Asian Games gold-medallist Pinky Pramanik, a woman athlete who has been accused of rape, raising questions about her gender, was suspended from her job in the Railways on Sunday.
“According to the service rules, any government employee who has been in police or judicial custody for more than 48 hours is automatically suspended,” said Samir Goswami, chief public relations officer of Eastern Railway. Mr. Goswami said Ms. Pramanik was remanded in judicial custody by a district court on Friday.
Ms. Pramanik is an employee of Eastern Railway and got her appointment though the quota for sportspersons. If the allegations regarding her gender are proved correct, she faces the threat of losing her job and being stripped of her medals as well.
Ms. Pramanik is a middle distance runner who won gold at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha in the 4x400 metres relay race. She also won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne the same year and gold at the Asian Indoor Games at Pattaya in 2005 for the same event. She won three gold medals at the South Asian Games in Colombo in 2006.
She was arrested on the basis of a police complaint filed by her neighbour alleging that the athlete was actually a man and repeatedly raped and tortured her.
A district court initially directed that a medical test be conducted on Ms. Pramanik, but she refused to undergo the examination claiming that she could not be forced to do so against her will. She was again produced in court and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days, within which period the police have been directed to ensure that a medical test to confirm her gender be conducted.