Para-swimmer Prasanta Karmakar records video of female swimmers, suspended

Karmakar, the first disabled swimmer to represent India at the World Swimming Championship in Argentina and bag a medal, was also India's swimming team coach at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

Para-swimmer Prasanta Karmakar records video of female swimmers, suspended
File photo of para-swimmer Prasanta Karmakar (PTI)

Bengaluru: Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) has suspended swimmer Prasanta Karmakar for three years after he was found recording video of female swimmers during an event in Jaipur last year.

The incident took place during the National Para-Swimming Championship, which was held in Jaipur from March 31, 2017, to April 3, 2017. The PCI revealed that Karmakar has been suspended after a written complaint regarding acts of misconduct and misbehaviour.

"He (Karmakar) gave a camera to one of his associates and asked him to make video films of female swimmers during the event. When the parents of those swimmers objected, the person making videos on the instance of Prasanta Karmakar was called by Dr. VK Dabas, chairman, para-swimming, PCI, wherein he told that the camera was given to him by Karmakar under instructions to make said video films," the PCI said.

"The person was stopped but soon after that a similar complaint was again received and this time Prasanta Karmakar was himself making videos of female swimmers with camera on tripod despite objection from their parents," the statement added.

Even after Karmakar was asked to delete the video, he argued as to why his man (associate) was stopped from making a video.

"Karmakar was called by the chairman wherein he, in full anger, asked the chairman and other office-bearers of the PCI why they were stopping his man from making the video. He was told that the act is being objected to by the parents of the swimmers. Karmakar asked the PCI office-bearers to show written objections. The objecting parents immediately submitted their written complaints. Karmakar argued with Dr. Dabas and Mahipal Singh Arya from Haryana saying that he was an Arjuna awardee and refused to delete the video recordings of the swimmers," the PCI said.

Meanwhile, Karmakar was also detained by police, though he was released later after he agreed to delete the videos and photos recorded by him and his associate. 

The PCI further said that it has also directed the Haryana Sports Department to take strict disciplinary action against Karamkar for his "intentional wrongdoings, misbehaviour and indicipline".

"Having taken into consideration the act, conduct, behaviour, response of Prasanta Karmakar and the gravity of the events, Prasanta Karmakar, swimmer, is hereby suspended from participation and him being sponsored in any sports event by PCI for a period of three years w.e.f. 20.01.2018 and recommendations be also made to his employer, i.e., Haryana Sports department to take strict disciplinary action against him for his above intentional wrongdoings, misbehaviour and indicipline," the PCI said.

Karmakar, who has brought the nation many laurels with his performances in the pool, was honoured with the Major Dhyan Chand Award in 2015 and Bheem Award in 2014 besides being conferred with Swimmer-of-the-Year award in 2009 and 2011. 

It should be noted that the 37-year-old is the first disabled swimmer to represent India at the World Swimming Championship in Argentina and to bag a medal. He was also India`s swimming team coach at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.