Soumyajit Ghosh was dropped from India’s Commonwealth Games table tennis squad and placed under provisional suspension, a day after he was accused of rape by a teenager in Kolkata.
“The Executive Board (EB) of the Table Tennis Federation of India has placed Soumyajit Ghosh under provisional suspension, pending final outcome of the police investigation and court verdict, if any, on the alleged rape charges against him by a teenager,” TTFI said in a statement.
“During the suspension, he will not be able to participate in any tournament, national or international.”
Soumyajit was booked under the IPC sections for rape, criminal conspiracy, causing miscarriage without the woman’s consent and cheating in a complaint lodged by an 18-year-old at the Barasat women’s police station in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal yesterday.
The 24-year-old Arjuna awardee, who was training in Germany for the April 4 to 15 CWG in Gold Coast, denied the allegations, saying that the accuser has been blackmailing him after their relationship ended and the allegations were a ploy to ruin his career.
The EB, based on the legal opinion sought by TTFI, discussed the matter with its members earlier in the day.
“The Executive Board of the TTFI, taking cognizance of the media reports and the FIR filed against Soumyajit Ghosh, has unanimously decided to suspend the player and restrain him from participation in all tournaments until further orders,” TTFI said.
“During its deliberations, the EB took notice of the IPC sections (376, 417, 513, 120(B) and Section 4 of the POCSO Act) under which the Barasat Police (WB) has charged Ghosh.
“Accordingly, the EB members felt that the charges levelled against Ghosh are of grievous nature and they warranted placing him under provisional suspension immediately. EB suggested to TTFI that the player and all authorities concerned should be informed forthwith of the decision.”
TTFI also decided “to issue a show cause notice to Ghosh, asking him to explain his stand on the FIR lodged by the girl, especially on the allegations against him.”