East Bengal midfielder Jagpreet Singh and his domestic help Ravi Singh, arrested by the police on charges of raping a minor, were remanded to judicial custody for 14 days on Wednesday.
The cops are looking for two others. One of them, Baldeep Singh, of United SC has been suspended by the I-League club pending the outcome of the case. Baldeep and another man who the police say is called Joseph Singh are absconding. Baldeep and Jagpreet have played for the senior India team.
On the day additional chief judicial magistrate Indranil Chatterjee sent him to jail, East Bengal said that Jagpreet is innocent. “We stand by him because he was with the rest of the team on Monday when we played Pune FC. We respect the legal system but will provide whatever help necessary to him (Jagpreet),” said executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar.
United SC director Nabab Bhattacharya said Baldeep would get no help from the club. “We have suspended him (Baldeep Singh) indefinitely. His contract remains null and void until he is proved innocent,” he said.
The Football Players’ Association of India said in a statement it is “encouraging” players to cooperate with the authorities after terming the incident a “horrendous crime”.
After saying he was shocked, Kushal Das, the All India Football Federation general secretary, said over the phone that the federation won’t provide legal help as the players are contracted to their respective clubs.
The victim underwent a medical examination on Wednesday and her statement was recorded the judge under Section 164 of CrPc. The police may also carry out a test identification parade.
Police sources said the girl was lured to flat number 3B of Diamond City North, an apartment complex in the north Kolkata suburb of Dum Dum, on Monday and allegedly raped by four people. The complaint filed by the victim’s father states that Ravi Singh lured the girl by telling her that one of her friends was calling her. The four allegedly raped her for four hours.