The protesters condemned the manner of the police action, where the suspects were picked up in the middle of the night. The police also charged the suspects under a host of acts, including a homophobic archaic Karnataka state act and Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which has been read down by the Delhi High Court in 2009.
“The police began the midnight operation by going to the house of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement’s programme director and pressurised him to identify the project staff members. From there, the programme officer was taken to the house of a queer person, who was in turn coerced to give the names of other sexual minorities. Using this method, the police arrested 5 people from their homes and 8 others from other public places,” said Mallappa, President of Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, which has formed a coalition to fight harassment of the queer community.
“The arrests and methods used clearly indicate the intention of spreading fear and terror among the gender minority community and the huge visibility in the media resulting in shaming and humiliating the arrested persons,” he added.
The protestors demanded a withdrawal of all proceedings under section 377 of the IPC, the suspension and subsequent prosecution of Ravi D Channanavar(SP), Mahesh JE(PSI), Krishna SK(PSI) and other responsible police officers and compensation to all arrested.