The police’s visit to Gonda, sources said, was to verify the allegations by one of the wrestlers that she was sexually harassed when she went to meet Singh at his residence last October. During his questioning in early May, Singh had claimed that he was not in Gonda on the given dates. The cops recorded the statements of some people in this connection.
While the police remained tight-lipped, sources said that there was considerable speculation that this report may not be filed under the POCSO Act.
There have been conflicting reports on the claim that the wrestler who initially claimed to be a minor had turned out to be a major, according to a birth certificate recovered by the team from Rohtak. While sources linked this to another claim that the wrestler had retracted her statement against Singh, the cops said they would not comment on an ongoing investigation.
The police have maintained a studied silence since the reports of the wrestlers meeting home minister Amit Shah emerged. The news of the meeting was followed by reports that the wrestlers had resumed duty in their government jobs.
If the police’s report doesn’t contain charges under the POCSO Act, it will mean that the cops will then move an application to close one of the two FIRs. The second FIR is on the complaint of the six other wrestlers who are major.
“As far as the complaints of other women wrestlers are concerned, Delhi Police has done a detailed investigation in the first FIR. We have recorded the statements of around 200 people connected with every allegation,” said a source.
Those who have recorded their statements include officials, coaches and players besides others. “For example, we recorded the statement of people present when the allegations of harassment in Kazakhstan were levelled. The statement of every person present at the spot was taken on the allegation that the Singh had touched the wrestler while putting the medal on her,” said another source.
Sources in Lucknow said that an Olympian, a CWG medallist, an international referee, and a state-level coach were questioned separately. Some of them are WFI office-bearers, said a highly-placed source. During Brij Bhushan’s tenure as WFI chief for over a decade, Gonda emerged as a major training centre for wrestlers.
“Police questioned a few employees and associates of Singh, including his driver, and recorded their statements. Besides, the police also recorded the statements of 14 other local residents and collected their Aadhaar and mobile numbers. The statements will now be cross-checked with evidence.