Dalit trans woman cop resigns from TN police force after continued harassment

In a letter to the Coimbatore Commissioner of Police, Dalit trans woman police officer R Nasriya described the harassment she faced while working in the Special Juvenile Aid Police unit.
Dalit trans woman cop resigns from TN police force after continued harassment
Dalit trans woman cop resigns from TN police force after continued harassment
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When R Nasriya joined the Tamil Nadu Police a few years back, she was the second trans woman to join the state’s police force. But such a distinction did not prevent her from being harassed by her cisgender colleagues. Following relentless harassment based on her gender and Dalit identity, Nasriya resigned last week, on March 18, from the Special Juvenile Aid Police (SJAP) in Coimbatore district. In her letter to the Commissioner of Police for Coimbatore, she said, “I have been serving in the Coimbatore unit of the SJAP from January to February of this year. The inspector of this unit, Meenambikai, has not allowed me to carry out my duties, with the intention of taking revenge on me. She has caused me mental trauma and made me want to take my own life.” 

She described in the letter how she had attempted to die by suicide and had needed medical intervention at a nearby hospital. Adding that she returned to work after recovery, Nasriya said, “The inspector of the Intelligence section Sivakumar, the control room’s deputy superintendent Suresh, and station writer Rajasekar supported Meenambika and spoke demeaningly of me.” Nasriya also said that she had submitted complaints to higher officials including the District Collector, which she says led to more harassment from Meenambika. Nasriya’s letter further said that no action was taken on her complaints. 

Nasriya further wrote that her experiences were stressful. “No punishment was given to them, but the person who has done nothing wrong is being punished. I do not wish to serve under higher authorities who have no honesty. Instead of working in this honour-less field, I’d like to walk away,” she said.  

While speaking to the media after handing over her resignation letter, Nasriya said, “I have faced harassment in every place I’ve been in. Two years ago, I attempted to take my own life because of harassment when I was posted in Ramanathapuram district. Until now, I refrained from giving complaints as I have seen the effect of giving complaints. It not only affects the officer, but also their family. I have always just taken voluntary leave or asked for a transfer.” She added that she joined the SJAP with the support of the Coimbatore Commissioner. “After I joined, Meenambikai repeatedly harassed me, referring to my gender identity and my caste. I belong to a Scheduled Caste. After a warning from the Commissioner, the harassment only increased daily from the other officers. They would put me on extra duty. There were different rules only for me.”

She detailed how on Vinayagar Chaturthi, only she was made to be on duty for more than 11 hours, from 8:00 am to 7:10 pm. “No one came to take over the duty. But other officers were allowed to leave after completing their shifts at 2:00pm in the afternoon,”she said. Nasriya also told the media, “I had intended to be a role model, but the harassment is the reason I am not going to continue this work anymore.”

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