Transgenders facing attacks by imposters

Demand protection from a gang of men robbing them by posing as transgenders

July 28, 2017 12:58 am | Updated 12:58 am IST - Mumbai

Safety concerns:  Transgender persons who are part of Kinnar Samaj Conference raise their demands on Thursday.

Safety concerns: Transgender persons who are part of Kinnar Samaj Conference raise their demands on Thursday.

An organisation working for the uplift of transgenders in the city has demanded protection from a gang which has been carrying out attacks against them.

Priya Patil, programme manger at Kinnar Samaj Conference, said at a press conference on Thursday that the gang members posed as transgenders to attack and rob them over the past year. “Transgenders who are part of the Kinnar Samaj have been the victims of physical assaults and threats from a group of fake transgenders based in Goregaon.”

The organisation has filed a compliant against two people, Surya and Kishor Vijay Vaze, who it claims have been harassing transgenders with the help of local goons. Kinnar Samaj members have accused the police of not registering FIRs in the cases.

Ms. Patil said, “We have lodged a complaint using the Aaple Sarkar App. We met the Commissioner of Police and he said the legal process would have to be followed.” The members plan to hold a protest around Independence Day if the police fail to take action.

Reena Poojari, a transgender from Tai Mai Trust, said, “We don’t feel free in a free India.” Manisha Durgavle, president of Kinnar Samaj, said many transgenders do not speak up against harassment. Akku, a victim of the attacks, said, “When my brother refused to accept me, my mother gave me around ₹50,000 in cash and some jewellery. She asked me stay somewhere on rent. Soon after I left home, around six people arrived in a car and forced me into it. They assaulted me in the car till we reached a house in Goregaon. They took objectionable videos, took me to Malad police station and asked to lodge a complaint against two men who were their enemies.”

Priyanka Atri, another member of the Samaj, said on April 17, 2015, when she was on her way to work a man attacked her with a knife. “I was unconcious for four days. There are CCTV recordings and the police have registered a case at Bangur Nagar station in Malad but the man still hasn’t been caught.” Anita Wadekar said she was hit, robbed of her jewellery and taken to the police station and accused of being a thief. “The police can’t distinguish between transgenders and imposters.”

Bharat Gaikwad, senior police inspector, Amboli police station, said, “A non-cognisable offence has been registered and investigation is under way.”

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