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Bajrang Punia To Return Padma Shri After Brij Bhushan’s Aide Elected WFI Chief


New Delhi: A day after wrestler Sakshi Malik hung her boots protesting the election of Brij Bhushan’s close aide Sanjay Singh as the chief of the Wrestling Federation of India, Bajrang Punia wrote a letter to PM Modi returning his Padma Shri award.

“I am returning my Padmashree award to the Prime Minister. This is just my letter to announce that. This is my statement,” Bajrang Punia tweeted.

On Thursday, Sanjay Singh, a close aide of Brij Bhushan Singh, was elected as the president of the Wrestling Federation of India, securing 13 out of 15 posts. Following his election, Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and Vinesh Phogat held a press conference, during which Sakshi Malik announced her decision to retire from the sport as a form of protest. “We fought from our heart but if a man like Brij Bhushan, his business partner and a close aide is elected as the president of WFI, I give up wrestling. From today onwards you will not see me on the mat,” Sakshi said as she placed her boot with tears in her eyes.

“Dear PM Ji, hope your health is well. You must be busy in many work but I am writing this to draw your attention to the wrestlers of the country. You must be aware that the women wrestlers of the country started a protest in January this year against Brish Bhushan Singh accusing him of sexual harassment. I too joined their protest. The protest stopped after the government promised strong action,” Punia wrote.

“But there was no FIR against Brij Bhushan even after three months. We again took to the streets in April so that the police at least file an FIR against him. There were 19 complainants in January but the number came down to 7 by April. This means Brij Bhushan exerted his influence on 12 women wrestlers,” Bajrang Punia wrote.

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