New Delhi: Till recently, Pinki Pramanik was known as an Indian female athlete who had won top honours for India at various athletics events - including a gold medal at the Asian Games. She's now in the news for all the wrong reasons - allegedly raping her girlfriend, who claimed that Pinki is actually a man.
Ms Pramanik was arrested on June 14 in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district, where she has lived for the last few years. After her arrest, Ms Pramanik was initially taken to a private nursing home in Barasat under police custody and later to the Barasat General Hospital for gender tests but the reports were inconclusive as the athlete was subsequently referred the SSKM Hospital. Yesterday, the chromosome pattern test report (Karyotyping) to determine her gender was received by the hospital.
Ms Pramanik has been granted bail by the district court on the bond of Rs 5000. The bail has been granted on the ground that IPC Section 376 (Punishment for rape) cannot be applied on her. Her chromosome pattern test report is expected to be submitted in the court shortly.
The middle-distance runner had won 4x400m relay gold in the 2006 Doha Asiad and a silver in the same event at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Pinki bagged three gold medals in the 2006 SAF Games in Colombo when she won the 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay events.
An employee with the Eastern Railway, Ms Paramanik was suspended by her employers due to the allegations. Her suspension can only be revoked if the court absolves her of all the charges.
Born on April 10, 1986, Ms Pramanik, who hails from West Bengal, made her international debut at the 2003 World Youth Championships in Athletics where she reached the 800 metres semi-finals. She was hailed as the successor of legendary sprinter PT Usha after she won medals at various national and international events. She won gold in 4×400 metres relay at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar along with Sathi Geetha, Chitra Soman and Manjeet Kaur. She also won a silver medal at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games the same year with Rajwinder Kaur, Chitra Soman, and Manjeet Kaur in 4X400 metres relay race.
She wanted to qualify for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 but a hamstring injury dashed her dreams. She retired three years ago.
Ms Pramanik was also arrested in 2004 when a single shot improvised gun was recovered from her possession. Since she belongs to Purulia in West Bengal, an area home to Naxal insurgency, she was investigated for links to the Naxals, but was later cleared of all charges.