iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Ashiq Hussain, Hindustan Times
Srinagar, January 16, 2013
A Kashmiri woman who applied for a job as a “female” but turned up for the qualifying examination as a “male” with a certificate attesting sex change, has stunned the valley, where a majority abides by conservative values. The applicant for a junior assistant’s post in Kashmir University has become the first person from the valley to report changing gender.

When 25-year-old turned up for the qualifying examination on Sunday, confused university officials stopped him in his tracks.

“The superintendent stopped the candidate at the gate,” AS Bhat, the university’s controller of examinations, said on Wednesday.

The officials suspected that an impersonator, probably a man appearing for his sister, was trying to hoodwink them.

But when the candidate produced a certificate from the Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences to cite the sex change, officials had a feverish debate for about 25 minutes before letting him appear for the test.

“We took our time to verify his credentials. We are not medical experts, but he had the certificate from Kashmir’s premier health institute,” Bhat added. “We thought it (sex change) might be new for Kashmir, but not for the outside world.”

The candidate had applied for the post in March 2011. It is unclear where she underwent gender reassignment surgery. The university officials did not identify the candidate and hinted that he wanted the anonymity.

Asked about the certificate issued to the candidate, Aijaz Mustafa, medical superintendent of the Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, said, “We can authenticate the certificate produced by the person after seeing it.”