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The Indian Olympic Association announced a seven-member panel will probe the charges against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh after an emergency meeting late in the evening. The panel will include noted athletes Mary Kom, Dola Banerjee, Alaknanda Ashok, Yogeshwar Dutt and Sahdev Yadav.
The announcement came as some of India's most celebrated wrestlers, who have been on protest for three days, met with Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, after the first round of talks last night failed to reach a breakthrough.
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has denied all charges and refused to step down. "If I speak, there will be a tsunami... I am not here because of someone's charity. I have been elected by the people," he told reporters in Uttar Pradesh's Gonda.
Minister Anurag Thakur, who dialled Mr Singh and cautioned him against making any statement to media, had met the protesting wrestlers for four hours, between 10 pm and 2 am, without any headway yesterday.
Ahead of the second meeting, the wrestlers sent a letter to PT Usha, head of the Indian Olympic body, seeking action against Mr Singh.
"Vinesh Phogat was mentally harassed and tortured by the WFI chief after she missed out on an Olympic medal in Tokyo. She almost contemplated suicide," the wrestlers wrote in their letter to Ms Usha, adding that "they fear for their lives".
Vinesh Phogat has agreed to reveal the identity of the victims to the Indian Olympic Association committee.
Decorated Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik besides Vinesh Phogat and others, have been staging a sit-in protest for the last three days at Jantar Mantar against the WFI president, accusing him of sexual exploitation and intimidation and have demanded that the federation be disbanded.
The Sports Ministry has urged the protesters to wait as it sought a response from the federation. The wrestlers' body was asked to file its reply by 3 pm today.
Earlier on Wednesday, the centre had made it clear that if the WFI does not respond in the next three days, the sports ministry "will proceed to initiate action against the federation in terms of the provisions of the National Sports Development Code, 2011."
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