As India’s top wrestlers continue to protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh, the two First Information Reports (FIRs) registered against him detail how he abused his power to sexually harass and intimidate wrestlers.In the two FIRs filed on April 28, seven women, including a minor, have accused Brij Bhushan of sexually harassing them.The six women and the minor have detailed altogether 12 instances of sexual assault and at least three instances of Brij Bhushan asking for sexual favours.In one of the FIRs, based on a complaint by the father of a minor, he details what happened to his daughter when she was reportedly 16.Naming Brij Bhushan, he says that his daughter was sexually abused by the accused after she won a gold medal at a national championship.He alleges that Brij Bhushan forcefully pulled her towards him and molested her.Brij Bhushan then allegedly told her: “Tu merko support kar, mei terko support karunga, mere saath touch mein rehna” (If you support me, I will support you.Be in touch with me).The complainant also mentions that when his daughter refused Brij Bhushan’s advances, he allegedly threatened to stifle her chances at the upcoming trials for the Asian Championship, which he later did by clubbing her in the same category as other strong contestants at the trials, against the general practice of giving preference to the medal holder in the national championship.The complainant further details how Brij Bhushan called his daughter to his room and tried to initiate “forceful physical contact”, from where she ran, shell-shocked.“My daughter is a young wrestler aged 17 (now).

At the beginning of her career she could not muster the courage to face a sexual predator like the accused and as such could not make a complaint or raise these issues with the Federation as the Federation is totally under the control of the accused and works as per his dictates,” the complainant statesHe also says that he cannot keep mum anymore as the sexual harassment meted out to his daughter continues to haunt her and he fears that if the accused is not stopped, he will continue to exploit other female athletes as well.Based on this complaint, Brij Bhushan has been charged under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354D (stalking), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).Following this FIR, Brij Bhushan had claimed that the POCSO Act is being misused and said he wants it amended.Read: Why Brij Bhushan and Ayodhya mahants want POCSO to be amendedPattern of harassmentIn the other FIR based on the complaints of six women, one of the complainants mentions how Brij Bhushan was referred to as ‘Netaji’ by the officials and staff of the federation.“When I requested my chief coach for a leave, instead of protecting me he shrugged off the responsibility and replied: Tumko khud netaji se milna padega aur uske baad jo bhi action hoga, uske liye tum khud zimmedar hoge (You will have to meet Netaji yourself, and you will be responsible for the consequences thereafter).The accounts of the complainants explain the kind of power Brij Bhushan allegedly wielded in the Federation and establish a pattern to his sexual harassment wherein he reportedly used his clout to prey on the survivors, touching them on various pretexts, and isolating them whenever possible to elicit sexual favours.One complainant says that Brij Bhushan first sexually assaulted her in August 2022 when he called her separately during training, and later slid his hand inside her t-shirt on the pretext of “checking her breath”.Another complainant also mentions the same, where the accused “checked her breath”, and claims that he touched her buttock while posing for a photograph.The complainant also mentions that the accused would wear a lungi and walk about the corridors of the hotel lobby where the players stayed, offering them food items barred by coaches, just to make contact.“We never left our rooms alone because of the fear of being caught alone by the accused,” alleges the complainant, recalling an instance when Brij Bhushan personally called her and tried to feed her an unknown food item that he claimed would boost her performance.“The accused started calling my mother to further contact me and harass me,” says another complainant, who details that Brij Bhushan cleverly saved her mother’s contact at an earlier occasion when she used his phone to make a call to her family.“He would ask me inappropriate questions like “Main kaisa lag raha tha aaj?” (How was I looking today?),” she mentions.The FIR also mentions that when they were giving their statement on camera before the Committee constituted to look into the sexual harassment complaints, the camera was being switched on and off.Four wrestlers stated that they are unsure if their statements were completely recorded, and when three of them asked for a copy of the recording, it was allegedly denied in an attempt to protect the accusedOne of the wrestlers alleged that Brij Bhushan misused his power and used his position as the WFI chief to target her.According to the FIR, a show cause notice was issued to her because she had not participated in an international championship due to her injury.She was called to the WFI twice despite her injury and allegedly molested by Brij Bhushan.The wrestler said that she was also made to sign a document whose contents were not revealed to her.

She later came to know that it was an ‘apology’ letter.Prime Minister assured actionOne of the wrestlers said that she met the Prime Minister in 2021 and informed him about the sexual harassmentIn the FIR, she claims that Narendra Modi assured her that her grievances will be looked into by the Sports Ministry.According to the FIR, the wrestler said, “I informed the Prime Minister about the repeated sexual, emotional, psychological, and physical trauma that was meted out to me and other female wrestlers by accused no.1 [Brij Bhushan] in conspiracy with his close aides, to which the Prime Minister reassured me that such grievances will be looked into by the Sports Ministry and I will get a call from the Sports Ministry shortly.” The complainant said that after her meeting with the PM, a show cause notice issued to her earlier was withdrawn, and Brij Bhushan and aides stopped exerting pressure on her for sometime.However, she adds that the mental harassment resumed after a short interval.It is to be noted that to date, the Prime Minister has not issued a statement regarding the sexual harassment allegations against Brij Bhushan.Several top wrestlers, including Olympians, have been protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar since April 23 demanding action against Brij Bhushan.They were recently detained by the Delhi police on the day of the inauguration of the new Parliament building, following which they announced that they will immerse their medals in the Ganga river in protest.The wrestlers are now on an indefinite hunger strike, demanding government action.

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