Table tennis star Soumyajit Ghosh accused of rape by 18-year-old, likely to miss bus to Commonwealth Games
Police have reportedly charged Ghosh with rape, criminal conspiracy, causing miscarriage without woman’s consent and cheating after the 18-year-old filed an FIR.
Indian table tennis star Soumyajit Ghosh has been accused of rape by a teenager, who has registered an FIR in Barasat, West Bengal against the paddler.
The 18-year-old accused the World No 58 of raping her under the false pretext of marriage, according to a report in Bengali newspaper Ebela. The report added that Ghosh and the girl first interacted on social media in 2014 before getting into a relationship.
Police have reportedly charged Ghosh with rape, criminal conspiracy, causing miscarriage without woman’s consent and cheating, according to a Times of India report.
Ghosh, who is currently playing at the ITTF German Open, was scheduled to take part of India’s Commonwealth Games contingent. He was scheduled to return to India on 25 March before flying to Australia to participate at next month’s Commonwealth Games.
However, the police complaint has thrown his participation under doubt. According to a report in The Hindu, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) had called an emergency meeting on to decide his fate.
“We got to know about the episode through news reports in the morning. We have managed to acquire a copy of the FIR. Since these are very serious charges, the TTFI has convened an emergency meeting of the executive board on Sunday. We will take an appropriate call in 48 hours,” TTFI Secretary-General MP Singh told The Hindu.
“My personal opinion is since the allegations are so grave, Ghosh should be suspended with immediate effect. If the investigation clears him of any wrongdoing, he can return to the fold immediately,” he added.
Singh also told PTI that if Ghosh were to miss out, Sanil Shetty will be sent to the Gold Coast. The other members of the Indian men's squad are G Sathiyan, Sharath Kamal, Anthony Amalraj and Harmeet Desai.
Meanwhile, Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra said that in case TTFI drops Ghosh, the CWG federation won't allow any replacement.
"The matter has not reached the IOA yet but as far as I know, the rule states that a replacement would only be allowed if a particular player sustains injury or falls ill," Batra told reporters on the sidelines of an official send-off ceremony of the Games-bound athletes.