Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Wednesday said that he aussured protesting wrestlers that the probe against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will be concluded by June 15 and a fresh election of the Wrestler Federation of India will take place by June 30.
“I had a long 6-hour discussion with the wrestlers. We have assured wrestlers that the probe will be completed by 15th June and chargesheets will be submitted. The election of WFI will be done by 30th June,” Thakur said at a press conference after meeting wrestlers in Delhi.
Earlier, a crucial meeting between the protesting wrestlers, led by Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia, and Thakur began at his residence on morning as the government continued its effort to strike a deal with the protesting grapplers, who are demanding arrest of WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
The meeting was called by Thakur to break the deadlock as the wrestlers have been adamant to continue their agitation till Singh, who they have accused of sexual harassment, is arrested.
Vinesh Phogat, a prominent face of the protest, did not attend the meeting as she was in her village Balali in Haryana to attend a pre-scheduled ‘panchayat’. Punia, Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik and her wrestler husband Satyawart Kadiyan, arrived at the minister’s house for the meeting.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait, who has been supporting the wrestlers in their protest, was not part of the meeting. The wrestlers had resumed their protest against Singh and the national federation on April 23 at Jantar Mantar.
They were removed from the protest site on May 28 when the police detained them for violation of law and order after they began their march to the new Parliament building without permission.
It is the second round of meeting between the government and protesting wrestlers in a space of five days. The wrestlers had met Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday night and apprised him of their demands.
While the government is willing to accept most of their demands, the arrest of Singh, who is also a BJP MP, remains the bone of contention. The wrestlers had also resumed their duties with the Northern Railways, last week. Sakshi Malik and Punia are attached with Railways as OSD.