Brij Bhushan Singh didn't slap a wrestler for seeking "justice"

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
May 18 2023

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Brij Bhushan Singh didn't slap a wrestler for seeking


The Verdict Misleading

A 2021 video of Singh slapping a wrestler during the Under-15 Wrestling Championship has nothing to do with the ongoing protests.

Claim ID 7cd1e47a


A video featuring Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of parliament from Uttar Pradesh, has been widely shared on social media. Claims accompanying the posts may suggest that Singh slapped a young wrestler who approached him during a tournament appealing for justice in the ongoing protests led by female wrestlers accusing the WFI president of sexual harassment. The protestors are demanding action against Singh.

The post implies the potential mistreatment of female wrestlers under Singh's leadership. The same claims have been extensively shared on Facebook and Twitter. "When this is the treatment met to men, then imagine what he would have done to women wrestlers?" the post stated.

However, the incident captured in the video occurred in 2021 and is unrelated to the recent protests.

In Fact

An NDTV report from December 18, 2021, which carried the viral footage, stated that Singh slapped a wrestler from Uttar Pradesh during the Under-15 National Wrestling Championship in Ranchi, Jharkhand. The wrestler had reportedly been disqualified due to being overage but insisted on a confrontation with Singh on stage.

According to the report, the WFI president attempted to de-escalate the situation and asked the wrestler to leave the stage. Still, the wrestler reportedly disregarded the request, leading to Singh losing composure and ultimately slapping the wrestler in front of the audience.

A report by Outlook dated December 19, 2021, carried the video and stated that the wrestler had been above 15 years of age and was consequently disqualified from participating. However, he filed a complaint and proceeded to argue with Singh. The report also said that many wrestlers demanded an apology from Singh after the incident.

The same video was uploaded by BBC News Hindi on YouTube in 2021, reporting that it occurred on December 15, 2021, during the three-day competition in Ranchi. The anonymous wrestler, who participated in the championship, revealed to the BBC that he had traveled from Uttar Pradesh to Ranchi and was requesting permission to compete despite being older than the age limit set for the competition. As the organizers denied his request, he expressed his dissatisfaction on stage, leading to an argument with Singh.

Women wrestlers have been protesting against Singh in New Delhi since April. While the Delhi Police has since registered two FIRs against Singh over the accusations, the wrestlers have been relentless in their demand for justice and his arrest.

The Verdict

An unrelated old video of WFI President Brij Bhushan Singh slapping a wrestler during a 2021 wrestling championship has resurfaced on social media amid protests by wrestlers. The incident caught on camera has no relation to the accusations of sexual harassment against him by several women wrestlers and does not show him slapping a wrestler seeking justice. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.

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