Kolkata, June 15: Even as Asian Games gold medallist athlete Pinki Pramanik was Friday sent to judicial custody after she was accused of being a male and held for alleged rape, her parents defended her womanhood and suspected a conspiracy.
Pramanik’s father Durgacharan said: “The husband of the woman who has made the allegation borrowed money from my daughter and refused to pay back. Not only that. They have hatched a conspiracy to malign my daughter.”
The athlete’s mother Pushpa said she was surprised to hear the allegation. “I’m her mother. No one knows the facts better than me. There can be no doubt about Pinki’s womanhood.”
Earlier, Deputy Commissioner of Police Bidhannagar (North 24 Parganas) Subrata Bandyopadhyay said Pramanik was remanded to 14 days’ judicial custody by a court in North 24 Parganas.
“The court has also directed that the athlete’s gender be determined through a medical test in a government hospital within 14 days,” he said.
The athlete, who has been kept in a separate cell as her gender is disputed, is being convinced by her counsel for a gender determination test after she reused twice to go for the test.
Pramanik was arrested after the athlete’s live-in partner, a divorcee and a mother of one, lodged a police complaint accusing her of being a man and repeatedly raping and torturing her.
Following the complaint, Pramanik was taken to a private nursing home for a medical check-up where the test reports showed that the athlete was indeed a male.
Pramanik, however, is sticking to the point that it was a “case of conspiracy”.
“The complainant had asked for monetary help, but I refused. This is the reason why she has hit me below the belt,” she said.
West Bengal Athletic Association vice-president Debashis Banerjee said it was willing to provide legal help to Pramanik if the athlete asked for it.
“Pramanik’s club, Eastern Railway Sports Association, or her parents have not approached us for help. We can’t do anything on our own. We’ll consider legal assistance if we are approached,” Banerjee said.
“The world body will act only if a complaint is made to them. Till then, Pramanik can hold on to the medals,” Banerjee said when asked about the fate of the medals won by the athlete.
Pramanik won gold in the 4×400 metres relay at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha in Qatar. She was a silver medallist at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games the same year.
Pramanik retired from athletics three years ago and is now a ticket collector with Eastern Railways.