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High India wrestler to return honour in protest towards sport physique’s new chief | Girls’s Rights Information

Bajrang Punia says he’ll return state award to protest election of latest president backed by predecessor accused of sexual assault.

A high Indian male wrestler says he’s returning one of many nation’s highest civilian awards in protest towards the election of a president to the game’s ruling physique backed by his predecessor, who’s accused of sexually harassing feminine wrestlers.

Bajrang Punia, the primary Indian wrestler to win 4 world championship medals, was awarded the Padma Shri – the fourth highest civilian award – by the Indian president in 2019 for his achievements as an athlete.

On Friday, Punia shared his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on X, previously Twitter, saying he would “not have the ability to reside with the respect bestowed upon him by the federal government of India at a time when girls wrestlers have been insulted”.

His choice to return the award got here a day after Sanjay Singh was elected as chair of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Singh was backed by former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Singh.

Brij Bhushan Singh, additionally a six-time parliamentarian from Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP), has rejected the allegations made towards him.

His case is pending trial, BJP officers mentioned. There was no instant official response from the federal government to Punia’s letter to Modi.

On Thursday, protesting feminine wrestlers mentioned they had been shocked {that a} man supported by Brij Bhushan Singh was allowed to steer the WFI.

One high feminine wrestler, Sakshi Malik, mentioned their protests had been being ignored and introduced her retirement from the game at a information convention in New Delhi.

In January, Punia had joined feminine wrestlers’ protests towards Brij Bhushan Singh, who was charged in June for sexually harassing six feminine wrestlers.

Brij Bhushan Singh was stripped of administrative powers by the game ministry and the federal government pledged to analyze the allegations and defend feminine athletes.

The United World Wrestling (UWW), the game’s world governing physique, suspended the WFI after the scandal.

The WFI missed the August deadline to nominate a brand new president, forcing Indian wrestlers to compete as impartial athletes in world occasions.

Opposition events have criticised Modi’s authorities for its response to the allegations, which have attracted world consideration on account of a sequence of scandals over the therapy of girls in sport.

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