Transgenders belonging to Bannu on Wednesday accused the district administration of attempting to expel them from the city.
Addressing a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club, Raees, also known as Sana – a member of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa She-males Association – told reporters police officials were asking transgenders to leave the district following a firing incident at a wedding earlier this month. Two nephews of Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, and a police officer were killed in the incident.
Sana said 13 transgenders were hired to perform at the wedding function, which later turned bloody when a group of gunmen entered the scene and opened fire. Sana maintained the performers had nothing to do with the incident, adding the attack was motivated by a personal dispute and not orchestrated by members of the transgender community.
Sana also said the gunmen entered despite the fact that it was the wedding of a police official’s brother with security details posted at the entrance. One of the attackers reportedly tried to snatch a police officer’s gun. “This led to the firing which resulted in the deaths; we had nothing to do with it,” Sana added.
Following the incident, police officers questioned Sana and the other performers. “There were too many people, including police officials, present at the scene. We had nothing to do with it so how can we tell police what happened?” questioned Sana. Questioning why members of the community were being prosecuted, Sana said it was the government’s responsibility to provide security.
Raising the issue of legality, Sana also asked what law the transgenders were being asked to leave under, adding around 50-55 people had been told to depart from Bannu.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2013.