Wrestlers’ protest: WFI chief alleges POCSO misused, says ‘we’ll force govt to change it’

Accused of sexual harassment of women wrestlers, Singh plans a rally of seers in Ayodhya on June 5

WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh
According to a veteran local journalist, a combination of muscle power and money power makes all the difference in the economically backward badlands of eastern UP, giving people like Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh all kinds of immunity | File photo: Twitter

Wrestling Federation of India president and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who faces a case under the POCSO Act, has alleged that the law is being “misused” and under the leadership of seers, “we will force the government to change” it.

Singh, who has been accused by several wrestlers of sexual harassment has been rallying support in his favour and has denied the allegations.

Speaking to reporters at a meeting in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich regarding preparations for a rally of seers called by him in Ayodhya on June 5, Singh claimed that 11 lakh seers will take part in the rally.

Top wrestlers of the country, including Vinesh Phogat and Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, have been staging a sit-in at Jantar Mantar in Delhi since April 23, demanding Singh’s arrest for allegedly sexually harassing seven women grapplers, including a minor.

The Delhi Police has filed two FIRs against the WFI president. While the first FIR relates to allegations by the minor wrestler and has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the second is related to outraging modesty.

Singh alleged the POCSO Act is being “misused on a large scale”.

“This law is being misused against children, the elderly and seers. Even officials are not immune to its misuse,” Singh, a BJP MP from Kaiserganj said.

“Under the leadership of seers, we will force the government to change the (POCSO) law,” he said.

The law was brought by the Congress government without examining its various aspects, he added.

Singh also reiterated that all the allegations against him are false.

The Sports Ministry has cancelled all activities of the wrestling federation till the investigation into the allegations of the wrestlers is completed.

Earlier in the day, Bajrang Punia told a media outlet that they have put their careers in jeopardy to demand justice for the women wrestlers, and had expected that the government will take their medals into consideration and hear their complaints.

(With inputs from agencies)