Arbitrary detention of Hijras in Bangalore (Nov 2014): communities demand justice

Published: November 26, 2014

Original Article:

Bangalore, Nov 26, 2014: Over the past two days, approximately 167 members of the transgender community have been taken away by the police and kept at the Beggars’ colony. These detentions have been entirely arbitrary, and we are apprehending more detentions in the coming days. We are greatly concerned by this mass detention and violations of human rights.

Most detenues were not on the streets begging or doing any act that is prohibited under the Karnataka Prohibition of Beggary Act, 1975. Most of them were going about their daily chores when they were arbitrarily picked up by police officers and taken away to the Beggar’s colony in Hoysalas. The police even walked into the homes of the hijras and dragged them out. It is to be noted that even those hijras who went to the police station because they were called by other arrested hijras were also arrested. Clearly the objective of the police was not merely to pick up those who were begging, but in effect all persons who answered to the description of being hijra.

The reason for this mass detention is unknown to us but there is information suggesting that this is retaliation for the misbehaviour of one of the members of the community. Even if this were true, collective punishment inflicted on the entire hijra community for the wrongdoing of just one person is not appropriate. It is unconscionable that the entire transgender women community should be punished for the alleged wrongs of some members of the community.

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