Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers, including women, brutally beat up three trans women at Kapurwadi in Thane on May 27th. A group of 15 people attacked the three trans women near Majiwada bridge at night, alleging that they engaged in prostitution. The assault was filmed and shared on various platforms, and the video soon became viral.
In the video, a helpless trans woman can be seen being beaten up by a mob of 15-20 people. According to media reports, police have booked 15 people, including MNS’s Thane unit president, Avinash Jadhav, for rioting and causing hurt.
While MNS Thane president Avinash Jadhav alleged that the women were involved in prostitution and that their repeated complaints to the police went unheeded, senior police inspector V Darekar told Hindustan Times that the “trio was only standing and begging on the side of the road and were not involved in prostitution.”
Condemning the gruesome attack, LABIA, a queer feminist LBT collective, said in a statement, “What’s even more shocking than the act itself, is the response of MNS leaders to this horrific incident, trying to justify the act under the aegis of ‘rooting out social evil’ by restoring law and order, which the police have allegedly failed to do. In the various statements and bytes given to the media by members of MNS, they continue to refer to trans persons as individuals who are ‘polluting the culture of Thane’, ‘people who harass residents’, ‘dirt that needs to be cleansed off their vicinity’ and ‘dens of prostitution;’ all of which colour transwomen as individuals worthy of being dealt with violence.
Trans* persons already have to deal with a lot of stigma and hatred owing to harmful stereotypes against them, and such an act of mob violence will only lead to further solidification of a culture of hate crimes against trans* persons.The narrative of trying to stop so-called public indecency and prostitution which is repeatedly used as a justification for violent correction, is unacceptable. Self-appointed vigilantes should not be protected for perpetuating violence under any pretext whatsoever.”