Asian Games gold winning athlete Pinki Pramanik has taken the plunge into politics by joining BJP in Kolkata on Thursday.
Pramanik represented India in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games where she won gold and silver in track and field division. The athlete was seen at the BJP party office holding the party flag along with West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh, while formally being inducted.
While Pramanik’s achievements have brought pride to the state, the athlete was in the midst of controversy in 2012 when she was accused of rape, criminal intimidation and other offences. The incident pertains to allegations of rape and assault by a woman named Anamika Acharya who was her live in partner. Pramanik was arrested in June 2012. This also raised speculations of her gender with several rounds of tests, including chromosomal tests being conducted on the athlete. The jail stint lasted for 25 days.
The athlete’s troubles did not end there after being declared as a male in Police records. An MMS was also leaked while conducting the gender test causing more embarrassment for Pramanik. The Calcutta High Court exonerated the athlete of rape and assault charges in 2016 after which she re-joined duty as a Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) with Eastern Railways.
Pramanik also returned to competing at the national level after an eight-year gap and finished seventh in the 100 metre race in the Federation Cup with a timing of 12.33 seconds in April 2016. The athlete has fought against the odds and come a long way to regain her confidence and rebuild her life. Her plunge into politics sets the stage for yet another chapter in the athlete’s life.