news Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - 05:30
  It was around 2:30 pm on July 8, 2015. Bhavana, a transwoman who lives in the Suraram Colony in Hyderabad was on her daily begging routine to seek alms at the Suraaram Colony cross roads. Bhavana approached a certain Marwaari kirana store owner named Ajay Singh. As soon as Ajay saw Bhavana at his shop, he allegedly began abusing her with vulgar cuss words and asked her to leave. What followed was worse and a gross violation of human rights and dignity. When Bhavana tried reasoning with Ajay, he allegedly refused to stop cussing and she lost her cool and cursed him back. This soon escalated into a physical fight with Ajay slapping and punching Bhavana who responded with a volley of similar curses. Bhavana and four other transwomen ended up being battered with physical injuries.  When the fist-fight started getting out of hand Bhavana called her friends for help. On realizing that she was calling for help, Ajay, his son and two others reportedly began brutally thrashing her with sticks and a steel mop. They allegedly threw heavy crates full of empty glass bottles on her. She also says that she had a concussion as a result of the fight. She was then thrown on the ground as one man began thumping her chest and skull with his feet, she says. In a short while, Bhavana’s friends who she had called, Sruthi, Sakhi and Yamuna came to her rescue but were also beaten up along with Bhavana.  Ajay then went on to call the police and claimed that Bhavana and her friends had allegedly tried to ransack the shop when they were denied alms. Aishu, Manorama, Naathi and Rasheeda, four more friends of Bhavana reached the venue and so did the Dundigal police. After allegedly letting the violence on the four transwomen continue for a while, sub-inspector Pavan took all eight transwomen including Bhavana to the police station and even registered cases against a few of them.   (The FIR filed by Ajay's wife on Bhavana's friends, Sakshi, Yamuna and Sruthi) After this, the sub-inspector locked them up with other male detainees while Bhavana was lying semi-conscious in the police station with her concussions on her skull and injuries on her chest and fingers. After three hours, human rights and queer activists came and took her to the hospital. Until this point, no lady policewomen were involved. Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli of the crisis response team of the Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samiti arrived at the police station with some human rights activists. "The nature of a crime should not be based on just the physical injury but also the mental trauma that has been inflicted on Bhavana," she tells TNM. Vyjayanti adds that Bhavana is now out of the hospital but is still facing two to three blackouts a day and has to frequently visit the hospital."It is clearly a violation of both the NALSA vs. Union of India judgement of the Supreme court and in the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill 2014," she adds. In a counter complaint, the activists have tried to invoke sections 307 for attempt to murder, 319 for hurt, 326 for grievous injury and 351 for assault against Bhavana. "While Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra at least have some guidelines,  Telangana and AP have not done anything significant to implement the NALSA vs. Union of India judgment except a box on the Telangana Public Services Exam where there is a choice to tick 'other' sex," says Vyjayanti. On Monday, the activists also approached the DCP and ACP, of Petbasheerabad and registered complaints. They also approached the Cyberabad Police Commissioner but were denied entry. "We were treated like terrorists and were stopped at the gates of the Cyberabad police Commissionerate," Vyjayanti says. "How do you expect transwomen who have dropped out of school to be suddenly empowered and educated when there are no schemes for them? They are pushed to the fringes of the society and are excluded from education, employment and housing. What choice do they have but to beg?" she asks.
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