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Transgender’s plea for security falls on deaf ears

"I want to ask the chief minister whether he wants me or people like me to take up arms to save ourselves or he wants us to commit suicide?" asks Rani.
KOLKATA, 23 MARCH: Rani was beaten up mercilessly in broad daylight in a market area of Raniganj by a group of men last year. Her fault? She is a transgender. When she went to the police station to lodge an FIR, police told her to move to the red-light area of Bowbazar to save herself and others from the trouble.
Since police refused to lodge an FIR, the culprits are now harassing her everyday and have often tried to run her over with their vehicles. Rani (in sns pic) says the goons enjoy immunity from law since they participate in political rallies. Since 1 May, 2010, when the goons beat Rani up, she visited the police station 19 times.
The duty officer of Raniganj police station, Mr Nissar, who had refused to lodge the FIR, cracks jokes about her each time she visits the police station. Often, she had had to face indecent behaviour in the police station itself. She visited the SP’s office, and had to wait for about four hours before being shoved away. She also visited the SDO’s office and the chief minister’s office. She left letters complaining against police apathy but till date no action has been taken. Rani, a resident of Shishubagan in Raniganj, Durgapur, lives with her 80-year-old aunt. She was named Kalyan Majumdar when she was born. But she came out in the open after completing her BSc. She survives by giving tuition to Class IX-X students. “Public humiliation is not new for me. I am an outcast. But I have to go to the library and the market in my locality. I ignore the comments passed by the people. But, on 1 May, while I was returning from the market, they hurled a stone at me. I stopped and told them that enough is enough,” said Rani. After this, six-seven men surrounded her and one of them, Dipak Shaw, beat her up. She went to the health care unit but the doctor refused to treat her. Even after 10 months, her head wounds hurt.
Rani said that she is a transgender but that doesn’t mean she has to beg in trains or be a sex-worker. She is educated and wants to live a decent life. “I am also a voter. But I have no security. I want to ask the chief minister whether he wants me or people like me to take up arms to save ourselves or he wants us to commit suicide?”
Even after repeated calls, the duty officer, Mr Nissar’s phone remained unanswered.

Soma Basu

Soma Basu

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