PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Thursday ordered the Mardan police not to expel transgender persons from the district and harass them.
Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Mohammad Ghazanfar Khan also directed the home secretary to hold a meeting with members of transgender community and evolve a plan ensuring their safety.
The bench was hearing a joint petition filed by two transgender persons of Mardan, including Zahoor Mehmood and Iftikhar, seeking orders for the Mardan police not to take any adverse action against their community. The petitioners claimed that the police had ordered transgender persons to leave the district.
They also requested the court to ask the police not to bar them from participating in events, gatherings and marriages as dancers and singers, saying performing in such functions is the only source of their livelihood.
The respondents in the petition are the provincial police officer, Mardan district police officer and deputy inspector general of police, Mardan Range.
After preliminary hearing, the bench adjourned proceedings until Mar 1 observing that it should be informed about the decisions to be made by the home secretary about transgender persons. Gul Rehman Mohmand, lawyer for the petitioners, requested the court for interim relief praying that until the final disposal of the petition, the police should be stopped from dislodging them from their houses in the district.
He said the petitioners were permanent residents of Mardan, lived in their own houses and performed in different gatherings, weddings and events to earn livelihood.
The lawyer claimed that the Mardan DPO had ordered all police officials in the district not to allow transgender persons to perform in events and act against those doing so on criminal charges. He added that the DPO had also asked the members of transgender community to leave the district.
TRAFFIC POLICE ALLOWED TO USE ROADS:
A high court bench temporarily allowed Peshawar traffic police to use roads passing through University of Peshawar for routine traffic to ease load on the University Road during the ongoing work on the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) project.
Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Mohammad Ayub Khan issued the order in this respect on a petition of the traffic police asking the SSP (traffic) to hold a meeting with the UoP administration to chalk out a traffic plan for the area.
SSP (traffic) Yasir Afridi, UoP assistant registrar Ishtiaqur Rehman, representative of Peshawar Development authority Alamzeb Khan, additional advocate general Waqar Ahmad Khan, UoP counsel Waseemuddin Khattak and PDA lawyer Tariq Afridi put forward their view points.
The traffic police said due to the BRT project, they needed to divert traffic on the roads passing through the UoP and because of non-availability of permission by the university administration the situation had been turning worst on the main University Road.
The UoP said it had already been facing traffic problem inside the university and if these roads were permitted for routine traffic the situation there would turn chaotic.
The bench observed that there was no harm if until the completion of the BRT project, routine traffic was permitted to pass through the UoP. It added that after completion of the project, normal traffic should no longer be allowed on those roads.