“The Police Pricked Me With Sticks On My Breasts And Vagina”: A Transgender Narrates Her Ordeal

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Picture for representation purpose only

Picture for representation purpose only

The following is a testimony from the report titled “A REPORT ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AGAINST TRANSGENDERS IN KARNATAKA, 2014” that was released by Ondede and compiled by Prerana Kodur & Gowthaman Ranganathan. Ondede, meaning convergence in Kannada, is a collective that recognizes and endeavours to link existing movements such as child rights, women’s’ rights, sexual minority rights and other vulnerable sections through dialogue, research and action on Dignity-Voice-Sexuality.

This is the 3rd in a four-part series. The first testimony in this series can be read here and 2nd one here. Below is the testimony of Richa, a transgender person from Karnataka.

It was Gowri festival and I went to gift a saree to my mother. Since it was Gowri Ganesha festival, locals from Banignahalli Post requested four of us to dance in their procession. After the dance, at around 11:00-11:30 pm, we started heading back home. When we were walking, two boys on the bikes saw us and they stopped. One of them asked us where we stay, I told them we are Mangala Mukhi and we stay very close by. After which we headed home. They followed us. I don’t know who they were. We went home and we were having dinner. Ten minutes later there was a knock on the door. The boy introduced himself saying that we just met him on the road. It was very late, so I asked him from the window, what he wanted? He told me that he wanted to have sex with us and how much it would cost for the same. I told him that we were really tired after the dance and asked him not to have such intentions. He stood there for a while begging, and also told that he would give Rs. 500. After he begged, I took the money and asked my friend to have sex with him. He went away after his work was done. Sometime later, he returned asking us to have sex with his friend. It was really late and I asked him to go away and not to disturb. They went away and sat in the nearby dhaba. We kept looking at them from our window. Suddenly, about six to seven boys came to our house and threatened us to open the door. They came with rods and knives. He asked me to give him back the five hundred and I did. Even after that, he didn’t go. So I gave all the eight thousand rupees that we had. We were really scared when they started breaking the doors and the windows. We went inside and switched off all the lights and hid. They broke the doors and windows and barged in shouting for me. We were totally four of us, and one among us was physically disabled. The minute they entered the house, one ran as she was hiding behind the door.

The boys pulled out the two Kothis who were hiding under the bed, and started beating them. I was hiding next to the cupboard and they found me also as they switched on all the lights. They pulled me by my hair and started beating me on my breasts. I requested them not to do that as I had undergone surgery. One of the boys asked me to give all the valuables we had. I asked them to take everything we had, which was kept in the cupboard. They broke open the cupboard and took a gold chain, Rs. 40,000 and they let me go. I ran out to seek help. In the meantime, they ransacked and broke everything in the house.

I brought help and called a few locals who knew us. They caught hold of two boys out of the six, the others ran away. We took these two to the Police Station to register a complaint. It was around 12:30 am and the constable plainly refused to register a complaint. I asked him if he 22 would do the same if any other girl came to register a complaint. Even then he refused to register the complaint and asked to come back in the morning. As the boys had to attend a wedding, the constable let them go by taking their bike keys and phones.

Next day, all of us went to the station at around 10 a.m. The boys did not turn up at all. I don’t know what had happened between the constable and the boys. We waited till 1pm and after that the police asked us to go home and come in the evening. Though we went in the morning, the police did not register any complaint.

Just when we were leaving, the boys came. They begged us not to register any complaint as they were students. They told that whatever happened, was because they were told to do so by the dhaba people. So we just let it be. We were really upset when we heard that the dhaba people had done it. We went home and we cursed those who did it. We did not take anyone’s name while cursing. But Pavan, the dhaba owner’s son came and asked us why we were abusing them. I told him not to fight as we were not referring to anyone, so he went away.

Because of what happened, two of my Kothi friends came to visit us. One of the Kothi went and asked Pavan why he asked those boys to harass us. This angered Pavan as they raised a finger at him. When the Kothis were waiting at the bus stop, Pavan, his mother, and his two sisters attacked the two Kothis with iron rods. Pavan’s father, who was the owner of the dhaba, was a crippled man and a heart patient. When the old man saw the scene he fell off the chair and shouted for the son. When the family saw the old man collapse, they ran towards him. One Kothi was hit on her head and the other was bleeding from one ear by then. One Kothi ran away and the other came home to us. We were inside the house watching everything and were terrified to go out. There were close to thousand people gathered there to see the incident but nobody came to help. When they were taking the old man to the hospital, Pavan locked us from outside and went away. We were locked inside the house. We had no idea what had happened. After an hour or so, the police came home and asked us to come to the station, so we went along.

When we went to the station, the police inspectors Mallesh and Uday Ravi asked us to sit down and asked us what exactly had happened. We told that we did not do anything and the old man already had heart related issues. The inspectors came and told us that the man had died of a heart attack and that we wouldn’t be in trouble. Uday Ravi sir called me into the room and told me that it disgusts him to see us. He actually asked me if I would suck penises for five or ten rupees. I was really offended on hearing this. I told him I am a woman and just to prove it, I took off all my clothes and showed myself to him. He looked away ashamed and asked me to wear my clothes I don’t think, being a police inspector, he can ask me such derogatory questions so I had to show him. After all this, he told us to stay back at the station, as the public was furious and told us that they would let us go in the morning.

It was a nightmare. Firstly, we had no blankets and it was really cold. Secondly, when we would sleep, the police pricked me with sticks on my breasts and vagina. They asked us if what we had was real and asked if they could touch our breasts. We didn’t know what else to do as we just wanted to go out. Next day we came to know that there was an FIR filed under IPC Section 307, attempt to murder. All we did was cry because we were so upset.

My father was suffering from blood cancer, when he got to know about this, he passed away. I couldn’t even meet him or see his body. I was even more upset. So from Bilikere Police Station, they took us to Mysore Central Jail. The police told us that they were taking us to Bangalore, but they took us to Mysore Jail instead. When we went there, everyone came out to see. They laughed at us. They pointed at us and passed comments. The Officials at the Central Jail made us sit out as they did not know where to put us. While we sat there, the Police laughed at us by passing comments.

If Divyashree Ma’am (Superintendent) was there, she wouldn’t have let this happen. But she wasn’t there that day. We waited for some time, and the Police came and told us that they had to check us. We agreed. We were taken behind the bushes to be checked. We had to strip outside. Weren’t there any rooms to do this?

After checking us, they finally put us in women’s cell. This is the first Transgender case in Mysore Central Jail. Divyashree Ma’am took good care of us, though we were really upset, we weren’t harassed. She made sure we were respected and taken care of. Finally after three months, on December 12th, 2014, we were released, thanks to the judgment of the court. A ‘B Report’ was made where it stated that the old man died of heart attack, and not due to any physical attacks, according to the hospital post mortem report.

The complete report can be downloaded here.