Top Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Friday said the wrestling world will remember Yogeshwar Dutt for being a spineless lackey of outgoing WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, hours after the London Olympic medallist questioned the exemption granted to her and five others from the Asian Games and World Championships trials.
Phogat also alleged that Yogeshwar had laughed off the sexual harassment complaints against the WFI chief during the oversight panel hearings where he told one of the women wrestlers that “such things happen”.
Dutt was one of the six members of the oversight panel formed by the government to probe the sexual harassment allegations against Singh. The government had not made public all the findings of the probe.
Dutt, a London Olympic medallist, posted a twitter video on Friday, questioning the logic and criteria behind such an exemption. Two hours after Dutt’s tweet, Vinesh came out with a long statement.
योगेश्वर दत्त का वीडियो सुना तो उसकी वह घटिया हंसी दिमाग़ में अटक गई. वह महिला पहलवानों के लिए बनी दोनों कमेटियों का हिस्सा था. जब कमेटी के सामने महिला पहलवान अपनी आपबीती बता रही थीं तो वह बहुत घटिया तरह से हंसने लगता. जब 2 महिला पहलवान पानी पीने के लिए बाहर आयीं तो बाहर आकर उनको…
— Vinesh Phogat (@Phogat_Vinesh) June 23, 2023
It was first reported by PTI on Thursday that six protesting wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia and his wife Sangeeta Phogat, will have to win just one bout against the winner of stage-one trials to be on the Indian team for the Asian Games and World Championships.
“The whole wrestling world understood that Yogeshwar was eating leftover from Brij Bhushan’s plate. If anyone raises voice against injustice in the society, then Yogeshwar definitely vomits,” Vinesh wrote on her official twitter page.
The fiery Vinesh, double Asian Games and triple CWG gold medallist didn’t stop short of calling Yogeshwar, a Brij Bhushan lackey and someone who has betrayed his own fraternity.
“Wrestling world will always remember you for licking the feet of Brij Bhushan,” she wrote.
“As long as a Jaichand like Yogeshwar remains in wrestling, surely the spirits of the oppressors will remain high,” she said in a reference to Kanauj King Jaichand, who is historically remembered for conspiring with Muhammad of Ghor to defeat Prithviraj Chauhan.
Allegations of deplorable behaviour towards female wrestlers
Vinesh also alleged that Yogeshwar tried to mentally disintegrate the complainants during the hearings.
“When I heard Yogeshwar Dutt’s ugly laugh, it stuck in my mind. He was a part of both the committees, formed to probe allegations (by wrestlers). When women wrestlers were narrating their ordeals in front of the committee members, he used to laugh.
“When two female wrestlers came out to drink water, he followed them and said nothing will happen to Brij Bhushan. Go and resume your practice,” the cousin of BJP leader Babita Phogat, remarked.
Vinesh also alleged that Yogeshwar asked female wrestlers to agree for a compromise and drop charges against Singh.
“He told another female wrestler in a very lewd manner that all this (sexual harassment) happens, don’t create a big issue out of it. Let me know if you need anything. After the committee meeting, Yogeshwar leaked the names of women complainants to Brij Bhushan and the media.
“He also called the family members of many women wrestlers and told them to keep their daughters under control. He was already publicly giving statements against women wrestlers, yet he was kept in both the committees.
“He constantly prevented wrestlers and coaches from joining the protest. The whole wrestling world understood that Yogeshwar was eating out of Brij Bhushan’s plate,” she wrote.
She accused Yogeshwar of making unsavoury remarks about the ‘jawans’ in Indian Army, students, and people from minority community.
“Earlier he made cheap comments about farmers, jawans, students, Muslims, Sikhs and now he is engaged in defaming women wrestlers.” Vinesh said Yogeshwar hasn’t been able to win any election because he is a traitor and a “poisonous snake”.
“Because of betraying the society, you have fallen on your face twice in the elections. And I challenge that you will never win an election in your life, because the society is always careful of poisonous snakes and never lets it set foot.” Vinesh warned Yogeshwar that he better not try to break the mental fortitude of women wrestlers as they can’t be defeated by an “insensitive person” like him.
“Don’t apply force to break women wrestlers’ resolve, they have very strong intent. You might end up with a broken back. You have already put your spine in Brij Bhushan’s feet. You are very insensitive person, who is flattering a tyrant,” she added.