Kochi: A group of transgender community has accused the Kochi police of brutally assaulting them upon trying to lodge complaints of them being targeted by a north Indian lobby, a charge denied by the cops. According to them, the episode unfolded at 10.45 pm on Saturday night when a group of TGs approached a police team conducting night patrolling near Valanjambalam.
"They approached the cops to complain against a north Indian lobby which assaulted them earlier in the day. However, they were manhandled by the police team. Later another group of 11 members of the community reached the north police station to raise the complaint. However, cops beat them up," said Sheethal Shyam, Secretary of the Sexual Minority Forum (SMF), Kerala.
"Two transsexuals, Poorna and Ayisha, were seriously injured in the police action and admitted to the Ernakulam General Hospital," Ms Shyam said. However, the police said the members hurled abuses and tried to prevent them from discharging official duty.
"The team was stationed there to monitor the movement of TGs in view of the wide-spread complaints of prostitution and robbery. A few minutes later, they turned up, hurled abuses without provocation and even prevented the officials physically from getting off their vehicle," said Arul R.B. Krishna, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kochi city.
As the protestors refused to back out, the police were forced to use force to disperse the crowd. Cases have been registered against them under IPC sec 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), he said. The police also denied charges of discrimination and the accusation of manhandling the members at police station.
"Whether it is a man, woman or a transgender, the law has no discretion. We will question any person on the road between 11.30 pm and 5 am and leave them if they give a satisfactory answer," the DCP said. Meanwhile, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ernakulam, has been directed to hold consultations with the TG activists in Kochi on Monday to formulate a plan to address their woes.