NEFIS stands in solidarity with protesting women wrestlers

IMPHAL, May 19 : North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) today organized solidarity meets in Manipur in solidarity with the protesting women wrestlers against sexual harassment.  Notably, the women wrestlers are at present waging a movement against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP Member of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Despite the vehement protests by the wrestlers, the Central Government has till now not taken any action against the MP.  In fact, the MP still continues to remain in his post, while the women wrestlers have been vilified and abused on social media. Even the police personnel attacked them in the dead of night on May 3, abusing, harassing, and beating them, said NEFIS in a statement.
The verbal and physical attack on and harassment of women wrestlers brings to the fore the anti-women character of the BJP government which is bent on protecting the accused MP for sly and cheap political motives, it said.
Since the dharna in January, the BJP has not taken any action against the MP, hoping that the matter would die down of itself. Even an FIR was not registered despite several complaints against the MP, it said.
To pretend that it was taking action, the Government formed two committees, the Oversight Committee and the IOA Committee, with overlapping members. These committees were formed unlawfully and with the intention to frustrate the demand of the protesting wrestlers for action against the BJP MP.  In this regard, it should be noted that it was only due to the pressure of the Supreme Court that Delhi Police registered 2 FIRs against the accused MP. Despite the case being registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) which requires the police to arrest the accused, he is still roaming free and issuing veiled threats to the protesting women wrestlers, it said.
Demanding the immediate arrest of BJP MP and justice for the women wrestlers, NEFIS also demanded immediate scrapping of unlawful committees, action against police personnel for irregularities and violence against protestors, fair investigation in all 7 cases, and filing of early and strong chargesheets.
NEFIS also added that it stands in support of the ongoing  movement and will intensify the movement for women’s safety in the coming days, it added.