Fazil, a transgender, who was among the 13 people from sexual minorities arrested and charged under Section 377 for “unnatural sex” in Hasan last November, said that the way he was treated was an indicator of how the law can be an instrument of torture.
“We were constantly insulted, first by the police and then the jail inmates,” he said. Fazil also alleged that some of these were subjected to sexual harassment under custody. Details of the harassment have been recorded in a fact-finding report on the case by LGBT rights groups which was released at a large rally on Malleswaram Grounds.
The rally marked a month since the Supreme Court re-criminalised “unnatural sex” under Section 377 of the IPC. Using Fazil’s case as an example, activists demanded that law makers step in and enact a legislation to scrap Section 377.
Hundreds from across the State turned up at the rally that commenced at City Railway Station.
Prominent Bangaloreans who came to show support with their cause and spoke at the rally included theatre person Arundhati Nag and writers K. Marulasidappa, Kavita Lankesh and Banjagare Jayaprakash. Ms. Nag emphasised on the need for focussing on education and employment for sexual minorities, while Mr. Marulasidappa said that the recent SC order was not only a disappointment but also one that was against humanity.
Praveen Mangalore and Rajesh Mangalore, who participated in the march, said that the community faced a lot of problems from the police. They said that suicides are common among the community, and these are not even properly studied or documents.
Yaana Naik, state coordinator for Sangama, said they demanded that apart from scrapping the section that criminalised homosexual acts, repealing of cases against the sexual minorities and revoke Section 36 (A) of the Karnataka Police Act.