Hijras, whose very sight scares the common man, are unusually afraid of another tribe – fake Hijras. The latter seem to be growing in the city, terrorising the common man as well as the original Hijra community.
A group of ‘Hijras’, who claim to be living in the city since the Nizam era, approached the police recently complaining that gangs of fake Hijras were tarnishing their reputation and robbing their share of money.
“The group is into microfinance, blackmailing and extortion. They are tarnishing our reputation and culture,” Sabir Bakash, president of Hijra Transgender Welfare Society, stated in the complaint. The group charged that some normal people are dressing up as women and extorting money from the people at public places.
The area near the High Court in old city is home to several transgenders since decades. The group visits marriage halls, houses and commercial establishments during auspicious occasion and take money after holding dance performances.
“Of late, the fake hijras are damaging our image, indulging in sex trade at several locations in the city. We are not into such activities but due their activities, we are being looked down upon in the society,” Sabir Bakash told the police. The original transgender community, who have been here since the time of the Nizam rule and settled near the High Court area, are said to own several properties and are held in high esteem by the local business community.
Following the complaint, the higher-ups of the city police have instructed all the lower officials to take immediate steps to check the menace. “We have received numerous complaints from the public against a few groups of the hijra community for nuisance and extortion. It is essential to check the menace as they are now physically attacking the public,” a senior police official said.
Complaints against the hijras ranged from forcibly entering marriage halls and demanding money. “Otherwise, groups of men dressed as women go to newly-opened eateries, shops or houses and demand huge money,” a police Inspector said. As part of the drive, the south zone police on Wednesday caught six transgenders. “During interrogation, two of them told us that they are married and have children. They told that they just don the garb of Hijras to earn easy money by threatening and blackmailing the public,” DCP (south) V. Satyanarayana said.