Policeman draws flak for demanding gender certificate from athlete

The matter has been referred to senior police officers.

Updated - February 28, 2022 12:03 am IST

Published - February 27, 2022 11:58 pm IST - CHENNAI

A police officer has been criticised for demanding a gender certificate from renowned athlete Santhi Soundarajan.

Santhi Soundarajan has won 12 international medals for India. She was appointed as a woman athletic coach in the Tamil Nadu Sports Development Authority. She had alleged caste-based and gender-based discrimination by her colleagues at the State-run Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT).

In connection with this allegation, the Vepery police had registered a case in 2018 and taken up investigation following a direction from the National Commission for Scheduled Castes. As part of investigation, she had to appear before the police recently. At the time of inquiry, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Vepery Range, G. Harikumar has asked her to provide a certificate declaring that she was female.

Gopi Shankar Madurai, southern regional representative, national council for transgender persons, said, “It is shameful to see that the protectors of the law are the ones who are ignoring it. She is the symbol of dignity for the whole of womankind and the State of Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Court has declared via its judgment, NALSA v. Union of India that every person has the right to self-identify their gender. Police or court have no right to question gender identity/ expression.”

The matter has been referred to senior police officers.

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