West Bengal rights panel directive to State Home Secretary & DGP, Health Department

Taking cognisance of the complaint filed by a civil rights group of ill-treatment of international athlete Pinki Pramanik by the police and the administration, the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) has sought a report from the State’s Home Secretary and Director General of Police.

The Commission has observed that prima facie it appears that there has been a violation of human rights in the case.

 “Considering the gravity of the complaint made by the civil rights group, the commission is seriously concerned and has directed the State’s Home Secretary and the Director General of Police to inquire into the matter and submit a report within seven days,” Sujay Kumar Haldar, Joint Secretary, WBHRC, told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

 The State’s Health department has also been asked to submit a report to the Commission within two weeks.

 Questions were raised about the gender of Ms. Pramanik, who was arrested on charges of sexual assault after a neighbour of hers in the Baguihati area of the State’s North 24 Parganas district lodged a complaint that she was raped and harassed by the athlete.

 Ms. Pramanik has been in police custody since June 14 following a ruling of a district court. She has been subjected to several rounds of medical tests, twice at the State-run SSKM hospital and earlier at a district hospital after the court directed the police to conduct the necessary tests to ascertain her gender.

The Association for Protection of Democratic Rights had approached the commission on Tuesday regarding the “gender-insensitive behaviour” of the police and the administration in the case.