No offence of hate speech made out against wrestlers: Delhi Police tells court

New Delhi: No offence of hate speech is made out against the wrestlers who were protesting at Jantar Mantar seeking action against sidelined Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Delhi police told a court here on Friday.

Police said this in an Action Taken Report (ATR) filed before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Anamika who was hearing an application seeking registration of an FIR against the wrestlers for allegedly levelling “false allegations” against Singh.

“It is submitted that on perusal of a video clip provided by the complainant in pen drive, it has been revealed that some unknown Sikh protesters are seen in the video clip and they are raising slogans at Jantar Mantar… no cognizable offence of hate speech is made out. The protesting wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and other wrestlers are not seen raising any such slogan in this clip,” police said.

The ATR urged the court to dismiss the application filed by Bam Bam Maharaj Nauhatiya, who claimed to be the national chief of ‘Atal Jan Party’, against wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik.

The court has now listed the plea for further arguments on July 7.

On June 7, the wrestlers had a meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur after which they agreed to suspend their agitation till June 15. The protest was withdrawn after the government assured them that a charge sheet will be filed against the outgoing WFI chief by then and elections to the federation will also be conducted by the month-end.

After the meeting, Malik and Punia had said they have also been assured that the FIRs lodged against them will be withdrawn.

On May 25, the magisterial court had sought an ATR from the Delhi Police on the complaint filed through lawyer A P Singh.

The complaint had claimed the allegations made by the respondents against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh were false and “connected with direct or indirect way by any influence and personal gain.”

“Therefore it is necessary to lodge a case against the accused persons for making false allegations against President of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Singh,” it had said.

The petitioner claimed the allegations against Singh were wrong and “practically unfeasible because the accused are well-known wrestlers who also play international tournaments and any one of them are not physically weak and poor to oppose the alleged offence. So, it is hard to believe that they were harassed by a 66 years old man.”

He added the protest organised by the wrestlers at Jantar Mantar was aimed at creating unnecessary pressure on police and court for desired action.

The petitioner alleged the respondents, along with others, also raised anti-Modi slogans at the protest.

The complaint sought a direction to police to register an FIR.