A sailor from the Indian Navy will soon be discharged from service, for undergoing a sex change operation to become a woman.
This act of the sailor, who felt that she was "a woman trapped in a man's body", had sent the Indian maritime force into a tizzy as this is the first time that they have come across a situation like this.
The sailor underwent the gender reassignment in Mumbai last year.
Why was she discharged?
According to Times of India, sources said that the sailor will be discharged under the SNLR (service no longer required) provision after she returned to INS Eksila base, a Naval marine gas turbine overhaul facility under the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam.
The navy initiated her discharge for violating the terms and conditions under which she joined the force as "an Indian male citizen" seven years ago. They will be discharging her as women are not allowed to serve on board warships or join the infantry, artillery and armoured corps in the Army.
"There is no specific rule or regulation to deal with such sex-change operations or transgender people in the armed forces. After much deliberations, a show-cause notice, a medical examination and other proceedings, the Navy has decided she cannot continue as a sailor in the force," a source told TOI.
No pension for her
The sailor who underwent the surgery with her own money is still serving at the office of the commanding officer of INS Eksila. "We have recommended her discharge from service and proceedings in this regard have been initiated and she would quit soon," a source was quoted as saying by Mail Today.
However, the sailor will not be receiving any pension as it is mandatory to have served for at least 15 years to avail pension.
The sailor, who now wears a sari and is letting her hair grow, said that she is satisfied with the Navy's decision as she is aware that the maritime force doesn't allow women to serve as sailors, soldiers, and airmen.