babita criticized the committee for not inviting independent witnesses to provide their testimonies and failing to request physical evidence to corroborate the claims made by the female wrestlers. According to her, the investigation merely served as a formality, leading to inconclusive findings. Babita argued that the committee should have taken necessary and justified actions against the accused, Brij Bhushan, and former WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar.

Furthermore, the committee found support for the testimonies given by other witnesses, including Ravi Dahiya, a silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, Bajrang Punia, the reigning Asian Games and Commonwealth Games champion, and Deepak Punia. The committee concurred that the players' commercial contracts were breached by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), among other issues.

The chargesheet and its enclosures shed light on the contentious proceedings and the dissenting voices within the committee, ultimately raising questions about the fairness and transparency of the investigation into the allegations against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and Vinod Tomar.

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