September 17th, 2020

By Ahmad Saeed 


Transgender rights activists have demanded the government to make the crime against their community non-compoundable as most of the victims do not have the resources or courage to pursue cases in the court.

Arzoo khan, President of the Transgender Person Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also urged the authorities to establish a special desk in every police station to assist transgenders and swift registration of FIRs in cases of violence against the community.

“In most instances, a crime against trans persons are committed late at night when they return from the functions (which they attend for livelihood). They are often abducted, raped, and in some cases murdered cold-bloodedly,” she added, “But many of our community members don’t have adequate knowledge about their legal rights so I think government and state should assist them in taking legal action.”

According to Khan, at least 70 transgenders have been killed since 2016 and hundreds of others have been faced severe torture but most of the perpetrators of these crimes go scot-free and then they come out of the prison and threatens us again.

“I wonder how the courts set such people free. Even if a transgender forgives the perpetrator, which we often do under pressure, the court must punish the person in accordance with the law.”

In KP, except for the Alishba murder case, no person has been convicted by the courts for committing a crime of serious nature against the trans community.

Alishba was cold-bloodedly murdered by a man named Fazal Gujjar in 2016. Gujjar shot Alishba six times after she failed to pay him extortion money. Later, Gujjar was handed over a death sentence by a local court in Peshawar but acquitted co-accused Rahmatullah in the case by giving him the benefit of doubt.

In 2018, the parliament has passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act but the community thinks that the government has been failed to implement the law in letter and spirit.

The law demands the government to take steps to secure full and effective participation of transgender persons and their inclusion in society and to establish protection centers and safe houses to ensure the rescue, protection, and rehabilitation of transgender persons.

Zanaya Chaudhary, trans rights activist said that the government should apprise the community that why the act has not been implemented effectively.

“For us, the situation is still the same, we don’t have any job opportunity, we are still begging at traffic signals or perform at functions to make ends meet. The government is just doing lip service”, Chaudhary added.

She also complained that when a transgender goes to a police station to lodge a FIR, the police misbehaved with her and one has to stage a protest to get the case registered.

Khan said that some of the trans people got into bad habits such as drugs or some criminal activities due to lack of education and awareness. She offered the authorities her full cooperation in action against such elements because they give a bad name to the community.

“We always struggle to help our trans community to not get involved in bad things but if the government does not cooperate with us then how can we do the course correction”, Khan said.

Chaudhary suggested that the government should provide technical education to the Trans persons so that they can learn a skill and become a useful part of the society rather than spending their life in illicit activities.