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Sunday, April 21, 2024

“Until Sisters and Daughters Receive Justice, I Don’t Want Any Honor,” said Bajrang Punia upon reclaiming Padma Shri

<p>Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia, an Olympian, said on Sunday that he would not return his Padma Shri award to the government until justice is served to his “sisters and daughters” who are battling against sexual harassment and those who perpetrate it. Bajrang’s tweet follows a significant decision made in response to recent demonstrations by prominent wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Punia against the appointment of a former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) assistant Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh as the organization’s new president.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-321732″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/theindiaprint.com-until-sisters-and-daughters-receive-justice-i-dont-want-any-honor-said-bajrang-pun.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com until sisters and daughters receive justice i dont want any honor said bajrang pun” width=”871″ height=”653″ title=”"Until Sisters and Daughters Receive Justice, I Don't Want Any Honor," said Bajrang Punia upon reclaiming Padma Shri 3″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/theindiaprint.com-until-sisters-and-daughters-receive-justice-i-dont-want-any-honor-said-bajrang-pun.jpg 600w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/theindiaprint.com-until-sisters-and-daughters-receive-justice-i-dont-want-any-honor-said-bajrang-pun-150×113.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 871px) 100vw, 871px” /></p>
<p>On Sunday, however, the nation’s top sports organization and all of its officeholders were suspended by the Union Sports Ministry.</p>
<p>“We have faith exclusively in God.” For the dignity of my sisters and kids, I returned my Padma Shri award; I refuse to accept any distinction until they get justice. “Jai Hind,” Bajrang tweeted.</p>
<p>The decision was made shortly after Sanjay Singh, the recently elected president of WFI, announced that the U-15 and U-20 national teams will be hosted by Nandini Nagar in the Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh before the end of the year.</p>
<p>Additionally, according to a ministry source, the Union Sports Ministry gave the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) instructions on Sunday to establish an ad hoc committee to oversee and operate the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).</p>
<p>Olympian Sakshi Malik had already declared her resignation from wrestling during a tearful news conference, alleging that the Center had broken its promise to not appoint Brij Bhushan’s assistant as an office-bearer of the wrestling federation.</p>
<p>Later, fellow Olympian Bajrang Punia returned his Padma Shri in protest, expressing his concerns over Sanjay Singh’s appointment as the new head of the WFI.</p>
<p>Prior to this, prominent wrestlers spearheaded a demonstration in which they publicly denounced Brij Bhushan and accused him of harassing them sexually.</p>
<p>“This release is hurried; it disregards the WFI constitution’s rules and doesn’t provide wrestlers who will compete in the aforementioned nationals with enough notice. The Sports Ministry said in a release on Sunday that the WFI’s purpose is, among other things, to organize the holding of senior, junior, and sub junior national championships in accordance with UWW rules at locations chosen by the Executive Committee. This is in accordance with clause 3(e) of the WFI’s preamble.</p>
<p>“The Executive Committee is responsible for making these choices, and agendas must be submitted for review beforehand. The minimum notice time for EC meetings is 15 clear days, and the quorum is made up of one-third of the representatives, as stated in Article XI of the WFI constitution under the heading “Notices and Quorum for Meetings.” The ministry said that even for Emergency EC sessions, a quorum of one-third of the delegates is required and there is a minimum notice period of seven clear days.</p>
<p>Furthermore, in accordance with Article X (d) of the WFI Constitution, the Secretary General of WFI has been tasked with managing the organization’s overall operations, preserving all records of the Federation, and scheduling meetings for the General Council and Executive Committee. It seems that the Secretary-General was not present at the EC meeting that was conducted without prior notification or a quorum,” the statement said.</p>
<p>“The actions taken by the WFI’s newly elected executive body show a flagrant contempt for accepted legal and procedural standards, going against both the National Sports Development Code and the WFI’s constitution. With total disrespect for the Sports Code, the newly elected body seemed to be completely controlled by previous office holders. The ministry further said that the Federation’s operations are conducted from locations under the supervision of previous office bearers.</p>

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