Members of the transgender community on Wednesday alleged they were ill-treated and assaulted by police personnel when they went to the Secretariat to give the Chief Minister a letter containing their grievances.

They had initially sought permission to hold a protest at Valluvar Kottam, demanding reservation in government jobs for members of their community. However, the permission was denied. “So, at 10 a.m., we went to the Secretariat hoping to give copies of the letter to officials. Instead of letting us meet the authorities concerned, we were dragged by the hair, assaulted and taken to the Kothawalchavadi police station,” said Bhanu, a computer engineer. They were released later at 7 p.m.

 Swapna, an IAS aspirant, said they had planned a hunger strike at Valluvar Kottam to draw the government’s attention to the plight of the transgender community when it came to getting government jobs. “I have been trying to write the civil services exam for several years, but I am being denied permission. They don’t let me attempt the exam in the male or female category, and there is no ‘other’ category, either,” said the graduate with a BCA degree.

“And, when we tried to let the policy-makers know our problems, we were assaulted. Sadly, even the female police personnel treated us like a nuisance,” said Bhanu.

Police officers, however said, it was a minor scuffle as the members were trying to raise slogans there. “The Assembly was in progress and they were causing a disturbance. We were only trying to maintain decorum,” said an official.

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