The transgender community, which has been seeking justice for a rape victim, has expressed disappointment at Narendra Modi-led NDA government's move demanding clarification from Supreme Court on its decision to give third gender recognition to transgenders.
Madhu (changed name of the victim) has been seeking justice for the past three months against three policemen who raped her when she was taken into custody along with eight other members for allegedly assaulting a constable in June this year. She along with the rest of the members had gone on a pilgrimage to Ajmer.
While she is struggling for justice, the three accused are still roaming freely. However, an organization named Voice Against 377 has now come forward to support her. The group held a press conference in Delhi and discussed the inability of Rajasthan's Vasundhara Raje government to punish the criminals.
"NDA government is insensitive towards us and their move to Supreme Court over its stand on the LGBT community raising objections against recognition to transgenders as OBCs says a lot. Generally, in a rape case, which is non-bailable offense, accused are arrested even before chargesheet is prepared. But in this case, the accused are untouched and continue to work," The Times of India quoted People's Union for Civil Liberties' National Secretary Kavita Srivastava.
Demanding "immediate arrest and suspension" of the three accused policemen, the transgender organisation's Lesley Esteves said that "at every step of this case, it seems Rajasthan Police has gone out of their way to humiliate the complainant and subject her to voyeuristic interrogation."
Transgender community unhappy with NDA government
While addressing the press conference, transgender community also criticized the NDA government for challenging Supreme Court's decision to give transgenders Other Backward Classes (OBC) status and complained that they are doing no good for their community.
SC had on 15 April given legal right to transgenders and said that they must be treated as "socially and educationally backward classes of citizens." It has also said that gays, lesbians and bisexuals (LGB) would also be considered the third gender.
Seemingly unhappy with the court's verdict, Ministry of Social Justice has demanded clarification from SC on its ruling. It said that LGB cannot be included in the transgender category as they are categorised based on "sexual orientation," while being a transgender is "a person's own deep sense of gender identity," The Hindu reported.
It also challenged SC's decision to put eunuchs in the similar category and said "eunuchs are not transgenders, nor a variant of transgender. It is a different concept altogether."