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Protesting transvestites baton-charged

in PAKISTAN, 23/05/2012

Thursday turned out to be a bad day for transvestites of Rawalpindi and Islamabad because the dozens of them who gathered at Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) offices to stage a “peaceful” protest were baton-charged.

The protest was sparked by the alleged long delay in the transfer of a house in their leader’s (guru) name by the civic body but instead of meeting their demands, the CCB staff allegedly thrashed and injured them.

More than 50 of them, led by their leader Almas Bobby, had gathered in front of the CCB offices to protest the long delay in transfer of property to Bobby who purchased it eight years ago at Lalkurti.

The protesters were chanting slogans against the officials of the CCB for not giving mutation certificate despite the completion of the procedure. Upon the hue and cry of transvestites, the CCB officials invited Almas and one other companion to hold negotiations.

Meanwhile, the CCB staff subjected the others to baton charge which resulted in causing minor injuries to some of them. Upon this, their leader had to quit negotiations to lead the protesters who later blocked the Mall Road for nearly one hour. The blockade created problems for the motorists especially for the patients who were to reach the adjacent hospital, Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), seeking medical help.

Traffic and Cantonment police officials reached the spot and requested the transvestites to open the main road for traffic.

Sensing a deadlock, the RCB Cantonment Executive Officer
Rana Manzoor Ahmed Khan and CCB Cantonment Executive Officer Sajjad Akhtar invited Almas Bobby for negotiations and assured him to take action against the officials responsible for thrashing.

While talking to Dawn, Almas Bobby said she had purchased a house at Lalkurti in 2005 and submitted an application with the CCB office requesting to transfer the property against her name.

“I have been shuttling from pillar to post to get my genuine right but the officials are delaying the process despite the fact that I have paid all the previous taxes.”

“Few days ago, the CCB officials said the 99-year lease has expired and I will have to get another lease for 99-year period. I submitted the fee for the purpose but the house was still not transferred to me,” she complained.

Almas said she had contacted the CCB executive officer many times but he had no time to resolve the issue. “In this situation, we were left with no other option but to stage a peaceful protest to get my right,” she claimed.

She alleged that Rana Sarfraz and some other officials subjected the innocent protestors to baton charge demanding that “we are peaceful people and expect the officials to behave.”

She said the CCB Cantonment Executive Officer Sajjad Akhtar tendered an apology over the thrashing incident and assured to resolve the matter by next Monday. “If the matter is not resolved by Monday, we will stage the protest in front of the CCB offices again,” Almas threatened.

Despite making repeated attempts to get his side of the story, the CCB Cantonment Executive Officer Sajjad Akhtar was neither available in his office nor on phone for comments.

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