South Asia

Indian police charge lawmaker with sexual harassment in case brought by female wrestlers

Indian police filed charges of sexual harassment and criminal intimidation on Thursday (June 15) against the chief of the country’s wrestling federation, a powerful member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), following complaints made by female wrestlers.

A police source said last week more than 155 people have been questioned in the investigations against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a member of parliament from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party. The investigations followed months of complaints by the country’s top wrestlers, including several Olympic and Asian Games medallists.

“A chargesheet (against President of Wrestling Federation of India Brij Bhushan Singh) has been filed in the court. Since it is a POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012) case, the judge has scheduled the next hearing in POSCO court on July 04,” public prosecutor Atul Shrivastav said.

The wrestlers began a sit-in protest against the lack of action in April and were briefly detained by police in New Delhi as they cleared the site the following month.

Images of the athletes being dragged away and carried off in buses went viral, sparking criticism from top athletes and opposition politicians.

Amid mounting outrage, the wrestlers suspended their protest after Sports Minister Anurag Thakur promised a June 15 deadline to conclude the probe into Singh.

Source: Reuters