Agencies , July 12, 2023
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and outgoing BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is facing charges of sexual harassment, is “liable to be prosecuted and punished for offences” of stalking and molestation, Delhi Police chargesheet stated based on the investigation so far WRESTLING FEDERATION of India (WFI) assistant secretary Vinod Tomar “intentionally aided” and “facilitated” WFI president who has been accused of sexual harassment by six top women wrestlers, the Delhi Police has said in its chargesheet.
Tomar has been named as a co-accused in two of the six complaints. According to the chargesheet, Tomar ensured that the complainants were alone when they went to meet Singh on three separate occasions, by “intentionally” and “purposefully” stopping the husband in one case and the coach in the other case from accompanying them, at the WFI chief’s office-cum-residence on Ashoka Road in the capital.
The police has invoked Sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 354 (outraging modesty of a woman); 354 A (sexual harassment); and 354 D (stalking) in the chargesheet and flagged that in one case Singh’s harassment was “repeated and continuing”.
Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik address the media at Jantar Mantar
The chargesheet, reviewed by The Indian Express, mentions that during interrogation, Tomar “denied in totality” the allegations against him.
Referring to the complaint of one of the wrestlers, the chargesheet says: “The complainant (statement under Sections 161 and 164) has made the allegation that when she had gone to the office of the WFI in Delhi along with (her husband) to meet Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the accused, Vinod Tomar, allowed only the victim to enter the office… and intentionally did not allow (her husband) inside the office… And it was on that day that Brij Bhushan molested her… The next day, (her husband) was not allowed to enter, and the victim was molested again.”
Brij Bhushan case: Allegations mentioned in the chargesheet reported by The Indian Express–
Allegations 1: “I was out for dinner in the hotel restaurant, the accused (Singh) called me to his dinner table… placed his hand on my breast, groped me and then slid his hand down to my stomach… repeatedly for 3-4 times … In the WFI office … he started touching me inappropriately on my palm, knee, thighs, and shoulders without my consent… he put his hand on my breast and slid it down my stomach on the pretext of checking my breathing”.
Allegation 2: “I was lying down on the mat, and the accused to my shock and surprise… 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 checking my breathing…. At the federation office… I was called into the room of the accused … my brother was asked to stay back…The accused (Singh)… closed the door… pulled me towards himself and tried making forceful physical contact”.
The two incidents allegedly occurred in 2017. The first time, Tomar allegedly asked the complainant’s husband to wait outside the premises of the WFI office. On the second occasion, her husband was allegedly made to wait near Tomar’s room at the WFI office.
“The intent of Vinod Tomar in not allowing her husband to sit or wait outside Brij Bhushan’s office and rather make him sit near his (Tomar’s) office implies clear mala fide intent on his part as the door of Brij Bhushan’s room was not visible from outside the office of Vinod Tomar,” says the chargesheet.Advertisement
Tomar also allegedly called this wrestler to his house, where “she was humiliated and mentally harassed by him on the grounds of her failure to secure a position at the Olympics,” says the chargesheet.
In a similar incident in 2022, Tomar allegedly asked the coach of another complainant to wait outside when the wrestler was asked to meet Singh in his office
According to the chargesheet, WFI officials, replying to a police notice, supplied four photographs, showing the presence of Brij Bhushan and the complainant in a foreign country (Kazakhstan). “In two photographs, he is seen making advances towards the complainant,” the chargesheet says.
A total of 21 witnesses have given their statements against Singh. Six of them have given their statements under CRPC 164.
Brij Bhushan refuses to step down
Meanwhile, Brij Bhushan has refused to step down despite the chargesheet filed against him by the Delhi Police. Asked the question by Times Now, the six-time MP not only refused, but also misbehaved with the reporter and slammed a car door on the mic.
Benched WFI chief said he would “speak in court” and refused to give any “masala” to the media.