Pictures were recently posted on social media, of a transgender person who was tortured at Pishtakhra police station in Peshawar. These pictures were traumatising as the bruises were inflicted by her being dragged around on the streets and then molested. It is not the first time this has happened and it probably not the last.
It has come to light that police officers force the transgender community to pay a fine of Rs1,000 per person, every single day or threaten them with torture.
How can we trust those who are supposed to be protecting us, namely, the police? I have seen police officers openly asking for bribes from boys and girls they see driving together, pressurising and threatening them into doing so.
A member of my domestic help was once arrested on false charges of theft. When I proved her innocent and brought her back home, a policemen turned up at my door asking to take her back to the police station without providing any reasons. He was not dressed in police uniform. When I flashed my press card, the policeman’s attitude underwent a drastic change and he begged me to forgive him. He said he no longer needed to take the suspect to the police station.
Luckily, some men in my neighbourhood heard what was going on and caught hold of him and gave him a good thrashing before letting him go.
This is our police for you. They will take advantage of anyone they can — transgenders, sadly, become the easiest target because we as a nation remain silent and do not take a stand on such issues.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2016.
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