A livestream by an activist alleging that a transperson was forcibly picked up from a government-supported shelter home, harassed and brutally beaten by police personnel, has gone viral on social media even as the Delhi Police has rubbished the allegations. In the 10-min long livestream, Rudrani Chettri, a Delhi-based transgender activist alleged that police personnel from Dabri police station “forcibly picked” up a trans person, who hailed from Uttar Pradesh, from ‘Garima Greh’ late at night.
Garima Grehs are the shelter home for transgender persons supported by the ministry of social justice and empowerment to provide basic amenities like shelter, food, medical care and recreational facilities. “They forcibly made us open the gate of Garima Greh and picked up a transman from Uttar Pradesh. Those who went to ask for his whereabouts were beaten up. Our bridge course coordinator was also beaten up very badly. Police harassed them. We still are in hospital. They beat them because they are transgender,” she claimed. Further during the live stream, she turned the camera towards several injured people sitting in what appeared to be a hospital reception. Visibly injured Bella– bridge course coordinator– said police beat them unreasonably when they asked them about the whereabouts of the transman.
“They asked me to open the gate. When I opened the gate, four policemen and a woman constable went upstairs and asked us to bring one person as his parents have lodged his missing report. They informed that they want to take a statement from him and it is a matter of few hours before he will be brought back,” she recounted. “We agreed to let him go with them but we insisted on going with him. I along with three people went there. I saw they had already sent him in a car,” she said.
Bella also alleged that the policemen present there misbehaved with them and asked them to leave the area. “They also manhandled us. We kept asking them that we need in writing as it is against our guidelines, following which we will leave from here. Later, police attacked the guard and when we came in his rescue, they attacked us also in which we received injuries,” she alleged in the video. According to the police, at 12.20 am, a team of Uttar Pradesh Police from Badalpur police station, Gautam Budh Nagar came to Dabri police station and sought local assistance in a missing complaint lodged with them.
“They went to Garima Greh in Sitapuri and later left with the alleged victim in the missing complaint. Later, six to seven transgender persons came to the police station demanding to meet the person who had left with the UP Police team, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Dwarka) M Harsha Vardhan said. They were told that the matter relates to UP Police and Dabri police station has just provided assistance, the DCP said.
“They became aggressive and obstructed police personnel on duty at the police station. Some of them also removed their clothes and started using very abusive language. Minimal force was used to disperse them,” Vardhan said, adding the police are sensitive to the concerns of transgender people. “I have asked my officers to engage them in constructive dialogue and make them understand that they should not take law into their hands. We are working with them to allay their cocnerns,” the DCP said.