Hailing the court's decision to grant bail to Asian Games gold medallist Pinki Pramanik, the Bengal sports fraternity on Tuesday demanded punishment for those who are guilty of mistreating the athlete.
Around 30 sportspersons, including Asian Games gold medallist and former CPI-M MP Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, had gathered outside the North 24-Parganas district court in Barasat to hear the court's decision on the bail plea.
"We are very happy that Pinki was granted bail after a 25-day ordeal. But one must remember that this is not the way to treat a woman who has done the country proud by winning international medals. I know her (Pramanik) since 2001. She is such a fine athlete," Sikdar said.
Former Indian women's football captain Kuntala Ghosh Dastidar said, "She is innocent and is a victim of conspiracy. She had to go thorough mental torture for the last 25 days. Hope justice is delivered to her."
Former long-distance swimmer Bula Chowdhury said, "It's a national shame. By this, they have sent out a negative message. It's only possible in Bengal."
"She is a simple village girl who has done her country proud by winning an Asiad gold. We are not professionals. We play for the country just to earn respect and no money. But her self dignity is lost by putting her in the lock-up for 25 days. Can they compensate it? But we are happy that Pinki finally got the bail. We want justice for her."
Former footballer and coach Subrata Bhattacharya said, "It's good that she finally got her bail plea granted. But we want proper justice for her. But I think the treatment meted out to her was unfair. Many criminals go scotfree, but Pinki being innocent had to face the inhuman treatment."
Pinki was arrested on June 14 after her live-in partner, a 30-year-old estranged woman, accused the athlete of misrepresenting her gender and rape.
A PIL was moved in the Calcutta High Court on July 6 alleging inhuman torture on the athlete.
The West Bengal Human Rights Commission has also stepped in and directed the home, health and police departments to inquire into the allegations of 'torture' on the athlete in police and jail custody.