Transgender persons from Hyderabad on Sunday staged a protest outside the Banjara Hills police station demanding the arrest of a known history-sheeter Venkat Yadav, accusing him of harassing the community for years by indulging in extortion. Members of the LGBTQ+ community also joined the protest.
The protestors said that since 2012, Yadav had been operating in the limits of the Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda commissionerates. Yadav was previously accused in the murder of a transgender person four years ago and was out on bail.
On January 17, 2015, the police said that Pravallika, a transwoman dependent on sex work, was brutally lynched to death by a group of four goons headed by Venkat Yadav while they tried to steal her day’s earnings.
“Pravallika put up a tough fight, but was mercilessly murdered by Venkat Yadav who threw a boulder at her and smashed her skull. An FIR was registered on the same day by the KPHB police station and Venkat Yadav was arrested by February. However, he was granted conditional bail in October,” said in a statement.
The community alleged that after he came out on bail, Yadav threatened the complainants and their kin, and intimidated them into withdrawing their cases against him.
“He attacked a transwoman and smashed her head against a wall with threats that he will kill four ‘hijra’ people a day till all cases against him by were withdrawn,” the statement added.
Transgender activists in the city said that Yadav has continued extorting the community for money, jewellery and other valuables ever since he came out on bail.
“Over these three years, we have visited many police stations, filed many complaints, and gave representations to the police. Each time he is jailed, he comes out on bail and is back to his old ways,” said Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli, a transgender activist.
Now, about 30 transgender persons around midnight on Sunday reached out to the Banjara Hills police seeking protection and Yadav's arrest. They also gathered again before the police station on Sunday afternoon, following which the Station House Officer (SHO) K Srinivas assured them of their safety and promised strict action.
“At around 1 am on Sunday, a lot of the transgender person went and sat before the police station. Many had wounds on their bodies due to his repeated assaults. He demands Rs 50,000 from each of them. No transgender person earns that kind of money; so he took their jewellery worth Rs 2 to 3 lakh from them. The police said they would arrest him by Saturday but this has not happened,” said Priya, an LGBTQ activist from Hyderabad who was part of the protest on Sunday.
Demanding that Yadav be arrested under the Preventive Detention Act, the protestors also demanded a speedy trial. They also sought compensation to the survivors of his violence and the survivors of Venkat Yadav’s deceased victims