In a new twist to the controversy surrounding athlete Pinki Pramanik, West Bengal Minister for Sports Madan Mitra suggested here on Wednesday that the police complaint against her could be the result of a land deal gone sour. Ms. Pramanik was released on bail from a correctional home here earlier in the day. The athlete’s neighbour had earlier accused her of being a man and having raped and tortured her.

“The State government had allotted three cottahs of land to several sportspersons and she [Pinki Pramanik] was one of the beneficiaries. The land is in an area of the city that is considered prime property,” Mr. Mitra told journalists at the State Secretariat.

Mr. Mitra said he did not know the exact details of the deal, but said Ms. Pramanik had entered into an agreement with a promoter.

“The land was given to Pinki for personal purposes and not for making profit. If she sold it off for making profit, it is illegal. Anybody who goes to the spot will see a five-storey residence coming up there. The name of the present owner can be found from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation records,” he said.

Mr. Mitra also dragged the names of the former athlete, Jyotirmoy Sikdar, and her husband Avtar Singh into the allegation.

Ms. Sikdar, a former CPI(M) MP, has been one of the most vociferous protesters against the manner in which Ms. Pramanik was being treated by the police when she was in judicial custody.