By: Muhammad Shahzad
A member of the transgender community had gone to the police, claiming she was sexually molested by five men and tortured in Muslim Town. In the police complaint, Shehzad alias Chahat has alleged she was returning home after attending a wedding reception when she was abducted by five men.
The suspects forced her to sit in a rickshaw with them and took her to a house near Kharak Nullah on Multan Road. The men were accused of thrashing the transwoman and burning her with cigarette stubs. The men tortured her for the whole night until she fell unconscious.
“I was brutally tortured and raped by all of them the whole night,” she stated. Police registered a case FIR (922/16) under Section 377 (unnatural offence) of the Pakistan Penal Code against the suspects identified as Umair, Jamshed, Asif, Zeeshan and Nasir. They were arrested and were being investigated.
Not the first
On November 13, the Sialkot police had arrested nine suspects, who were caught on video torturing a transwoman. A few months ago, two transwomen were reportedly raped and thrashed by two robbers at their home on Faisalabad-Jaranwala Road.
In May, an activist fighting for the rights of the transgender community was shot dead in Peshawar. She was shot six times, but when she was shifted to a hospital for treatment, doctors made her to wait an hour before deciding to shift her to a male or female ward. The victim died at the hospital doorstep.
While talking to The Express Tribune about the rise of violent incidents against transgender people, Bindiya Rana said one of the reasons was that the trans community was now much more aware of their rights as compared to the past.
The transgender activist said the victims no more remained silent and raised their voice against injustices. “In the past, the community remained silent even if a member was murdered, fearing repercussions,” she said. “Media and the Supreme Court’s judgment have made them realise they also have a voice and their complaints will be listened to.”
Professor Dr Muhammad Burfat, a professor of criminology and sociology at Karachi University, said the Pakistani society had specified roles for genders that were dominant for males and submissive for females.
“Transgender people are unacceptable [for many] as they do not fit in the traditional roles,” he said. “Thus, they are despised as evident from the diction of any of our regional languages.”