PESHAWAR: The police have arrested the main accused in the murder of transgender activist, Alesha. The accused has been identified as Fazal Gujjar. He was arrested during a raid on Saturday at a house in Qazi Kalay in the city.
Faqirabad ASP Wasim Riaz told The Express Tribune Gujjar had an argument with Alesha a few days back.
Fighting the case
“Alesha hurled a glass at the accused,” he said. “This led to the entire episode that ended in her murder.”
He added this was the initial information they had gathered soon after the murder. However, the accused has yet to be interrogated.
The FIR was registered against four people – Gujjar was one of them while the rest were not named.
Alesha was the complainant in her case. A few days before she died, the transgender activist told the police the accused had demanded money from her. According to Alesha, on the day of the attack four people opened fire at her while she was in a plaza. She said they left her critically injured.
The ASP said the accused did not have a job and used to drive a pickup with his friend sometimes. He is a resident of Ram Kishan area of the city.
Social activists and representatives of the provincial government have voiced their satisfaction over the arrest of the culprit who was behind Alesha’s murder.
However, the search for justice does not end here as there is another person who is a transgender who was kidnapped, but has not been rescued yet.
“We will fight till we get proper protection for the rights of people who are transgender,” Qamar Naseem, a social activist, told The Express Tribune. “We have [witnessed] the coordination and support shown to us by the media and locals – this has given us a hope to fight further.”
He added the police will be holding a news conference regarding the matter. “We are invited where they will open the case in front of everyone.” He said, “We can’t thank the media enough for raising the issue.”
Taimur Kamal, another social activist, told The Express Tribune the culprit should be punished publicly so that no one ever thinks of harming a person who is a transgender in future.
In tough times
When contacted, Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information and Higher Education Mushtaq Ghani lauded the police’s efforts to arrest the accused.
He said the arrest could be made based on Alesha’s report that she had filed before her death.
“If the persons who are transgender give us names of such people, we will be able to arrest more [of those involved in harassing and torturing them].”
He added the K-P government will not step back from helping the transgender community.
“We don’t want any more victims like Alesha,” he said.
According to Ghani, a meeting would be held with the transgender community so their grievances could be heard and protection be provided to them.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2016.