The Calcutta High Court ordered the West Bengal government to file an affidavit within two weeks about the progress of investigations into athlete Pinki Pramanik’s case. It has also been asked to submit the case diary. Pramanik, Asiad gold medallist, has been accused of being a male and is currently under judicial custody for alleged rape. A host of sportspersons alo organised a protest meeting at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club over alleged ill-treatment of Pinki.
The court passed the order while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on the alleged violation of Pramanik’s human rights. ”The bench of Chief Justice J.N. Patel and Justice Sambuddha Chakrabarti has directed the state government to file an affidavit within two weeks giving its stand on the case as well as the progress of investigation. The case diary has also been asked to be submitted,” R.S. Chattopadhyay, who filed the PIL, told IANS.
Filed on behalf of Bharati Mutsuddi, a former member of the West Bengal Commission for Women, the PIL called the detention of Pramanik illegal and sought the athlete’s release. Regarding an MMS allegedly showing the athlete in the nude and which has gone viral online, the court said police’s cyber cell would investigate the case if the athlete filed a complaint. The West Bengal Human Rights Commission Tuesday, expressing serious concerns, ordered a probe into the allegations of human rights violations of the athlete and sought a report within a week from police and the home secretary. Pramanik was arrested June 14 after her live-in partner, a divorcee and a mother of one, lodged a police complaint accusing the athlete of being a man who had been repeatedly raping and torturing her.
The treatment meted out to the athlete who has often been escorted by male police officers attracted severe criticism from all quarters, including the sporting fraternity. A host of sportspersons organised a protest meeting at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club decrying the treatment meted out to Pramanik and demanded the athlete’s release. Asian Games gold medalist athlete Jyotirmoyee Sikdar said it was not the way to treat a woman who had done the country proud by winning international medals.
Swimmer Bula Chowdhury called the happenings shameful. “It’s shameful. We must protest. We sportspersons feel humiliated at her harassment and the silence of the administration,” she said. Former footballer and Arjuna awardee Shanti Mullick said it was surprising that the woman who had lodged the complaint had not been interrogated by police.