Transgenders tell the police their woes

Bengaluru City Crime Education Karnataka LGBTQAI+ Safety

‘Don’t abuse us or slap us with false cases’

A programme to sensitize police personnel about transgenders was organized at the Sanjaynagar and Hebbal police stations on November 24 and 25.

Prakash, assistant sub-inspector, Sanjaynagar, said around 30 police officials, including the inspector, attended the programme. 

“The topic was the sexual freedom of the transgender community. They (the organizers) said transgender people beg on roads and travel in the bus, but people only see them from the perspective of sex workers. We should see transgender people as normal. Our police station will see anyone, either male, female or transgender, from the lens of the law and the Constitution.”

Mallu S. Kumbar, coordinator, Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, which organized the programme, said it was held on the directive of the DGP on October 27.

“There are many fake cases registered against the transgender community. So we want to have a conversation with the police and discuss if a transgender person indulges in fighting and snatching, then what be the reason behind it could be.”

Shrikant Kannan, a transman, said: “Yesterday, at Namma Pride, a policeman started verbally abusing two transpersons for clicking a selfie. Unfortunately, this often happens with community members. Hence, sensitization of police stations is a good step. Most of the time, when transpersons go to police stations with their issues, the officers use derogatory remarks about our genitals and portray us as sex workers, even when we are not.”

Subhash H. Lamani, sub-inspector, Hebbal Police station, said: “I did not attend the complete programme, only the last five minutes, as I  was working. The function was good. They explained the laws for transgender. I gave them two pieces of advice: They should leave sex work and start educating themselves.”

Under the Hebbal flyover, Lamani said, transgender sex workers rob people of phones and money.

The sensitization programme will be completed in Karnataka in June 2023, and in Bengaluru in three months. It will cover all districts and local police stations in Karnataka.

Yukta Mudgal
Trainee Journalist at IIJNM.

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