SIT constituted to probe sexual harassment allegation against WFI chief: Delhi Police to court

The wrestlers have been demanding the arrest of federation chief Brij Bhushan Singh, accusing him of sexually exploiting several women grapplers, including a minor

May 12, 2023 01:42 pm | Updated May 13, 2023 06:08 pm IST - New Delhi

File picture of wrestling federation chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh

File picture of wrestling federation chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh | Photo Credit: ANI

In connection with allegations of sexual harassment levelled by wrestlers against Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Delhi police on May 12 said that his statement has been recorded and a special investigation team (SIT) has been formed to probe the case.

The submission for SIT was made before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Harjeet Singh Jaspal, in response to the court’s order, that was sent earlier, directing the police to file a status report.

Public prosecutor Atul Srivastava told the court, “considering the seriousness of the case we have formed a SIT. The SIT will be investigating the case.”

Mr Srivastava requested that the report must not be shared with anyone, considering the nature of case.

The report has been filed by the Delhi police in a sealed cover, post submission, the court posted the matter for further hearing on May 27.

The judge issued notice to the Delhi Police on a plea moved by the wrestlers seeking monitoring of the investigation and recording of the statement of the alleged victims before the court.

A senior police officer said that police have recorded the statement of WFI chief twice, who has denied all the allegations against him, claiming that he has been “falsely implicated,” and WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar, who has also been named in the police FIR. The duo will be summoned again, the officer said.

Since top wrestlers, including Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, have been protesting against Mr Singh at Jantar Mantar, demanding an arrest and resignation from his post. A week after April 23, police had filed two FIRs accusing Mr Singh of sexual harassment, with the intervention of Supreme Court.

An officer said, a notice was earlier sent to Mr Singh, a BJP MP from UP, to join the further investigation, who was then questioned by the SIT for around three hours over the allegations.

“We have asked Mr Singh to submit all the relevant documents or proofs to support his claims,” an officer added.

As of now, police have recorded statements of 30 witnesses and more will be documented further, police said, adding that they have obtained the oversight committee report, that was headed by Olympian boxer Mary Kom.

An officer said, the SIT has been formed with six police teams including four women police officers. A team of ten people was formed under the supervision of a woman DCP, he added.

Another officer said, on the complaint of the wrestlers, police teams had gone to Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Haryana to collect evidence on the wrestler’s complaint.

“We’re also in touch with the concerned agencies even where allegations have been levelled outside the country,” the officer added.

An officer said, the statements of victims will be recorded soon in the court, under CrPC section 164.

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