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TW: transphobia, harassment
“Whatever happened to the victims has caused harm to the whole community mentally and emotionally. People have to learn to be more inclusive of non-binary identities of human beings.”
- Sneha Roy, LGBTQIA+ rights activist
On January 8, police officials in Agartala stopped four transgender individuals on their way back home and reportedly ridiculed them for their attire and mentally harassed them. Later, the police allegedly took them to the Agartala West Police Station and forced them to “prove their gender” by undressing in front of both male and female police personnel. The survivors - Mohini, Sangam, Raj and Tapas - were made to sit on the floor and denied even water.
Mohini shares that the police took them in under extortion charges without any proof to back their claim. While the police officials deny this allegation, even a senior official at Tripura Police reports that he is “not sure on what grounds they were [preventatively] arrested.” The survivors had filed a complaint demanding legal justice against the perpetrators, reporting that they were also insulted when the police officials kept their wigs and inner garments with themselves. What’s more? The group of four was forced to sign an undertaking wherein they had to promise not to cross-dress and were threatened with arrest if they did so.
This is outrageous. Under no circumstances is cross-dressing illegal, and trans people have the right to decide and express their gender identity by law. The police harassed them despite legal protections, making this a gross abuse of their power that needs to be kept in check.
We urge that the Police Accountability Commission, Tripura:
Provide interim relief to the survivors by suspending the accused police officials as the survivors’ complaint is being looked into
Conduct gender sensitisation workshops with the West Agartala Police Station, where they are educated about gender identities outside of the gender binary and given strict instructions about what constitutes harassment
This case makes it clear that even in 2022, trans people are subjected to humiliation and trauma for no reason other than blatant transphobia. It is crucial that people in power, especially police officers, undergo gender sensitisation trainings and swift action is taken to prevent such arbitrary decisions in the future.
Stand in solidarity with the survivors and help them hold the police accountable. Sign the petition!
‘We were forced to strip to prove our identity’: Transgenders arrested in Tripura file complaint - The Indian Express
Tripura Cops Deny Allegations Of Transgender Harassment - Northeast Today
Harrowing Act! Tripura Police Asks Transgenders To 'Strip' To Prove Their Gender - The Logical Indian
Tripura transgender persons allege police stripped them to prove gender identity - Hindustan Times
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