Wrestler "Worried" After Brij Bhushan's Stronghold Chosen For Nationals

Olympic medallist Sakshee Malikkh expressed disappointment at the selection of junior wrestling nationals being held in Uttar Pradesh's Gonda, which is the stronghold of former Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Wrestler "Worried" After Brij Bhushan's Stronghold Chosen For Nationals

Olympic medallist Sakshee Malikkh expressed disappointment at the selection of junior wrestling nationals being held in Uttar Pradesh's Gonda, which is the stronghold of former Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Malikkh and several other top wrestlers have accused Brij Bhushan of sexually exploiting women wrestlers.

Brij Bhushan had stepped down as the WFI chief amid protests and the federation held fresh elections last week. But the elections were won by Sanjay Singh, known to be a close confidante of BJP MP Brij Bhushan.

Sanjay Singh won most of the votes in the delayed polls, as outgoing chief Brij Bhushan gained indirect control over the national federation.

Soon after the poll results were announced, a teary-eyed Sakshee Malikkh announced her retirement from wrestling. On Friday, Bajrang Punia, who is also an Olympic bronze medallist, decided to return his Padma Shri to the government as a mark of protest.

Malikkh said that she has been receiving calls from several junior wrestlers expressing concern over the venue of the junior nationals.

"I have given up wrestling but I am worried since last night. What should I do about those junior women wrestlers who are calling me and telling me that the junior nationals are going to be held from 28th and the new wrestling federation has decided to hold it in Nandani Nagar Gonda," she said on X (formerly Twitter)

"Gonda is the area of ​​Brij Bhushan. Now imagine how the junior women wrestlers will go there to compete. Is there no place in this country to hold Nationals anywhere other than Nandani Nagar? I don't understand what to do," Malikkh added.