Sports Ministry Suspends Wrestling Federation; IOA Urged to Form Ad-Hoc Committee; Bajrang Punia Rejects Padma Shri, Demands More

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), embroiled in controversies for the past 11 months, had its new body suspended by the Ministry of Sports on December 24. The Ministry announced the formation of an ad-hoc committee to oversee the functioning of the Wrestling Federation of India and handle matters related to it, according to the instructions of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

Just three days before the suspension, on December 21, WFI elections were held, where Sanjay Singh, a BJP Member of Parliament, had become the new president, succeeding Brijbhushan Sharan Singh. Following the victory, WFI had announced the organization of the Junior National Championship Tournament in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, from December 28. However, due to the controversies surrounding Brijbhushan Singh and allegations of sexual harassment against him, the Sports Ministry decided to suspend the new WFI body.

The decision of the Sports Ministry has been welcomed by Sakshi Malik’s mother, Krishna Malik. She expressed her happiness and mentioned that her daughter might reconsider her decision to take retirement from wrestling due to the issues within WFI. Wrestler Bajrang Punia, who had refused to accept the Padma Shri award earlier, also spoke on the matter during a press conference with Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat.

Sakshi Malik Announces Retirement from Wrestling

After becoming the president, Sanjay Singh, in a move that opposed the wrestlers’ expectations, suspended the newly elected chief Brijbhushan Sharan Singh. In a press conference held on Thursday evening in Delhi, wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat expressed their discontent. In the midst of this, Sakshi Malik became emotional and announced her retirement from wrestling, removing her shoes on the mat and standing up.

Bajrang Punia Reconsiders Padma Shri Refusal

Bajrang Punia, who had earlier declined the Padma Shri award, reconsidered his decision after becoming the president of WFI. He wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 22 through social media, expressing his desire to accept the Padma Shri award. Punia stated that justice has been served, and he will now accept the award only after receiving justice.

Bajrang Punia to Receive Padma Shri Award

Wrestler Bajrang Punia, who had initially declined the Padma Shri award, announced that he would now accept the award. On December 22, Punia wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through social media, expressing his intention to receive the Padma Shri award. He mentioned that he had only one letter for the award, and now he would accept it after justice was served.

Bajrang Punia Voices Opposition Against WFI

Wrestler Bajrang Punia openly opposed the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) during a protest outside the Prime Minister’s residence in Delhi. He placed his Padma Shri award on the footpath in protest against the WFI Executive Committee’s decision. Despite going to the Prime Minister’s residence, he was not granted permission to enter, and he left the award on the footpath. Bajrang Punia vowed to continue the protest until justice was served.

Bajrang’s Statement – This is the Right Decision

After the suspension of wrestling associations, veteran wrestler Bajrang Punia, who played an active role in the protest, stated that the right decision has been made. He emphasized the need to completely remove those associated with the atrocities on our sisters and daughters. Various criticisms were directed towards us, even in politics. When we win medals, we represent the country. We never discriminate against athletes. We all stand together.

Bajrang said, “The association is formed to help athletes, not to surprise them. We want unbiased elections. Brijbhushan Sharan Singh has given positions to his people in every state. Our truth has not been shown.” We have not associated with politics in any way. The opposition gave us a tough fight. We asked the government to support us, but no one supported us. We even wrote letters to female MPs, but no one supported us. At that time, female athletes showed courage.

Bajrang’s Post Mungu Award, Padma Shri Announcement

On December 23, wrestler Virender Singh, also known as Mungu, announced that he too will be receiving the Padma Shri award. Virender Singh was honored with the Padma Shri award in 2021. Mungu, the wrestler, expressed his pride in his sister Sakshi Malik through a post on social media. He tagged Sachin Tendulkar and Neeraj Chopra, stating, “I am proud of my sister Sakshi Malik. I urge them to make such decisions for the country’s best athletes.

Rasesh Nageshwar

Hi there! I'm Rasesh Nageshwar, and I'm passionate to write about entertainment, movies, web series, and sports. As a writer, I love sharing my insights and opinions on the latest trends, news, and events in these exciting fields.