Gurugram police yet to register FIR after trans men assaulted by UP cop

Two weeks on, FIR still not registered by Gurugram police after UP cop assaulted two trans activists

Two trans men were allegedly assaulted by a UP cop who wanted to forcibly take his adult son (trans man) from a Gurugram shelter home. Why are rules different for law enforcers? Ashutosh Dixit explains!

“No. FIR has not been registered yet. Investigating Officer (IO) has to take the opinion of the doctor. We must take medical advice first to find out if there were injuries… Tell me something, is the registration of your shelter home complete? An IO must have come to your shelter home to find if your shelter home is registered under the Gurugram administration,” said Sandeep, the Inspector with the DLF Phase III police station in Gurugram. 

The Probe’s Samriddhi Sakunia talks to assault victim Gautam Ramachandra (trans man). Gautam and his colleague (trans man) were allegedly assaulted by a UP policeman and his associates 

Inspector Sandeep was talking to the 24-year-old trans man Gautam Ramachandra, one of the victims who was allegedly assaulted by a UP policeman. The violent incident occurred on September 1 at the Transgender Welfare Equity and Empowerment Trust (TWEET) foundation’s shelter home ‘Aasra’ in Gurugram. 

In the audio conversation, the victim, Gautam, is heard asking the Gurugram police why the FIR has not been registered in the case. Strangely, even when two weeks have passed since the incident, the Gurugram Inspector is heard saying that the FIR is not registered as they are waiting for medical advice from the doctors to ascertain if there were wounds on the victim’s body. Almost immediately, the Inspector is heard asking the victim if his shelter home has the necessary registrations.

“We have already handed over all papers related to our organisation to the police. Our foundation is registered, and we have the requisite permission to run operations. These are two unrelated issues. Why should registration be discussed when we ask why an FIR has not been registered in a case where two of us (trans men) were brutally assaulted by the UP cop?” asks Gautam while speaking to The Probe. 

TWEET foundation’s shelter home ‘Asra’ offers shelter and short-stay facilities to trans men facing gender-based violence in the country. The incident that occurred on September 1 has deeply scarred the caretakers of the shelter home and its inmates, most of whom have taken refuge in the centre after facing gender-based violence. 

Gautam narrates why the UP policeman and his associates barged into the shelter home. “This is the story of trans men. Not many people know what this term really means. To understand the seriousness of this issue, first, you must know where we come from. Who we are. Why are our stories important? A transman is a man whose sex assigned at birth was female but whose gender identity is male or he wants to be identified as a male.”

Reminiscing the violent incident, Gautam adds: “On Thursday (September 1), my colleague and I, both trans men, were doing our routine work at the shelter home. A Uttar Pradesh policeman in uniform and four others barged into the shelter home and started assaulting both of us. We knew that the man was a cop from the UP police not just because of his uniform but because he had earlier also caused us trouble. The UP cop was the father of a trans man. The trans man had come to our shelter home after he faced domestic violence at home when he revealed his gender identity and refused to be identified as a female. The trans man told us that the cop, who is his father, used to beat him up. That is why he took shelter at our home. So, on September 1, these five people just barged into Aasra and assaulted us, dragged us into the jeep, and asked us to hand the policeman’s son over.”

Gautam Ramachandra and Shaman Gupta, both board members of the TWEET Foundation, were then allegedly taken to the Gurugram DLF Phase III police station on the same day by the five men, including the UP policeman and they were once again assaulted within the premises of the Gurugram police station.

“Both team members were continuously beaten in the jeep and threatened to reveal the location of the trans man, son of Krishna Kant Singh, who was residing at our shelter home after fleeing his home due to physical and mental violence and unacceptance of his gender identity. They then took Shaman and Gautam to the DLF phase III police station, where they were again beaten and threatened by these men. The local police at DLF phase III police station paid no heed to what was going on at their station by all these men who had no legal right to beat and drag the two members. The local police at DLF phase III police station, including Mr Sandeep and others (some uniformed and in nonuniform), did not intervene when our team members were being threatened and were kept against their will at the police station. The said police officers of DLF phase III police station continuously made fun and made transphobic comments when explained about the gender identity of the trans man and when told that the NGO works closely with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and that it was illegal to withhold them and not allow them to make calls to their lawyers or government officials,” stated TWEET foundation in their statement to the press.

The Probe is in possession of the letter written by the trans man (son of the cop) to the TWEET foundation seeking help against domestic violence he faced at home. The letter reads: “I am a trans man. I am also doing a job. I am 24-years-old. I am from Lucknow… My reason for coming to Aasra is safety from my family. They are continuously calling me, and they want me to come back to Lucknow. But I know if I go, I will not be able to come back. They will either kill me or marry me off. Being a trans man, I am not okay with it. I need a safe place to stay from where I can plan legal action.”

The Probe tried reaching out to the UP policeman – the victim’s father. A number of our calls went unanswered, and finally, we got in touch with the victim’s mother. The mother refused to identify the son as a trans man and continued to tell us that it was not her son, but her daughter was missing. “I am an illiterate woman. I have just passed primary schooling. My husband is in the police, but my daughter is missing. My daughter fell into the trap of some people. My daughter is very simple and beautiful. Please, tell us where our daughter is and how she is if you know her whereabouts.” When The Probe approached the TWEET foundation, we were told that the policeman’s son (trans man) has already relocated to a safe place, fearing a threat to his life. 

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, was introduced by the government of India to provide for the protection of the rights of transgender people. The Act seeks to recognise the identity of transgender persons, prohibit discrimination, and protects them from abuse and violence. But in the Gurugram case, two weeks have passed since the incident, and the police have so far not registered an FIR in the matter despite mounting evidence and eyewitness accounts. On the contrary, we have been told that the Investigation Officer from the Gurugram police department visited the shelter home to see if its papers were in order. 

“Yes, we have the trans-Act. But it will take much time for society to evolve and accept the identities of the community. But, what is more grievous in this case is that even when the police knew that the victim was an adult, they still wanted to forcibly reunite the victim with his family. In this case, the police from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are hand in gloves. We feel that the police must be sensitised about the sensibilities involved in these cases. We also don’t have institutions like the NCPCR and NCW in the trans community. NCPCR protects the rights of children. NCW protects women’s rights, and they issue statements when there are major rights violations, but when the rights of a trans man are violated, who will speak for him?” asks Aqsa Shaikh, a trans rights activist and one of India’s first transgender doctors.

Aqsa adds that the shelter home in question is part of the Garima Greh Scheme under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. While the Gurugram police are yet to register an FIR in the matter, Gautam told The Probe that the incident has traumatised the entire community at Aasra. “All of us are feeling very traumatised. This shelter home was supposed to be the safest place for us, but now we know that anybody can come, at any time, even the police and drag us out and beat us up, and still, nothing will be done about it.”

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