PESHAWAR: The TransAction Alliance has expressed concerns over proposed eviction of transgender persons from Swat and demanded of the authorities to withdraw immediately the notice issued by police in this regard.
Addressing a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Monday, TransAction Alliance provincial president Farzana Jan said that police had made it a routine to harass transgender people in various districts.
“Swat is not the first district where such order was issued. Police in other districts like Nowshera, Mardan and Banu have also issued the same orders. It is illegal and abuse of power by police,” she said.
Farzana Jan said that district police officers could not issue such orders. She said that they would move Peshawar High Court against the order through a writ petition under Article 199 of the Constitution.
Flanked by Saira and Alama and Preeti Pyal, she said that the order was issued on April 17, 2017 by Swat DPO, who said that following public complaints, transgender persons were ordered to leave the area within two days otherwise action would be taken against them.
Speaking on the occasion, Preeti Pyal said that transgender persons in Swat were poor and homeless because they were discriminated against in getting jobs, shelter and access to social services. “Our only crime is that we are poor and without any social support,” she added.
Qamar Naseem, a rights activist, said on the occasion that action of Swat police was against the fundamental rights and polices of the provincial government.
He said that profiling of transgender persons by police was unacceptable. He demanded of police chief to take notice of the situation.
Meanwhile, National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has taken notice of the matter and issued a letter to provincial chief secretary to express concerns over what it calls abuse of power by Swat police.
According to NCHR, there is no legal or constitutional ground for ordering eviction en-masse of people from a place of their residence. “Article 15 of the Constitution allows free movement of people in and out of different areas of Pakistan without restriction or use of force,” it said.
NCHR demanded withdrawal of the order, saying otherwise local administration and police would be liable under the law.