Members of the transgender community staged a day-long hunger strike in front of the Secretariat on Wednesday to draw the government’s attention to their grievances.
They met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and submitted a petition listing their demands to his office. The protest was inaugurated by transwoman Faisal Faisu.
Earlier, members of the community took a rally from the Martyrs’ Column to the Secretariat. Prior to the rally, Faisal Faisu, Sreekutty Namitha of the Sexual and Gender Minorities Federation Kerala, and C.S. Murali of the Janakeeya Manushyavakasha Prasthanam, spoke.
Faisu alleged that false cases were being registered against members of the community by the police in Ernakulam and they were being put behind bars.
“There may be a few bad elements among the community, but there are laws to deal with it. There is a deliberate bid to portray the entire community as criminals, and turn society against us.”
Faisu said that the community was getting a lot of visibility in recent times, but the police bid was to scare them away.
This attitude of the police was rubbing off on the public, as seen in the case of a transgender being attacked at Valiathura, she said. “We are fighting for gender equality, as laid down in the Constitution. It is our right.”
Faisu said they wanted the Transgender Policy to be implemented in full, action against police personnel who attacked transgenders, withdrawal of false cases, and framing of rules laying down how to deal with complaints of harassment by transgenders.