Govt. amends police rules on harassment against LGBTQIA+ community

It has included a provision that directs officers against indulging in an act of harassment against persons belonging to the community

February 17, 2022 06:42 pm | Updated 06:42 pm IST - CHENNAI

The State government has amended the Tamil Nadu Subordinate Police Officers’ Conduct Rules to include a provision, directing police officers against indulging in any act of harassment of persons belonging to the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) + Community.

A recent amendment to the said rules included a new provision as Rule 24-C as per which, “No police officer shall indulge in any act of harassment of any person belonging to the LGBTQIA+ Community and the persons working for the welfare of the said community.”

The notification issued by the Home Secretary, however, clarified: “For the purpose of this rule, harassment does not include the right of police to make any enquiry as per the procedure established by law”.

Welcoming the amendment, a transperson S. Tamilselvi, who has completed her nursing course and is awaiting a posting, told The Hindu: “It is definitely a welcome step. Though [we expect] it would be followed in major cities like Chennai, Coimbatore and Salem, it is yet to be seen as to how police personnel posted in villages would follow [the amendment].”

Recalling instances of police personnel harassing transpersons and calling them in singular, Ms. Tamilselvi said, “The sensitising should commence soon as they begin their training as new police recruits.”

Sensitising children in schools and youngsters in colleges about transpersons and their status could go a long way in treating the LGBTQIA+ Community better, she contended. “Even government officials still ask us whether we are men or women. They should be trained as well,” she argued, pointing to a recent incident in a sub-registrar’s office.

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