The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is a serial offender, but PM Modi, who promised a clean government, has maintained silence on such crucial issues. For months, the wrestlers have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi; they want justice against the atrocities done to them. No BJP leader or PM himself, who sloganeers “Save Girls,” is now giving this leader another opportunity to be in electoral politics but did not even order some internal inquiry to know the truth. WFI chief Brij Bhushan has been accused of sexual harassment by seven female wrestlers and is now planning a show of force at a rally in Ayodhya on June 5. Brij Bhushan has taken the help of many PR agencies to make his show larger than life.
In 1992, he was involved in the Babri Masjid demolition case, due to which he was arrested by the CBI along with 39 other people. He was the prime suspect, and the Supreme Court of India acquitted him in 2020. He was charged with the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act in 1993 for allegedly helping associates of Dawood Ibrahim, who allegedly organized the J.J. Hospital shootout in Mumbai. He was later acquitted after spending several months in jail. Sadly, the BJP never hesitated to give him a ticket, and not only that, he was given a lot of importance in the party.
In an interview with the web portal The Lallantop in 2022, Brij Bhushan stated, “I have committed murder in the past. Whatever people may say, I did commit murder. I immediately shot and killed the person who had shot Ravinder dead”. Ravinder Singh was his close friend.
While serving as president of the Wrestling Federation of India, in an interview with The Indian Express, he said, “They (wrestlers) are strong boys and girls. You need someone strong to control them. Is there anyone stronger than me here?” In 2021, during a junior wrestling tournament, he slapped a wrestler on stage, which was caught on camera. But BJP leaders, who always mock other politicians, never felt guilty about having such a goon as their party worker.
In January 2023, a group of Olympians and international wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and others, organized a sit-in demanding the disbanding of the federation due to alleged sexual harassment of female wrestlers by Brij Bhushan. The protests resumed in April 2023 due to government inaction. The protesters demanded the police file an FIR against Brij Bhushan and his immediate arrest. Protesters cited incidents of sexual harassment ranging from 2012 to 2022. On April 28, 2023, after the intervention of the Supreme Court, the Delhi Police registered two FIRs against him. One of the FIRs was registered under the POCSO Act (The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012) for offenses against a minor. A second FIR was registered on similar grounds on the complaint of a few adult female wrestlers.
Two female wrestler complainants described the way Brij Bhushan used to touch their breasts and stomachs sexually on the pretext of checking their breath in a police complaint on April 21, 2023. One of these two women alleged that Brij Bhushan lifted her training jersey without her consent in 2018. Vinesh Phogat, one of the leading protesters, alleged that the accused “mentally harassed and tortured” her for missing out on a medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. On May 12, the Delhi Police recorded a statement from Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh regarding the sexual harassment charges leveled against him by female wrestlers.
Brij Bhushan is set to address the Jan Chetna Maha Rally at the Ram Katha Park in Ayodhya, where sadhus as well as experts in law, education, and social work have been invited from several states. The rally is being held at a time when the Delhi Police have registered two FIRs against the MP. Since the FIRs were filed, Singh has been staying away from political programs. But he has been touring different districts of UP’s Awadh region, including Gonda, Ayodhya, Bahraich, and Basti, over the past week to invite people to the Ayodhya rally. I hope this time, at least, voters will do him justice by not electing him.