A group of transgender persons protested outside the Clifton police station on Tuesday against the arrests of six members of their community in the upscale Clifton neighborhood.
During an overnight crackdown in parts of Clifton, including Zamzama, Do Talwar and Teen Talwar, police arrested half a dozen transgender persons and locked them up at the Clifton police station. An FIR was registered against them under Section 9 of the Anti-Vagrancy Act on behalf of the state.
“We took action against them as we had many complaints against them for begging, stealing cell phones and other valuables from cars and other illicit activities in the area,” claimed Clifton SHO Javed Abro.
“Not only did we arrest them [transgender persons] but we also arrested six masseurs as well for the same charges.” The officer said that the police crackdown would continue.
On Tuesday, a large number of transgender persons gathered outside the Clifton police station where they held a protest against the arrests of their comrades. They also shouted slogans against the police, demanding the immediate release of those put behind bars.
“The police did wrong with them,” says Bindiya Rana, chairperson of Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA) while talking to The News. “We do not have employment. Begging is the only option to survive in the society.”
“People came to us and forced us to do shameful activities,” Rana explained. “The street crimes are on the rise in the city. Even the mayor Karachi’s car has been snatched, but police instead of focusing on curbing the street crimes are only focusing on creating troubles for us.”
The GIA chairperson warned that they were going to hold a press conference over the matter, and they would approach the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Rana said they would hold a protest outside the apex court if such police actions continued against them in future.