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HindustanTimes Tue,29 Jul 2014

Athletics

Dignity stripped
Hindustantimes.com
New Delhi, July 07, 2012
First Published: 00:33 IST(7/7/2012)
Last Updated: 02:16 IST(7/7/2012)

The Calcutta high court on Friday directed the West Bengal government to file an affidavit within two weeks on the progress of investigation to determine the gender of athlete Pinki Pramanik.

The court's direction came in response to a PIL application in the matter. The court also directed the petitioner to file a reply to the state's affidavit within another one week.

It further directed that the petitioner may file a complaint regarding circulation of a CD or MMS allegedly showing Pramanik in the nude.

The state opposed the petition which alleged harassment and humiliation of the Asiad gold medal winning athlete and violation of Constitutional provisions.

Hindustan Times conducted a survey asking readers their opinion on whether the athelete's human rights have been violated.

We also asked whether the West Bengal government's action reflect the treatment we mete out to our gold medalists and whether there should be apathy for people with gender ambiguity.

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A majority of 91% responded in agreement with question that Pramanik's human rights have been violated. While, a meager 7% responded in negative and 2% remained undecided.

Seventy eight percent of the respondents felt that the government's act does reflect the treatment towards gold medalists, while 20% of them were against the statement and 2% of them were undecided.

Nearly 95% of the readers agreed that there should be apathy for people with gender ambiguity. Nearly 45% of responded in the negative.

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Even as Asiad gold medallist runner Pramanik fights a legal battle after accused of being a male and arrested for alleged rape, an MMS showing the athlete completely naked and undergoing tests at a private nursing home went viral online.

The 29-second clip was reportedly circulated after she underwent a gender verification test at a private nursing home in North 24 Parganas district where the sprinter was taken subsequent to her arrest June 14.

The treatment meted out to the athlete has attracted severe criticism from several renowned sportspersons.

The athlete has twice undergone gender determination tests in two different government hospitals but on both the occasions the tests were inconclusive.



An 11-member medical board consisting of doctors from the government-run SSKM Hospital was constituted and conducted several tests on Pramanik June 25. However, due to the lack of facilities, Karyotyping - a chromosomal test - could not be carried out.

Subsequent to the arrest, Pramanik was taken to a private nursing home for a medical check-up where the test reports claimed that the former top notch athlete was indeed a male.


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The Asian Games gold medallist was suspended by the Eastern Railway, with whom the athlete worked as a ticket collector.

“As per the service rules if a person is either in police or judicial custody for 48 hours or more he/she is automatically suspended,” Eastern Railway spokesperson Samir Goswami had said.

Pramanik’s suspension can only be revoked if the court absolves the athlete of all charges, added the official.


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