Wrestlers didn’t make hate speeches or commit cognisable offence: Delhi Police
The police filed a report before a court in response to a criminal complaint seeking a First Information Report (FIR) against top wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, and Sakshi Malik
The protesting wrestlers seeking action against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over alleged harassment charges did not make hate speeches or commit any cognisable offence, the Delhi Police told a local court on Friday.
The police filed an action taken report before the court in response to one Bam Bam Maharaj Nauhatiya’s criminal complaint seeking a First Information Report (FIR) against top wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, and Sakshi Malik for alleged hate speech and making “false allegations” against Singh.
In his complaint, Nauhatiya said slogans raised against Prime Minister Narendra Modi at New Delhi’s protest site Jantar Mantar constituted hate speech while seeking a high-level investigation. He added allegations made against Singh “are wrong and practically unfeasible” and that it is hard to believe that the wrestlers were harassed by a 66-year-old man.
The police cited a video the complainant provided and said the wrestlers did not raise slogans or make hate speeches at Jantar Mantar while urging the court to dismiss Nauhatiya’s plea. The court, which listed the plea for further arguments on July 7, on May 25 sought the report from the police on it.
“From the contents of the complaint and video clip provided by the complainant, no cognizable offence of hate speech is made out. The protester wrestlers...are not seen raising any such slogan in this clip,” the report said.
It cited the scrutiny of the video clip and said some unknown Sikh protestors were seen raising slogans against Modi at Jantar Mantar.
The court on May 25 agreed to hear the matter and sought the report from the Delhi Police. The complainant told the court that “hate speeches” made at Jantar Mantar against Modi and Singh prompted him to file two police complaints.
The wrestlers on Wednesday suspended their protest until June 15 following a six-hour meeting with Union minister Anurag Thakur after a months-long deadlock in talks. They said the government agreed on issues including the withdrawal of all criminal cases against them. Thakur said police will file a charge sheet against Singh by June 15.
Singh, a Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian who headed WFI for 12 years, faces charges of sexual harassment of athletes, including at least one minor.
The wrestlers camped at Jantar Mantar for 38 days demanding Singh’s immediate arrest until the Delhi Police uprooted their tents there on May 28. They were manhandled, stopped, and detained as they sought to march to the new Parliament building during its inauguration that day.
The wrestlers later held off on immersing their medals in the Ganga as part of their protest against Singh and broke down in a huddle played out on live television.
- Hate Speech