It was a New Year vacation gone horribly bad for Delhi-based transgender activist Rudrani Chettri and her two friends. On New Year’s Eve, the trio were in Shimla, a popular hill station destination in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, when Chettri was allegedly approached by a beat constable – a low ranking police officer – who tried to molest her. When she objected and resisted, she was beaten up by the officer as were her two friends who had tried to intervene. Her injuries are not known to be serious.
However, the increase in violence and impunity that the police are increasingly exhibiting can be linked to the recent Court judgement says Aditya Bondyopadhyay, a lawyer and director of Adhikaar, an LGBT Human Rights organisation based in Delhi.
He told Gaystarnews: “The impunity that the cops have increasingly exhibited certainly come from the fact that now the Supreme Court is openly saying that we [LGBTs] are illegal/criminals. This is a direct outcome of the wide debate and news that followed the Supreme Court judgement. Certainly we are already seeing an increase in violence, both by the police as well as by private lumpens.”
When Chettri went to the local police station to have the incident investigated, the police registered the case as a general complaint and not what is called a FIR or First Information Report.
“This FIR is necessary for it to start investigations, therefore NO, they are not investigating!” Bondyopadhyay told Gaystarnews.
Bondyopadhyay on behalf of Adhikaar and Rudrani who works for Mitr Trust, a transgender and MSM community-based organisation (CBO) in Delhi, say they plan to file a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission in India.
In a recent Gaystarnews report, an Indian gay rights activist who wished to remain anonymous said he had heard of at least a dozen homophobic violent attacks in Delhi alone since the Supreme Court ruling in December 2013 reversed a landmark 2009 Delhi High Court order which had decriminalised homosexual acts.