Transgender denied entry: ‘Regrets’ incident, but Pune mall director cannot commit to a written apology
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Transgender denied entry: ‘Regrets’ incident, but Pune mall director cannot commit to a written apology

Sonali Dalvi,who was allegedly denied entry by Phoenix mall, approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) after the incident.

pune Updated: Mar 20, 2018 23:43 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pheonix mall,Pune,Human rights
Members of NCP and Sonali Dalvi meet the Phoenix mall management as she was denied entry before in Pune on Tuesday(Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)

Rajiv Malla, director of Phoenix Market City mall in Pune, expressed regret at the incident involving a transgender woman who was denied entry to the mall last week. Sonali Dalvi (31),who was allegedly denied entry by Phoenix mall, approached theNational Human Rights Commission (NHRC) after the incident through her lawyer Asim Sarode.

Malla though,did not furnish a written apology, as requested by Dalvi during a meeting held in his office at the mall. Even though Dalvi was satisfied with Malla's statement, when she asked for a written apology, Malla said,"Let me talk to my board. I cannot commit to that because we are awaiting a report from a security agency and we will come back to you."

The meeting was held in the presence of Vandana Chavan, a member of parliament from Pune and other delegates from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Dalvi, through Sarode, has written to the NHRC about the incident. "Hope serious cognizance may kindly be taken of this complaint and notices may kindly be issued to Phoenix Mall administration in Pune. The NHRM may constitute an investigation committee or direct the Pune commissioner of police to investigate the matter and submit the investigation report to NHRC," the complaint reads.

Shifting the blame on to the security company, Bvg Security Services, Malla said that the two female security guards have been let go by the company. The security company has also been asked to submit an internal report about the incident.

Chavan suggested that the mall should start employing transgender people in order to support the community which has been neglected and generally denied education and employment.

"We will be more than happy to employ them (members of the transgender community). But we have never received job applications from any of them," said Malla, even as Chavan stated that the stigma related to transgenders and their employability needs to be rectified proactively by employers.

"This is what I wanted. The security people insulted me in front of the people so what I wanted was for him to apologise in front of the people. This should not happen at any public space. Lots of people in my community told me that it is a good thing that I raised my voice," said Dalvi, a Master of business administration in finance from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).

Vimannagar police were also present at the mall as a crowd of NCP workers and protesters gathered in and around the premises. The mall-goers, including Indians as well as foreign nationals, who were unaware of the reason behind the crowd, looked perplexed as the entrance had heavy security.

First Published: Mar 20, 2018 22:24 IST