HomeNewsProtesting Wrestlers call IOA’s Takeover of WFI as First Step in Fight...
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Protesting Wrestlers call IOA’s Takeover of WFI as First Step in Fight for Justice

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The Wrestlers called Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) decision to takeover all activities of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) as the “first step” in the fight against the former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

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The IOA, in its letter on May 12, has asked the WFI’s Secretary-General to hand over all official documents, including financial instruments, to its ad-hoc panel, to officially takeover the federation. The IOA made it clear that the outgoing office bearers would have no role in running the federation. The WFI has stated that they have no issues following the IOA’s order as they have already been cooperating with the authorities.

Tokyo Olympics medallist, Bajrang Punia said,

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“This (the dissolution of the current WFI) is the first step in our fight for justice. Our fight has begun in right earnest, it’s a victory for us… and we will continue or fight until we get justice.”

Meanwhile, Vinesh Phogat expressed her disappointment that none of the women parliamentarians from the ruling party had visited the wrestlers to show support in their fight for women’s dignity. To address this issue, she stated that starting from Monday, the wrestlers would be reaching out to all women parliamentarians of the ruling party by hand-delivered letters or emails, requesting them to come forward and support their cause.

She said,

“When they talk about the safety of women in the country, then we too are their daughters and they should come out and support us.”

She added,

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“We are writing an open letter to them (ruling party’s women parliamentarians) and our fellow wrestlers will deliver those letters by hand. We will also send letters via e-mail. We feel that our voice, our grievances, have not yet reached them. We feel that after they receive the letters they will come and support us.”

In addition to her efforts to garner support from ruling party’s women parliamentarians, Vinesh Phogat has called on the public gathering at Jantar Mantar to visit their respective district headquarters on May 16 to show their support for the protesting wrestlers by submitting a memorandum.

Meanwhile, the IOA’s three-member ad-hoc committee has confirmed that the process of electing new WFI office bearers will be completed within the next 45 days. After the process, the elected body will take charge. The protesting wrestlers hope that the IOA‘s decision will be a positive move in their fight for justice.

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