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President Farzana alleges police supporting gangs involved in sexually assaulting them. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD IQBAL
Transgenders threaten to protest against sexual harassment

in PAKISTAN, 18/06/2012

Members of the transgender community have threatened to begin a countrywide protest if sexual harassment under police protection continues.

At an address in front of the Gulbahar police station on Friday afternoon, Farzana, president of the Khwaja Sara Association Peshawar (KSAP), said that strict action must be taken against those involved in abusing eunuch dancers.

She alleged that police was supporting gangs involved in sexually assaulting them. “A man named Ijaz along with other armed men attacked the house of Shula and Anish, assaulted them and stole their mobile phones away before leaving,” Farzana said.

Shula and Anish live in Marki Godam area of Gulbahar.

The association’s president added that after they filed a complaint at the police station, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Shakir arrested the men, but released them after taking a bribe.

Farzana said the police does not ensure their security and instead allows gangsters to torture them.  She warned that if members of her community continue to be tortured, a countrywide protest will be started.

The community members, however, dispersed peacefully when police promised to protect them.

Talking to The Express Tribune Farzana said: “We have not harmed anybody in the community but I don’t know why some people persistently create problems for us.”

“If the government does not bring the situation under control, we will be forced to begin a countrywide protest under the leadership of Almas Bobby,” she said, adding that the police should take action against Ijaz and his gang.

Meanwhile, Shula told The Express Tribune, that three days ago around nine armed men, led by Ijaz and Hyath, entered their house around midnight. All men were heavily drunk.

“They broke into our house and overpowered us,” she said.  We were sexually assaulted and subjected to physical torture for 50 minutes, she added. “Before leaving they took away our money and snatched our mobile phones.”

Although the neighbours called the police in time, it reached their house 30 minutes late despite being located at a stone’s throw.

“The owner of the house does not like too much noise and disturbance in the locality and he has warned us that if any such thing happens again we will be asked to leave,” she said.

She said that police had arrested Ijaz and his friends once before, but released them. When they attacked their house for the second time, Ijaz spent a night in police custody and was freed by the next morning.

Meanwhile, the ASI told The Express Tribune that the men had been released by the court and the matter was not in the hands of the police.

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