Amid Wrestlers’ Protest, BJP MP Says Cognisance Should be Taken of a Woman’s Complaint


AURANGABAD — Amid the protest by wrestlers demanding the arrest of former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment allegations, BJP MP Pritam Munde has said cognisance should be taken of a complaint made by any woman.

Later, authorities can decide whether the complaint is proper or not, Munde told reporters in Maharashtra’s Beed district on Wednesday, adding that she expects action to be taken in the present case, reports PTI.

The Olympic and World Championships medal winning wrestles, including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sangeeta Phogat, have been protesting in New Delhi demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) outgoing chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for allegedly sexually harassing several women wrestlers, including a minor.

When asked about it, Munde said, “I, not as a member of Parliament, but as a woman say that if such a complaint comes from any woman, then its cognisance should be taken. It should be verified.” After verification, authorities should decide whether it is proper or improper, she said.

“If cognisance is not taken, then it is not welcomed in democracy,” the Lok Sabha member from Beed said.

“The cognisance of this case is now being taken at an international level. Now if I demand an inquiry committee, it will be a publicity stunt. I expect that action will be taken in this case,” Munde said.

The wrestlers recently threatened to immerse their medals in the river Ganga, following which Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Wednesday urged them to be patient and have faith in the Supreme Court, the Sports Ministry and Delhi Police.

The Delhi Police have said the cases filed by women wrestlers are still under consideration and status reports are being filed before the court. It would be against the procedure to say anything before the report is submitted to court, the police said on Wednesday after deleting three tweets on the case.

Various political parties have stepped up attack on the government over the issue.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday joined a protest in Kolkata against the alleged manhandling of wrestlers at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Sunday.

The Congress too lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking why he did not appeal to the protesting wrestlers to not throw their medals in the Ganga.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said the way protesting Indian wrestlers were treated by the Delhi Police over the weekend was “very disturbing” and that allegations by the wrestlers should be followed up on by an unbiased, criminal investigation.

BJP MP Singh on Wednesday said he will hang himself even if a single allegation is proved against him.


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