His barbarity was unbearable: referee on WFI Chief 's ‘horrifying side’text_fields
New Delhi: Jagbir Singh, an international wrestling referee, has revealed more disturbing details about the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Brij Bhushan in March last year grabbed a woman wrestler "in a place one shouldn't touch a woman", Jagbir Singh told NDTV in Lucknow.
The Delhi Police recorded the statement of Jagbir Singh on May 20, 2023, in Patiala. The statements of more than 200 people were recorded following allegations of sexual harassment against the WFI Chief.
The wrestlers have been protesting since April and filed First Information Reports at Delhi's Connaught Place police station last month. One of the seven women wrestlers in her complaint, has accused Brij Bhushan of molesting her during the photo session after the conclusion of the trial of Asia Championship (Senior) in Lucknow on March 25, 2022.
The athletes had gathered on the stage for a customary photograph with the federation chief and the head coach when the woman wrestler "suddenly felt a hand on her buttock". She alleged in her FIR the action was "highly indecent and objectionable and without her consent".
The international referee confirmed he saw Brij Bhushan Singh doing it, after which he said she flinched and walked away angrily, saying she doesn't want the photo to be taken there, reports NDTV.
The wrestler, in her complaint, has said she was forcibly held by her shoulder when she tried moving away after being molested. "All of us were huddling for the picture, so everyone noticed this (the woman recoiling and walking away)," Jagbir Singh said.
Jagbir Singh also made serious allegations against Brij Bhushan Singh regarding another alleged incident of 2013 when he said the federation chief's "horrifying side" was revealed.
While speaking to NDTV, Jagbir Singh said that during the dinner program of a competition held in Thailand's Phuket, Brij Bhushan had molested women players in a drunken state, he said. "His barbarity was unbearable," he added.
"Brij Bhushan Singh and his associates got very drunk and started touching women wrestlers inappropriately, forcefully hugging them, and offering them training gear," Singh said.
Some women even left the dinner and went away, he further alleged. "We then thought we had handed over the federation's president post to a monster," he said, reports NDTV.
On why he remained silent for so long, he said, "when the protector himself becomes the assaulter, there's nowhere to go". He said the women, and all others, feared for their careers as Brij Bhushan Singh was the top boss who was highly influential.
According to the two FIRs registered against the WFI Chief, he allegedly groped women athletes, asked inappropriate personal questions, demanded sexual favours to back their careers, brushed his hands across a minor's breast and stalked her.
Brij Bhushan is also accused of creating problems for and denying professional opportunities to, those who rejected his alleged sexual advances.
One of the wrestlers, a minor, was not underage at the time of the event and has recorded a fresh statement in court. According to her father, she has changed the age-related aspects in her statement and her complaint of sexual harassment remains as it was, reports NDTV.
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has denied all allegations of sexual abuse and even issued a defiant statement refuting all charges. "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," he said.