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Woman constable meets CM Fadnavis, awaits Maharashtra govt nod for sex-change surgery

Lalita Salve from Beed district met the CM on March 21, is expecting a go-ahead from the state soon

mumbai Updated: Apr 04, 2018 17:12 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Mumbai,Maharashtra,Maharashtra govt nod for sex-change surgery
Lalita Salve said CM Devendra Fadnavis assured her that the matter would be resolved on an urgent basis.(HT File Photo)

A 29-year-old woman police constable from Maharashtra’s Beed district, who recently met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, is awaiting the state government’s permission to undergo a sex-change surgery.

Lalita Salve, who prefers to be called Lalit, sought the chief minister’s intervention last month.

She said her application has been forwarded to the state Director General of Police (DGP). “I met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on March 21. He assured me that the matter would be resolved on an urgent basis,” Salve, who is posted at Majalgaon police station in Beed, told PTI. “I am sure that I will get a positive response from the government.”

Salve had earlier approached the state police department for permission to go on leave for a month and undergo the sex-change surgery. The department had turned down her plea as the eligibility criteria for men and women to become constables are different.

After the Beed police authorities refused her request, she had moved the Bombay high court in November last year, seeking a direction to the Maharashtra DGP to grant her leave to undergo the surgery.

The high court, however, had directed her to approach the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal as it is a service matter.

“I have sought permission for the sex-change surgery, leave for the procedure and to be in service as a male police constable after the surgery,” Salve said. “I consulted doctors at the state-run JJ hospital in Mumbai for the surgery. They also told me to get the police department’s permission.”

“Now, I am waiting for official permission from the government,” she said.

A senior police official said as this was the “rarest of the rare” cases, there should be a policy decision. “So, we referred her case to the government and are hopeful of a positive response,” he said.

Salve’s uncle Arjun Ujagare also said they were waiting for a go-ahead from the state government. “After her meeting with the chief minister, we are hopeful that Lalita will get official permission for the surgery, be allowed leave for the medical procedure and that she will be retained in the police force as a male constable,” Ujagare said.

Born in June 1988, Salve noticed changes in her body around four years ago and underwent medical tests, which confirmed the presence of Y chromosome in her body, as per her petition filed in the high court. While men have X and Y sex chromosomes, women have two X chromosomes.

Later, Salve underwent counselling with psychiatrists at JJ hospital.

Doctors found that she had a gender dysphoria abnormality and advised her to undergo a sex reassignment surgery, if she was willing to and was of sound mind, as per her petition.

Subsequently, Salve approached senior police officials and sought medical leave to undergo the surgery.

First Published: Apr 04, 2018 15:59 IST