|Jennifer Josef, ILGA-ASIA|
|Jennifer Josef, ILGA-ASIA|
Asian Games gold medallist athlete Pinki Pramanik, who was accused of being a male and committing rape, was on Wednesday released after 26 days in a West Bengal jail. She alleged harassment in police custody and said everything was "pre-planned" and that she was "framed". Pinki came out of a correctional home in North 24-Parganas district after getting bail a day earlier.
"An MMS clip of my medical examination, showing me in the nude, went viral online. All was pre-planned," the athlete said.
Pinki, in judicial custody since June 15, was granted bail by the district and sessions judge of North 24-Parganas.
"Even Sita Mai had to give agnipariksha (test by fire). So, I thought I was also undergoing an agniparksha," Pinki told media persons soon after coming out of the correctional home, as jails are called in the state.
Asked who all were involved in the conspiracy, Pinki said: "I was in jail. I don't know. I will talk to my lawyer first". She will consult her lawyers for taking a legal course of action.
Fellow Asian Games gold medal winning athlete Jyotirmoyee Sikdar gave a welcome hug to Pinki. The mood was of relief and joy as Pinki was garlanded.
Pinki was arrested June 14 and remanded in judicial custody by a court the next day after the athlete's live-in partner, a divorcee and a mother of one, filed a police complaint accusing the sports person of being a male who repeatedly "raped and tortured" her.
"I was framed. She (the complainant) used to do my chores. She had demanded money from me long back, but I did not give. So, all this was done in connivance with the police," the athlete said.
Accompanied by her father Durgacharan Pramanik and Sikdar, the athlete exuded confidence of returning to normal life.
Durgacharan was emotional as he narrated the travails his family had to go through.
"All the family members went through agony. As a father I was unfortunate enough to see my daughter's nude clip. It was an absolute shame. At the same time, we are determined to fight back. Hope someday truth will come out and the real guilty will be punished," said Durgacharan.
"Let me see, I will think about it. Let me talk to my lawyers first," Pinki replied when asked whether she was planning to knock at the door of the legal system for getting justice.
Pinki thanked the sports persons who had held protests against the treatment meted out to her by the authorities.
"I thank all of them for doing so much for me. I read about their protests in the newspaper while in jail. I will now go to my flat," the athlete said and later went to the Baguiati police station to get its keys.
The district and sessions judge (North 24-Parganas), while granting bail to Pinki on a personal bond of Rs. 5,000, based on medical reports, held that the athlete was physically incapable of committing rape, the sports person's counsel Tuhin Roy said.
He said that the court accepted their argument that the petitioner women who had alleged that Pinki had raped her, was in a live-in relationship with the athlete for nearly three years. So, the relationship between the two was consensual in nature.
Meanwhile, the report of a chromosomal test to determine Pinki's gender has been submitted before the court by the premier state-run SSKM Hospital. An 11-member medical board was constituted to conduct the tests.
The demand for Pinki's release and protests against the way the athlete was moved from one hospital to another for determining gender and the circulation of an MMS featuring the athlete in the buff had become shriller by the day.
Pinki, who retired from athletics three years ago, won gold in the 4x400 metres relay at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha in Qatar. Pinki was a silver medallist at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games the same year.