No end to transgenders 'menace' in city

No end to transgenders 'menace' in city

It is not right to demand money from people, but we don't have choice: Transgender

The recent arrest of two transgenders — Arundathi and Sinchana — by Nazarbad Police in connection with an extortion case near the Suburban bus stand in the city, is just the tip of the iceberg. Five more transgenders, accomplices of Arundathi and Sinchana, are absconding.

Like we have accepted Mysuru to be the cleanest city in India and have silently enduring bumpy and pothole-filled roads in the city; we assume that harassment by transgenders is routine, which we have to suffer without a choice.

Ramu, a retired government employee said, “I think, the population of transgenders has exploded. I am born and brought up in a small town and there was only one transgender, whom we all knew well. He used to do some business and did not even depend on his parents by the time he crossed teenage. Most of the people respected him, while many feared him, because he was against vice. He would thrash someone found involved in a vice. But, now in Mysuru, we find them almost everywhere. Unfortunately, all of them are involved in extortion, but the police department seems to have turned a blind eye to them.”

Kantharaj, a flour mill owner, said that the businessmen from North India, particularly, encourage them as they believe them to be good omen. “If something is rare, it can be deemed as a good omen, but if you come across at least two dozen transgenders, at a go while you walk up just the Devaraja Urs Road, it is just a nuisance. Transgenders who started off as beggars have now turned into extortionists. Definitely, there is somebody very influential behind them. Otherwise, why would the police department remain a mute spectator to all their mischief. I guess, they act only when a person loses a big amount and complains in a station,” he said.

Admitting that the transgenders are mostly a nuisance, except for a few who are into some vocation for a livelihood, a Police official, on condition of anonymity, said that even men dress as transgenders as it is a means for easy money.

“Nowadays, transgenders operate in an organised way and even resort to violence. We can only act on stray cases, when we get a complaint. It is difficult to completely eradicate the menace,” he said.
Saraswathi, a transgender, said, “We are not accepted by the people, so we get united and stay together. We also go out in groups and have to follow others for survival. If somebody in our group is misbehaving, we have to stand by her, as it is a question of security for the whole group. I admit that we are not doing the right thing, by forcing people to give us money. But, I also do not know what to do.”

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