AGARTALA: Four transgender persons have alleged that personnel from Tripura police stripped them on Saturday in a bid to prove their gender identity.
The transgender persons were later released after they were allegedly asked to give an undertaking assuring not to wear “cross dress” ever again or else, they will be arrested.
They alleged that on Saturday night they were on their way back from a party organised at a hotel in the capital city of Tripura when they were stopped by a police team and taken to custody.
“While we were coming back from a DJ party in a hotel at around 11 pm on January 8, a few police personnel and a man who claimed to be a reporter stopped us. We were taken to West Agartala Women Police Station where we were asked to strip in presence of both male and female police in the night. They even taunted about our dress code and character, “ said Mohini, one of the transgender persons. She added that they were accused of extorting people with fake gender identity.
The transgender persons claimed that their source of income through make-up art has suffered loss since a few videos of their harassment became viral on social media, and they, including many other transgenders in different parts of the state, faced harassment in their respective localities.
However, some of these videos were deleted from the social media after they sought intervention of the Agartala Press Club.
They also alleged that the police made them sit on the floor and did not get them food even after telling the police that they were hungry.
“We demand justice for ourselves and action against the police personnel and the reporter who were in the police station on the incident night, “ she said.
Sneha Gupta Roy, an LGBTQ+ rights activist and a transgender person, said, “Their life at home and in their localities are stigmatized after a few videos of their harassment went viral on social media. This has also caused pain to our community both psychologically and emotionally. “
“ It’s all about struggle for identity. Whatever happened is violation of human rights. We will fight legally to get them justice, “ said Nilanjana Roy, counsel of the distressed transgender persons.
Later, on Monday evening, they filed a complaint at West Agartala Police Station.
An official from Tripura police, on the condition of anonymity, said that they were arrested under Section 51 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) having provisions of preventive arrest.
“I have heard they were held under Section 51 of IPC and we have asked for a report to ascertain on what grounds they were arrested,” said the official, adding that they can seek intervention of either the Human Rights Commission or Police Accountability Commission if they have faced harassment.