WFI’s Brij Bhushan charged with Multiple Sex Offences

WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is facing numerous allegations of groping female wrestlers and demanding sexual favours.

WFI President Brij Bhushan charged for Groping Breasts f

"I was called by the accused who pulled up my T-shirt"

BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has two FIRs against him.

They say he demanded sexual favours from female wrestlers to boost their careers and groped their breasts.

Singh also allegedly brushed his hands across a minor’s breasts and stalked her.

He is also accused of denying professional opportunities to those who rejected his alleged sexual advances.

Seven female wrestlers made complaints against Singh on April 21, 2023.

The FIRs say the alleged incidents happened across India and abroad, from 2012 to 2022.

Indian wrestlers have protested against Singh’s alleged misconduct since January 2023. But he has denied all allegations.

He previously said: “If a single allegation against me is proven, I will hang myself.

“If you (wrestlers) have any evidence, present it to the Court, and I am ready to accept any punishment.”

One complainant said the female athletes travelled in groups whenever they left their rooms to avoid running into Singh alone.

He allegedly singled out athletes from their groups and asked inappropriate personal questions.

‘Wrestler 1’ said: “I was called by the accused (Singh) who pulled up my T-shirt, slid his hand down my stomach, and put his hand on my navel on the pretext of checking my breath.”

She also claimed that Singh offered her an “unknown edible” that was not approved by her dietician or coach, saying it would be good for her health and performance.

‘Wrestler 2’ said when she suffered an injury during an international competition, Singh allegedly said the WFI would pay for her treatment if she gave in to his sexual demands.

‘Wrestler 3’ alleged: “While I was lying down on the mat, the accused came near me and to my shock and surprise leaned in and, in the absence of my coach, without seeking my permission pulled up my T-shirt, placed his hand on my breast and slid it down my stomach on the pretext of examining/checking my breathing.”

Other wrestlers described similar instances of groping.

Another complainant said: “One day while I was out for dinner in the hotel restaurant, the accused called me separately to his dinner table.

“To my utter shock and surprise and without my consent, placed his hand on my breast and groped me and then slid his hand down to my stomach.

“To my disbelief, the accused did not stop there and again moved his hand upwards to my breast.

“He groped my breast and then slid down his hand to my stomach and then back to my breast repeatedly for 3-4 times.”

Another wrestler accused Singh of offering to buy her supplements in exchange for sexual favours.

On the day she won a gold medal at a major championship, he called her to his room, made her sit on his bed against her wishes and “forcefully” hugged her without her consent, adding that Singh sexually harassed her over a number of years.

The complainant said: “He made me talk to my parents on the phone, since at that time I did not possess a personal mobile phone.

“However after the phone call ended, to my utter shock and surprise, the accused called me towards his bed where he was sitting and then all of a sudden, he hugged me forcefully without my permission.

“Due to the physical advances made by the accused towards me without my consent, I got extremely uncomfortable as I did not like the same and I started crying.

“Upon noticing my displeasure and resistance, the accused in order to cover up his immoral acts and ill intentions told me that no, no, like a father.”

She also claimed that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh began calling her mother in order to further harass her.

The wrestler continued: “To my horror, I realised that the accused had cleverly saved my mother’s mobile number when he had made me speak to my parents on an earlier occasion after the bout.

“In spite of being well aware of my resistance and clear intention of thwarting inappropriate physical advances of any sort, the accused repeatedly tried to contact me by calling on my mother’s mobile number.

The accused asked inappropriate questions on the phone call.

“He used to ask, ‘How was I looking today?’, ‘How’s practice going? Let me know if you need anything’.

“All the constant calling and questioning by the accused made me and my mother very uncomfortable.”

She went on to say that the constant calls prompted her mother to change her phone number.

Another wrestler claimed Singh touched her backside during a team photograph.

She said: “While I was standing in the last row (for team photograph)… the accused came and stood alongside me.

“I suddenly felt a hand on my buttock. I was stunned by the actions of the accused while they were highly indecent and objectionable and without my consent… when I tried moving away, I was forcibly held by my shoulder.”

One wrestler claimed WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar forced himself on her inside his office.

She said: “On my visit to the federation office, I was called into the room of the accused (Tomar).

“My brother, who was accompanying me, was categorically asked to stay back.

“The accused, upon the departure of other persons, closed the door… pulled me towards himself and tried making forceful physical contact with me.”

Both FIRs cite Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to a woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354D (stalking) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, which carry a jail term of one to three years.

The FIR based on the complaint of a minor’s father also invokes Section 10 of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), which entails five to seven years imprisonment.

The father of the alleged victim said Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, “on the pretext of taking a picture with my daughter, forcefully pulled her towards himself and held her so tightly by her arms that she could not move or free herself from his grip”.

He added: “The accused further squeezed her towards himself and pressed really hard on her shoulder, and then deliberately slid his hand down her shoulder and brushed his hands against her breasts.

“While doing so, he also told her that ‘You support me, and I will support you. Keep in touch with me.

“She clearly told the accused she had already told him that she was not interested in having any sort of physical relationship and that he should stop stalking her.”

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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