Bengaluru police on Saturday arrested three men for allegedly raping two trans women from Manipur at knife point. Although the incident took place on May 12, the survivors, a 23-year-old student and a 24-year-old professional, were reluctant to go the police fearing the usual apathy sexual minorities face from the law enforcers.
However, support from friends and All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association finally led them to approach the police who took prompt action in nabbing the accused.
“Police was very fast in taking action. The three people are in police custody now. We are happy with the action,” Kathrin* (name changed), one of the women, told TNM.
On Sunday, two friends Kathrin and Jamie* (name changed) were enjoying their weekend at the former’s Koramangala residence watching TV. The horrific incident took place when they thought their food delivery had arrived at their doorstep. As they unsuspectingly opened the door, the three men armed with knives forced their way in. They held the two with knives at their neck and forced themselves upon the survivors for the next two hours.
Following the complaint filed on Friday, the police had registered an FIR. On Saturday, the survivors were asked by the police to come to the station to identify the accused who had by then been detained. They were arrested after the survivors confirmed their involvement.
The three accused are residents of the same neighbourhood where the alleged sexual assault took place. While one of them is a cook and another is a cab driver, the third person is a supporting actor in the Kannada film industry.
Santa Khurai, noted transgender activist and president of All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association, said, “This is a racial attack targetted towards gender and sexual minority people. This also shows the layers of inhuman treatment that people from the trans community from the North East region who live in big cities across the country face.”
She added, “There are several other unreported incidents which are not revealed due to fear of stigma and future insecurity.”
Kathrin recounted to TNM, “The three men put their knives on our necks and asked us to remove our dress. When we begged them to leave us alone, they threatened to harm us. We were afraid and we did not do what to do. We had no option.”
“I had seen one of these attackers in the neighbourhood before,” she added.
Not only that, the three men took down the phone numbers and threatened that they will harm the two if they dared to approach the police.
Horrified, they soon left to another friend’s residence where they felt that they will be safe.
“They had called us the same night again asking us to come back, otherwise they will harm us,” she further said.
*Names and details of accused retained to protect identity