In a significant development, an
international referee has come forward to support the harassment allegations
made in a First Information Report (FRI) filed against Brij Bhushan, a
prominent figure in the sports community.
The alleged incident took place
in Lucknow and the involvement of an international referee adds weight to the
seriousness of the accusations. This development has sparked renewed conversations
about the prevalence of harassment in sports and the need for stringent
measures to ensure a safe and respectful environment for athletes.
The FIR was filed by a young athlete who has accused Brij Bhushan, a president of the Wrestling Federation of India, of harassment during a training camp in Lucknow. The athlete claimed that Bhushan had made repeated unwelcome advances and subjected them to inappropriate behavior.
The allegations, initially met
with skepticism by some, gained credibility when an international referee, who
was present during the camp, stepped forward to corroborate the athlete’s
The International referee, who
wishes to remain anonymous for their own safety, provided a statement to the
authorities, detailing their observations of the incident. According to the
referee, he, witness several instances of Brij Bhushan engaging in behavior
that was clearly inappropriate and crossed professional boundaries. The
referee’s testimony aligns closely with the allegations made by the athlete,
providing crucial support to the FIR.
A meeting on June 7 with the
Union Sports Minister resulted in a temporary suspension of protests after the
government pledged to file a charge sheet by June 15. India’s top wrestlers had
been demonstrating at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi about the lack of action
Brij Bhushan has been accused of persistent sexual harassment by six adults and one minor. According to the Express, one of them said that the BJP MP touched her buttocks in March 2022 as the wrestling team stood for a selfie at the conclusion of the Asian Championship trials in Lucknow. She said in the lawsuit that she had attempted to leave.
According to the relevant section of the FIR that relates to this claim, MP Singh approached the wrestler who was seated in the last row, stood next to her, and eventually much to her shock she felt his hand on her behind. She said, “When I tried to move away, the accused forcibly grabbed my shoulder.” The wrestler had to stand in front of the group for the photo after she had managed to free herself.
The corroboration of harassment allegations made in the FIR against Brij Bhushan by an international referee is a significant development that strengthens the case against him. This incident highlights the urgent need for sports organizations to address the issue of harassment head-on and prioritize the well-being of athletes.
By fostering a safe and respectful environment, we can
protect athletes from any form of abuse, allowing them to focus on their
passion and excel in their chosen sports.
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