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Motive is to protect the accused: Sidhu lends support to protesting wrestlers

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NEW DELHI, May 1 (PTI): Former India cricketer and political leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday lent his support to the protesting wrestlers demanding criminal action against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, saying why wasn’t he being arrested despite a case being registered against him under the “non-bailable POCSO Act”.

Top Indian wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat, are protesting at the Jantar Mantar in the national capital demanding action against Brij Bhushan, who they have accused of sexually harassing women grapplers.

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Two FIRs have also been filed against the BJP MP.

Sidhu joins Congress party’s Priyanka Gandhi and Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary, former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, Delhi government ministers Atishi Singh and Suarbah Bhardwaj to have visited Jantar Mantar, where the wrestlers have been protesting for the last eight days.

Sidhu posted images of him with the wrestlers on social media, expressing solidarity with them on Monday and questioned the police for delaying the filing of an FIR against Brij Bhushan.

“To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice. Why was the FIR delayed? Not making the FIR public reflects that the FIR is mild and not corroborative to the complainant’s complaint,” said Sidhu in his tweet.

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He also questioned the “motive” behind protecting Brij Bhushan.

“Intent is questionable and motive is to protect the accused. Are things being swept under the carpet? Why is the officer who delayed the FIR not being tried under Section 166 of IPC as he was duty bound to register an FIR which is mandatory in case of a cognizable offence as per Lalita Kumari vs Govt.of UP judgement of The Hon’ble Supreme Court?”

The first FIR against Brij Bhushan pertains to allegations levelled by a minor, which has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act along with relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code concerning outraging modesty.

The second FIR has been registered for carrying out comprehensive investigations into the complaints by adult complainants under relevant IPC sections pertaining to outraging of modesty.

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“Cases registered under POCSO Act are non-bailable… Why no arrest so far? Is the law different for the high and mighty?” questioned Sidhu.

“Why does the man in question continue to be in the position of influence and dominance which can make and break anyone’s career?”

Sidhu said that with Brij Bhushan holding the top WFI post, a fair investigation was out of the question.

“With him at the helm of affairs, a fair investigation is impossible. The nation understands that committee formations are merely delayed and deflected. The only way forward to a meaningful investigation and to uncover the truth is ‘Custodial Interrogation’, without it a fair investigation is meaningless.

“The fight is for the honour, integrity and dignity of every woman,” added Sidhu.

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