Police yet to crack transgender woman murder case

At a time when discussions on safety and protection of transgender community are being widely held in the wake of the two recent unnatural deaths of its members, the police squads probing the murder of a 35-year-old transgender woman in Kozhikode city are still clueless about the criminals behind the incident. It was in April, 2019, that Shalu, a native of Kannur, was found strangled to death on UKS Road in the city.

Though the local police handed over the case to the District Crime Branch after long months of probe, it failed to find any evidence in the case. A seven-second blurred visual from a closed circuit television camera was the only material that the police had secured. The police, however, failed to zero in on anyone using it.

“We have been after this case and meeting senior police officers and government functionaries at various times. No one turned down our demand, but there was no progress in locating suspects,” said a transgender activist from the city.

In the post-mortem report, doctors had confirmed that it was a case of strangulation. The purpose behind the crime, according to the preliminary investigation team, was to rob the woman.

Expecting a breakthrough, the police had quizzed more than 50 persons who were caught on camera from different locations closer to the crime spot. In the group of suspects, there were also persons who were involved in cases of attacking transgender persons. However, the police failed to find any incriminating evidence against any of them.

Police officials who were part of the investigation team said the difficulty in identifying a man caught on surveillance camera was the main obstacle in cracking the case. Though the video had been widely circulated in social media, it failed to support the investigation, they said.

Meanwhile, Cicily George, a member of the District Transgender Justice Board, said it was the frequent transfer of senior police officers that hit the pace of probe. “Within the last two years, six officers who were part of the investigation were transferred from the city. We are planning to approach the State Police Chief again seeking his support to constitute a special investigation team for cracking the case,” she said.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 6:23:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/police-yet-to-crack-transgender-woman-murder-case/article35541578.ece

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