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Bajrang, Sakshi hail decision to frame charges against Singh

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NEW DELHI, May 10: Star grapplers Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia on Friday welcomed Delhi court’s decision to frame sexual harassment charges against former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, calling it a big victory for country’s women wrestlers.
A Delhi court on Friday ordered the framing of sexual harassment and other charges against Singh, a multiple-term Lok Sabha MP, under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
“This is a big victory for the struggle of women wrestlers,” Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Bajrang, one of the leading faces in the protest against Singh, wrote on ‘X’.
“The daughters of the country have had to go through such difficult times, but this decision will provide relief. Those who trolled women wrestlers should also be ashamed. Satyamev Jayate.” Rio Olympic bronze medallist Malik had retired after a faction led by Sanjay Singh, an aide of the former WFI President, was elected to head the federation in December last year.
“…We thank the honorable court. We had to sleep on the streets for many nights in the heat and rain, had to give up on our stable careers, only then have we been able to take a few steps forward in the fight for justice,” Malik, one of the leading faces in the protest against Singh, wrote on ‘X’.
“Heartfelt gratitude to those who showered love and blessings and may God bless those who trolled and said bad things. Long live Mother India.” The trioka of Sakshi, Bajrang and Vinesh Phogat were the prominent faces during the year-long protest which started in January 2023 at Jantar Mantar in the national capital.
Following months of protests, the Delhi Police had filed a charge sheet in the case against Singh on June 15 under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354D (stalking) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
The court will formally frame the charges on May 21.
At no stage did I refuse to give dope sample: Bajrang
Olympic medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia has claimed that he refused to provide urine samples during the selection trials in Sonepat in March because the dope control officials failed to furnish adequate proof that they were carrying proper equipment to conduct the tests.
The Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medallist said he had only demanded an explanation from the officials as on one of the two previous occasions, they (NADA officials) had come with expired kits while during other time, they appeared with only one testing kit as opposed to the mandatory three.
Bajrang, one of the country’s most successful wrestlers, was suspended by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on April 23 after being served a whereabouts failure notice on April 18.
On Thursday, wrestling’s world governing body UWW also suspended him till the end of this year following NADA’s decision to hand him a provisional suspension for refusing to undergo a dope test on March 10 in Sonepat.
“This is to clarify that, I have at no stage refused to give my sample for doping control. On 10 March 2024, when I was approached by alleged doping control officials, I merely reminded them that the last two times they came to collect my sample, they had gotten expired kits once,” wrote Bajrang on ‘X’ on Friday.
“…and on the other instance, they had approached me with a single testing kit as opposed to the three testing kits,” added Bajrang, who has been at the forefront of a protracted agitation against former Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
The grappler, who competes in the 65 kg category, said he had sought an answer from the Dope Control Officers (DCO) on March 10 on why NADA was not responding to his queries regarding two previous lapses, but he got no explanation.
Bajrang added that contrary to reports that he left the venue immediately, he was present for almost one hour after the dope control officials had approached him for the sample. (PTI)

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