Transgenders stage protest to seek justice for Ajay Pal
Some of the transgenders had come from Chandigarh, Roorkee, Kotdwar, Rishikesh and Haridwar, while others were from Dehradun.Updated: Feb 14, 2018 20:57 IST
A crowd of around 30 transgenders, carrying placards and banners, assembled outside the Press Club here on Tuesday, in protest against the heinous crime against 17-year-old Ajay Pal, a transgender, who was beaten up, tonsured and paraded naked by eunuch leader Rajni Rawat and her supporters. The protest was staged 17 days after the monstrous act.
Some of the transgenders had come from Chandigarh, Roorkee, Kotdwar, Rishikesh and Haridwar, while others were from Dehradun. Slogans decrying police inaction in the case and demanding justice for Ajay could be heard. Some raised them loud and boldly, while others joined in hushed tones, with eyes judging the onlookers’ reactions.
Ajay and her friends have alleged that she was attacked because she refused to follow Rawat’s diktats and because she had publicly expressed her desire to undergo a sex reassignment surgy (SRS), something Rawat was against.
Dhananjay Mangalmukhi, a transgender and a post graduate student of human rights at the Panjab University, addressed people around. “We are citizens of this country. Our freedom cannot be curtailed by people like Rajni Rawat. Instead of working towards empowering the LGBT community in Dehradun, Rawat is harassing those who want to get educated and make a living for themselves,” she said.
Oshin Sarkar, Ajay’s friend, said, “It is worrying that police have not been able to arrest the main culprit even after 17 days of booking her. The political clout around Rawat is what has deterred the police from acting tough against her.”
Ajay, was seen wearing a black kurta pajama, wrapped in a shawl and wearing a cap over her tonsured head. “I want to get educated and take up jobs like other people. I don’t want to beg. All I want is justice in this case. What Rawat did was inhumane,” she said, before threatening to commit suicide if Rawat was not arrested.
In between, some transgenders from Rishikesh, Haridwar and Kotdwar also narrated their stories and accused Rawat of harassing them in the past. They alleged that they, too, were beaten up and had to leave Dehradun because of the terror unleashed by Rawat’s group on young transgenders.
Justice, they said, will be attained. “But we have to fight for it on our own,” said Divya, a transgender from Uttarakhand, who is currently studying in Chandigarh.
First Published: Feb 13, 2018 21:04 IST