Two transgender women were brutally assaulted in Kozhikode on December 27, allegedly by police officials who told them that they were better off dead. “We kept begging them to stop, telling them we would die if they kept beating us like that. They told us we were better off dead,” said Susmitha, one of the trans women attacked by the cops, along with her friend Mamta Jasmine.
Mamta Jasmine and Susmitha were walking back home at 2.30am on December 27, after a dance practice for a cultural programme, when they were allegedly attacked without any provocation. The policemen were patrolling near the railway station and SM Street when the incident occurred.
“We were walking back home after the practice session for a cultural event. The officers were patrolling at night and it was around 2 am. Without any provocation, the officers stopped their vehicle and charged at us,” Susmitha told TNM.
“We kept begging them to stop, telling them we would die if they kept beating us like that. They told us we were better off dead,” she said.
Susmitha, with the help of some friends, has registered a complaint in the Kozhikode town police station. The Kerala Chief Minister has now taken cognizance of the incident and ordered a probe. The probe will be conducted by Kozhikode DCP Merin Joseph, said Kerala DGP Lokanath Behera.
The injured trans women were admitted to the Kozhikode Beach General Hospital. Collector UV Jose has ordered the district police chief to investigate the allegations of police brutality against Susmitha and Mamta.
When contacted, the police declined to comment.
TNM has learnt that Susmitha’s FIR has been filed under sections 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means).
Alina, a trans woman and activist, told TNM that such instances of violence against trans people is not unusual, although there are officials who are supportive and understanding.
“Both Mamta Jasmine and Susmitha are good dancers. They had gone for a practice session and were returning home quite late in the night. They told me that the police officials were hurling abuses at them while assaulting them. The officers even told them they won’t be allowed to live in peace,” Alina told TNM.
She added, “We are even abused in broad daylight by the officials sometimes. They tag all of us as sex workers and speak to us very insultingly. There are good officials who are supportive and understanding, but the bad ones sometimes overshadow them.”