khaps, wrestlers, support, BJP, Khattar govt
Wrestlers have publicly welcomed the khaps to take part in the on-going protest after they received flak for not consulting them before ending their earlier protest in January | File photo

Preliminary probe needed before FIR against WFI chief: Delhi Police tells SC

A preliminary probe is needed before an FIR can be registered against Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment allegations made by seven women wrestlers, said the Delhi Police to the Supreme Court on Wednesday (April 26).

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha was told by solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Delhi Police, that if the top court felt that an FIR was to be lodged straight away, it may be done.

“We, prima facie feel, that there was a need to conduct a preliminary investigation before the registration of the FIR,” said the law officer, adding that an impression should not be created that the FIR has not been registered despite the court asking for it.

Meanwhile, even as several national award winning wrestlers have been protesting at Jantar Mantar at Delhi demanding the government make public the findings of an oversight panel that investigated the sexual harassment allegations against Singh, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra extended her support to the Indian wrestlers.

Also read: Delhi Police seek report from panel probing WFI chief; 7 wrestlers file complaint

The wrestlers have called out political bias in the probe procedure. Echoing the protestors’ sentiments, Priyanka has now enquired if the ‘government is aiding the accused,’ via a tweet.

“The victories of female athletes are more significant than anything else. They (female wrestlers) are sitting on the road right next to the Parliament, with tears in their eyes. No one is listening to their complaints against the exploitation that has been going on for a long time,” she added.

Also read: Protesting wrestlers sleep on footpath; DCW seeks details on FIR against WFI chief from Delhi police

The top court on Tuesday meanwhile had issued notices to the Delhi Police and others on a plea by seven women wrestlers seeking registration of an FIR against the WFI president over allegations of sexual harassment, saying the matter is “serious” and requires its consideration.

The top wrestlers, who have won medals for the nation in various international events, said they would continue to press for a proper investigation into their allegations that Singh sexually harassed women athletes.

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