Women’s panel summons Delhi Police for failing to arrest Brij Bhushan Singh in POCSO case

Women’s panel summons Delhi Police for failing to arrest Brij Bhushan Singh in POCSO case

By Ram Kinkar Singh: Over the past several days, wrestlers have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan, accused of sexual harassment.

On Tuesday, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal issued a summons to Delhi Police for failing to arrest the accused person in connection with the two FIRs registered against him on April 28, pertaining to sexual harassment allegations, including violations under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Singh is accused of sexually harassing women wrestlers, including a minor. The wrestlers had gone to the Connaught Place police station on April 21 to file a complaint against him. However, the police did not register an FIR back then.

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Thereafter, the women approached the Supreme Court. Then, on April 28, two FIRs were registered, one under the POSCO Act for sexually harassing a minor while another FIR was registered for sexual harassment with other complainants.

After the DCW learned that no accused has been arrested in the matter to date.

In this regard, DCW chief Swati Maliwal issued a summons to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) New Delhi district and has sought an explanation in the matter. The Commission has sought details of arrests made in the matter and has asked for reasons for the non-arrest of accused persons.

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Furthermore, the Commission has asked for reasons for failing to record statements of survivors under 164 CrPC along with details of action taken against concerned police officers for failing to record the statement. The Commission has asked the DCP to appear before the Commission on May 12 with an action taken report.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal stated, “It is very unfortunate that no accused in the matter has been arrested till date. Also, Delhi Police has failed to record statements of survivors under 164 CrPC even. This is very serious. The accused should be arrested immediately and statement of survivors should be registered. Also, action should be taken against concerned police officers for failing to record their statement under 164 CrPC.”

Several top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, have been protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar seeking Brij Bhushan Singh’s arrest and ouster from the federation.

In the face of growing protests, Brij Bhushan Singh, who has remained defiant of not quitting his post, said he would hang himself if even a single allegation against him is proved.

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Top wrestlers first came out in protest against the WFI chief in January, accusing him of sexual exploitation. They had demanded that WFI be disbanded and its president be removed. The sports ministry then formed an oversight committee headed by boxing great MC Mary Kom on January 23 and asked it to submit its findings in one month. The government is yet to make the findings public.

On May 3, a scuffle broke out between the wrestlers and some police personnel, leading to head injuries to a couple of protesters. The wrestlers alleged they were manhandled by the police personnel, but Delhi Police denied they used force against the grapplers.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made at Jantar Mantar. Security forces have been deployed and activities at the protest site are being monitored round the clock through CCTVs to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.

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