A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, asking the court to give direction to the state government to implement the NALSA judgement in the State of Jammu and Kashmir in letter and spirit and work for the welfare of the transgender community. The High Court will be hearing the PIL on Aug 10th.

The PIL has been filed by three persons on behalf of the transgender community – Aijaz Ahmad Bund, Shafi Khan and Farah Ashraf. Aijaz Ahmad Bund, a researcher, had conducted a study on the conditions of the transgender community and had found that the local transgender community face violence from their family and society, and have little means of livelihood or education. Mr. Bund had appealed to the State Human Rights Commission in 2013 seeking rights for the transgender community, but with no response from the SHRC, withdrew his case on 2nd February 2017 and decided to file a PIL.

However, no lawyer in Srinagar was ready to take the case and so the three decided to file a PIL on their own. The PIL has sought social, economical and political inclusion and rehabilitation of the community, and their recognition as a marginalised and vulnerable section of the society.

The PIL demands:

• Housing as a majority of transgender people have been disowned by their families.

• Shelter homes for transgender people facing violence at the hands of families.

• Formal and non-formal educational programmes, setting up counseling centres.

• A transgender welfare board and transgender police stations.

• Equal applicability of all laws; humane treatment.

• Building civil society support to curb harassment faced by transgenders; recognition of their rights to vote and forming associations.

(With inputs from Greater Kashmir)

Sukhdeep Singh