‘Staying silent’: Sakshi Malik attacks PT Usha, Mary Kom for not supporting women wrestlers in sexual harassment case

Retired wrestler Sakshi Malik on Sunday slammed iconic players PT Usha and Mary Kom for not supporting women wrestlers protesting against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment allegations.

Malik expressed disappointment over the lack of support despite assurances from PT Usha and Mary Kom during a session at the Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters (MBIFL) 2024 in Kanakakkunnu, Kerala.

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Sakshi Malik said that although Usha and Mary Kom were celebrated as “inspirations” by players like her, she did not speak up for them despite hearing the stories of victimized female wrestlers.

Malik said, “PT Usha Madam had visited our protest site. We told her in detail about our issues… She could have supported us… But she remained silent despite assuring us that she She will stand with us and provide all possible help.” ,

Com Brij Bhushan was a member of the oversight committee formed to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment against Sharan Singh and submit a report.

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Sakshi Malik recalled that the boxing icon became “very emotional” when the complainants recounted the shocking details. She also said that Kom listened to the stories of each female wrestler when she was on the panel. “She became very emotional after hearing the stories…like I’m sorry…I feel very bad…She also said she will stand by us,” he said. But even after months, no solution has been found, said Sakshi Malik.

After Bajrang, Vinesh Phogat left Khel Ratna, Arjun Award on the path of duty

Top wrestlers including Malik, Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat staged a protest demanding Bhushan’s arrest on sexual harassment charges.

Later, Punia returned his Padma Shri award to the government in protest against the election of Bhushan’s aide Sanjay Singh as WFI chief. Malik also left wrestling for the same reason.

MBIFL, which started on 8 February, will end on 11 February. The theme of this year’s edition of the literary event is ‘Exploring Plurality’ – a 360-degree effort to understand diverse perspectives, cultures and identities.

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Published: February 11, 2024, 01:43 PM IST