Bengaluru: Shreeja (name changed), a transgender who begs on the city streets, has been bullied and dragged by the cops to police stations, often for cases not related to her. Hers is not an isolated case. The police have been accused of committing at least 40 atrocities against transgenders, under the cover of Section 36A of the Karnataka Police Act, alleges the transgender community.
Section 36A is aimed at controlling the ‘objectionable activities’ of ‘eunuchs’. But activists have condemned this section, saying it is a violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. Akkai Padmashali and other activists met Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs T.B. Jayachandra recently, and he assured them that the government would remove the Section.
Akkai told Deccan Chronicle, “The government is quiet on the issue. We have met several leaders, but it has been of no use. Our fight will not end till Section 36A is fully repealed. I have trust in the present government, and hope that it will remove the offending section.”
In April 2011, the state government amended the State Police Act and introduced Section 36A. It empowers the commissioner to pass orders to maintain a register of names and addresses of all transgender, who are “reasonably suspected of kidnapping or emasculating boys, committing unnatural offences, or any other offences”.
Members of the Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum filed a PIL on January 12 against the state government, demanding that the section be scrapped with immediate effect.
The forum maintains that this section is also against the recent judgement of the Supreme Court in response to a PIL filed by the National Legal Services Authority in April 2014. The Supreme Court has upheld the rights of transgenders and urged the governments to take steps towards the welfare of transgenders....