Indian football icon Bhaichung Bhutia, Ranji Trophy winning Bengal skipper Sambaran Banerjee and several other sportspersons demanded justice for Asiad gold medallist Pinki Pramanik who had been arrested on the charges of gender misrepresentation and rape.
"I don't know the entire matter. But I know Pinki has come up and won gold for the country after much struggle," Bhutia said, adding, Pinki should have got the bail earlier. Pinki walked out of jail on bail after 26 days in judicial custody.
Around 20 former sportspersons including Ranji Trophy winning Bengal skipper Sambaran Banerjee today held a procession demanding justice for Pinki Pramanik even as support for the former Asiad gold medallist continued to grow.
Members of civil rights body Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) also joined the procession that started from the Press Club and ended at the football legend Gostha Pal's statue opposite Eden Gardens.
Condemning the alleged 'inhuman treatment' meted out to Pinki by the authorities, Banerjee said, "It's really unfortunate. It's a matter of shame for sportspersons.
"A group of about 17 specialised doctors over a period of 25 days conducted various (gender determination) tests on Pinki. But they are yet to prove that Pinki is not a female. How can one justify that?" Banerjee asked.
Demanding justice for her, former India footballer Surajit Sengupta said, "It's a very sad situation. A wrong message has been put across in the ill-treatment meted out to her. This can only happen in Bengal."
APDR general secretary Debaprasad Roychowdhury said, "We would continue our fight for Pinki. We want justice for her."
Acting on a complaint by the APDR, the West Bengal Human Rights Commission had earlier stepped in the matter, directing the home, health and police departments to inquire into the alleged 'inhuman torture' on the former athlete.