Hours after the emergency general council meeting of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) was called off, its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, in a tweet, requested people not to put objectionable slogans or hashtags on social media that harm the dignity of political parties or communities, among others.
Sharan has been accused of sexually harassing women wrestlers and working like a dictator by some of the country’s top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Ravi Dahiya.
The sports ministry had said on Saturday it had asked the WFI to suspend “all ongoing activities with immediate effect”, including the Ranking Tournament in Gonda, UP, the federation president Sharan’s stronghold.
सोशल मीडिया पर कुछ आपत्तिजनक स्लोगन, ग्राफ़िक्स, हैशटैग की जानकारी मिली है। ऐसा कुछ भी जिससे किसी राजनैतिक दल, सामाजिक संगठन, सम्प्रदाय या जाति-धर्म की गरिमा को नुकसान पहुँचे उसके प्रति मेरी असहमति है @BJP4India @BJP4UP @JPNadda @Bhupendraupbjp @narendramodi @AmitShah
— BrijBhushan Sharan Singh (@sharan_mp) January 22, 2023
In a tweet in Hindi, Sharan said, “Request. Got information about some objectionable slogans, graphics and hashtags on social media. I disagree with anything that harms the dignity of any political party, social organisation, community or caste-religion.” In another tweet, he said, “And, I refute such posts and trends. I am not larger than the party, (and) my dedication, my loyalty is authentic. My well-wishers and supporters should please stay away from such posts. They should neither like nor comment on it.” The WFI emergency general council meeting, scheduled in Ayodhya on Sunday, was called off after the ministry directed it to suspend all ongoing activities owing to the various allegations against the sports body and its president.
The ministry had on Saturday also suspended WFI’s assistant secretary Vinod Tomar, a fallout of the grapplers’ allegations of sexual harassment and corruption against the sports body’s chief.
It had decided to suspend Tomar, “with immediate effect, to ensure proper functioning of WFI”.