A Day after Pride, Bengaluru Police Arrests 160 Transgender People and Sends them to Beggars Colony

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Just a day after close to 2000 people walked in Bengaluru demanding LGBT rights, police in the city started arresting people of the transgender community and forcibly moving them to Beggars Colony on Magadi Road.  At least 167 trans persons have been moved to a beggers’ colony by the Bangalore Police till now.  The operation at various city junctions in different police station limits across the city has been taken up since Nov 24th.

Speaking to Gaylaxy, Umesh told that he started receiving calls from yesterday morning about the arrests from various transgender people. After arresting them, Police asked them to call their friends or Gurus, and when they came to the police station to talk to the police and get them freed, they too were arrested and sent to the colony. Umesh alleged that many of those picked were not even begging when the police arrested them, with many just being arrested for being a transgender or Hijra.
According to the Karnataka Prohibition of Beggary Act, people found begging can be detained and sent to a beggars home. Such people can be released if an undertaking is given that they won’t be found begging again. A team of activists that went to talk to the Police Commissioner were told that the police was just enforcing the law. Police said that they will wait for the Executive Magistrate to pass an order later in the evening whether to release those detained or not.
To protest against the forcible arrests, the queer community has organised a massive protest in front of the Town Hall at 4pm today. Activist Akkai Padmashali alleged that the police has been harassing transgenders and has been barging into houses to arrest them.
Update: All 167 transgender persons have been released in the evening after a written undertaking that they won’t be found begging on the streets. The protest held at Town Hall saw a large participation. 
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Dhrubo Jyoti

A journalist by profession, a physicist by training. Works with the Hindustan Times, New Delhi. Makes better use of time with Gaylaxy.
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