Transgenders allege police mistreatment in Tripura; forced to strip, accused of extortiontext_fields
Agartala: Four transgender-identifying persons have filed a complaint against West Agartala police for allegedly mistreating them in detention and falsely accusing them of extortion. The four complainants allege that police forced them to strip and show their genitals to 'prove' their sex and kept their personal belongings in the station after detention on Saturday night.
The four LGBT community members claimed that their Right to Privacy had been violated as well as those provided by Section 377 of National Legal Services Authority judgement of the Supreme Court.
A photojournalist was also present with the police, the transgender persons alleged. This man followed them from a hotel in Agartala which they had left after a party on Saturday night and had attempted to solicit them for sexual activities which they denied.
"[He had] even tried to touch them. He wanted to dance with them in the hotel and taunted them. "We did not entertain him but he followed us with the police officials and caught hold of us in Melarmath area", the FIR said.
In addition to this, the complainants said they were forced to sign an agreement that said they would not 'cross dress' anywhere in the city nor cause a ruckus which they alleged was a violation of fundamental rights. Police officers then kept their wigs and innerwear at the station, the FIR alleged.
"Our junior officers said that they made preventive arrests under section 151 of IPC (assembly of five or more persons likely to cause disturbance of public peace). I'm not sure what grounds they (the LGBT members) were arrested, we are looking into the matter and have sought a report", an anonymous Tripura police official told NDTV.
Sneha Gupta Roy, a LGBT rights activist, told reporters on Tuesday that the video footage of the incident has gone viral on various media channels and has caused mental suffering to the families of the four persons.
She also alleged that the LGBT members were made to strip inside the police station in the presence of male and women police personnel.
The news of such a complaint of violation of LGBT rights comes on a day when the Supreme Court has ordered the rights of transgender-identifying persons to be respected in all processes related to arrest, processing and housing of transgender inmates in jail, with emphasis given to their right to identify as a particular gender and their right to privacy.
Advocate Nilanjana Roy said the incident is not only violation of transgender rights but a gross denial of human rights.
"Cross dressing cannot be considered a crime and we will fight the case in court to get justice," she added.