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Ban on cycle rally for transgender persons, women challenged in court

Ban on cycle rally for transgender persons, women challenged in court

PESHAWAR: A nongovernmental organisation, Pak Development Mission, has moved the Peshawar High Court challenging the decision of Peshawar district’s administration to bar it from holding a bicycle rally for transgender persons and women last month, and requested the court to help hold the event.

The organisation has fielded a petition in the high court requesting to declare illegal and unconstitutional the act of the district administration to stop it from organising the rally.

It prayed the court to direct the government and district administration to facilitate and provide adequate security to organise the ‘Cycle Rally for Transgender and Females’ in terms of permission previously granted by the administration on Jan 11, 2019, on a date mutually agreed between the petitioner and the administration.

The petitioner prayed the court to direct the government and administration to take strict action against those threatening organisers and participants of a lawful activity.

NGO also seeks action against those threatening event organisers, participants

It sought the court’s orders for the government to provide security to it and women and transgender persons of Peshawar.

The bicycle rally was scheduled for Jan 19 but it was cancelled after the Majlis Ulema-i-Hayatabad, a body of clerics and prayer leaders of all mosques in the area, and other religious groups, including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan had termed the event promotion of vulgarity and obscenity in society and announced to stage a protest near the venue of the event to force the administration to ban it.

The respondents in the petition are the provincial government through its chief secretary and the Peshawar deputy commissioner. The petition filed through Barrister Masroor Shah said the petitioner organisation is duly registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, and is engaged in endeavours for the women’s emancipation and transgender persons’ mainstreaming.

It said it contemplated to organise the ‘Cycle Rally for Transgender and Females’ on Jan 19 in Hayatabad, Peshawar, for which formal permission was sought from the Peshawar deputy commissioner.

The petitioner said after thorough scrutiny and taking into account all aspects connected therewith, the deputy commissioner duly granted it permission through a letter on Jan 11.

It said after receiving the permission, it began arranging the event focusing all its efforts and resources on the same.

The petitioner said the bicycle rally was like a cool breeze blown in the already suffocated society wherein women and transgender persons expressed enthusiasm by getting them enrolled for the event in high numbers.

It claimed that in a unilateral and unlawful move, the deputy commissioner barred it from holding the bicycle rally after succumbing to the pressure and intimidation from a few clerics. The petitioner said the cancellation of permission already granted by the deputy commissioner to hold bicycle rally at the behest of few clerics stood testimony to the surrender of the State to unlawful threats and intimidation by non-state actors.

Dawn

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