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Wrestler claims depression’, suicidal thoughts’ due to alleged sexual harassment by WFI chief

New Delhi: A woman wrestler has claimed she suffered from depression and had suicidal thoughts due to alleged sexual harassment by outgoing WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, according to the charge sheet filed by Delhi police in the sensational case.

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The statements recorded by the six wrestler complainants before a metropolitan magistrate under section 164 CrPC, which are part of the 1599-page charge sheet, alleged retaliation by Singh after they resisted his advances and refused to “compromise”.

Singh has repeatedly denied the allegations by women wrestlers and claimed he was “framed” in the case.

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A statement made under section 164 CrPC is admissible in evidence and may be used to corroborate or contradict a statement made in the court under the Evidence Act.

Giving the details of alleged sexual harassment, stalking and criminal intimidation, one of the victims claimed that due to Singh’s actions, she went into “depression” and “started having suicidal thoughts”.

“I said I will die but not go to Singh. I had gone into depression. I started having suicidal thoughts in my mind…that he will not let me wrestle if I do not meet him,” she said.

She claimed since she refused to meet him, her name was removed from the list of those who went to meet the prime minister, while everyone else went.

In a separate statement, another alleged victim claimed she and other women wrestlers used to go out for food etc. in groups due to the fear of encountering Singh, “who would be walking in the hotel’s corridor, inappropriately clothed, looking for any woman wrestler alone.”

Another alleged victim of sexual harassment claimed she could not make a come back to the wrestling arena for two years after she refused to “compromise” with Singh in 2009.

Another complainant alleged Singh threatened to end her career after she rebuffed his unwanted advances in 2021.

The wrestler claimed she was asked to meet Singh after she was selected for the Senior National Championship in 2022 but there were issues with her document verification.

“On Singh’s instance, (Vinod) Tomar changed the status of her document in file from verified’ to unverified’, and ‘Netaji’ (Singh) said I had told you I will not let you play in any tournament’,” she said in her CrPC 164 statement.

Tomar is the suspended assistant secretary of WFI. He was granted two-day interim bail by a Delhi metropolitan court along with Singh on Tuesday.

The Delhi police had filed a charge sheet against the six-time MP 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 (IPC).

Tomar was charged with offences under IPC sections 109 (abetment of any offence, if the act abetted is committed in consequence, and where no express provision is made for its punishment), 354, 354A and 506 (criminal intimidation).

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