The gathering at SSKM Hospital for a glimpse of Pinki
The state government has come in for criticism for its “insensitive” handling of the Pinki Pramanik case, resulting in the arrested athlete being repeatedly subjected to insult and public ridicule.
“People are gathering to watch her as if she is a caged animal. Even lawyers and policemen are making fun of my daughter. She has done so much for the nation. Does she deserve to be treated like this?” said a pained Durgacharan Pramanik.
The 27-year-old, who had won gold for India at the Asian Games, has been behind bars since June 14 following a rape charge brought against her by a woman, who has also alleged that the runner is actually a man.
Pinki went through gender determination tests at two government hospitals, including SSKM, on court orders but neither could come to a conclusion because of lack of adequate facilities.
On Monday, she was again taken to SSKM for collecting blood samples that will be sent to Mumbai or Hyderabad for chromosomal analysis.
A large crowd had gathered outside the hospital’s pathology department to catch a glimpse of the athlete. Many were standing on terraces, balconies and cornices of adjacent buildings to watch her come out of the hospital.
“I have never been harassed like this in my life. I feel so embarrassed... I can’t express my feeling,” Pinki said while coming out of SSKM.
Rights activists have criticised the manner in which Pinki was forced to expose herself repeatedly before male doctors and also alleged that only male constables were escorting her. A senior police officer, however, denied the charge, saying that female cops were always included in the team escorting Pinki.
“It’s the state’s responsibility to ensure that Pinki’s examinations are conducted smoothly and fast and a conclusive report is ready in time. The government’s failure in doing so has come in the way of her getting bail,” said Bharati Mudsuddi, a former member of West Bengal Commission for Women.
Mudsuddi said Pinki should be allowed to live with dignity. “Lack of facilities in government hospitals is resulting in Pinki being repeatedly dragged for tests and asked to take off her clothes before males. This is unacceptable,” she said.