Kerala State Police Chief Loknath Behera has come out with instructions for police force that there should not be any delay or reluctance in addressing the grievances of transgender persons in the state. He has also warned police officers that if any unacceptable behaviour or lapses are noticed, action will be initiated against the officers.
The Director General of Police's instruction comes at a time when there have been several complaints that the law enforcement is not handling transgender persons’ complaints seriously, thus denying them justice. Many transgender activists have complained of the lukewarm response of police officers when they approach the stations with a complaint.
"If a transgender person complains of injustice or aggression, it should be probed thoroughly and legal action should be taken immediately. Do not treat them badly for any reason," the DGP said.
Noting that it was imperative to protect the rights of the transgender community, the police chief also said it was the objective of the state government to bring them to the mainstream and facilitate their social, economic and cultural upliftment. Hence, these instructions must be strictly followed, he said.
Recently, a Kochi-based trans woman who is a street side biriyani vendor was allegedly harassed and beaten up by a man who runs a similar business near her outlet. Sajana Shaji, who got harassed by the man, had approached Hill Palace police in Ernakulam with complaint in this regard. However, the police did not intervene. It was only after Sajana took to Facebook posting an emotional video about the situation, which went viral, that the police intervened and registered a case.
Kerala was the first state to unveil a transgender policy in the country to end the social stigma and ensure non-discriminatory treatment towards them. Despite several trans-friendly initiatives, the state had also witnessed several cases of harassment and violence against the community.