Neelanjana, a sex worker in Malappuram, was verbally abused and physically assaulted by three men after she refused to go in their car.

Kerala trans woman attacked by three men money and valuables stolenCourtesy: Facebook post by Queerythm
news Crime Thursday, December 27, 2018 - 20:17

Neelanjana was standing near the bridge around 2 am on Wednesday, opposite the Malabar Hotel in Kuttipuram, Malappuram. She had seen a white Maruti Alto from the distance, stopping before her friend Meenakshi*. This would not have been unusual, but the way the car parked and moved around reluctantly, she had a feeling something was wrong. Neelanjana’s intuition turned out to be true when minutes later, the men in the car ended up assaulting her and taking her purse, money, id cards and phone away, while dragging her on the road.

Pictures of an injured Neelanjana were posted on Facebook by Queerythm on Wednesday evening. Yet another trans woman has been attacked, the post said.

Neelanjana, who is a sex worker, had refused to go in the car with the three men when they asked her, because she felt something was wrong, Transgender Justice Board Member, Viji Rahman, told TNM.

“But they kept insisting. At first they seemed friendly. When she said no, they appeared to go away but then turned their car and came back to her again,” Viji narrates.

“This time, they were verbally abusing her, announcing that they would not let trans people live and would rape them. Her gender identity was questioned, her hands pulled. They were trying to force her into the car. When she resisted, one man stamped her on the chest and she fell down. They then dragged her along with the car for a short distance, and went away with her purse that had Rs 4800 in it and her identity cards, and also her phone,” Viji adds.

Neelanjana got admitted in the Kuttipuram Government Hospital with injuries on her shoulder, knees, feet and palm. “Their aim had been my purse and my phone. I knew there was something fishy the way they waited for all the cars parked at the Malabar Hotel to go away before coming to me. It was all young men inside the car, under the age of 30. They treated me very cruelly,” says Neelanjana, who got discharged from the hospital on Thursday.

She wanted to register a complaint as soon as possible. They went to the Kuttipuram police station in the middle of the night, soon after the attack. But the SI was not there then so they went again Thursday morning. “We have registered the complaint,” says Viji, who is also the president of Karma, a welfare group for the transgender community.

The Kuttipuram police have confirmed getting the written complaint. They are yet to file an FIR.

“Kerala is the first state to have a policy for transgender people but we can’t still live here peacefully, there is just no individual freedom,” Viji says, referring to Kerala’s policy for welfare of trans persons, introduced in 2015. This came after the Supreme Court’s commendable NALSA judgment in 2014, which gave trans persons the right to self-identify their gender.

* Name changed

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