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September 14, 2020

Transgenders seek protection amid growing threats in KP

September 14, 2020

PESHAWAR: Though the police are investigating the murder of a popular trans activist, who was killed in the provincial capital a few days back, some members of the community have complained that they are receiving life threats.

In a video message, a trans activist Gul Chahat said she was facing life threats and needed protection. She said she had approached the police for help. A number of transgender persons have complained that they have faced threats on many occasions.

“I have been facing threats since long. The intimidation has made me psychologically disturbed. I am facing serious threats to my life. Please help me if you can instead of praising me when I am dead. Our friend Gul Panra was killed and Chahat injured in an attack the other day,” Gul Chahat said in a video message to her friends and fans while bursting into tears.

She was referring to the death of a popular trans activist and dancer Gul Panra who was killed while Chahat (another one, not Gul Chahat) was wounded when armed men attacked them near Palosai after a function last week. According to reports, the a group of transgendered persons performed in a wedding in Palosai and as they were returning to the city when unidentified people opened fire on them. Gul Panra (whose real name was Shakil) died on the spot while Chahat (Tariq) sustained injuries and was taken to the Khyber Teaching Hospital.

A special team was constituted to investigate the incident and arrest the culprits. The police are yet to find the motives and arrest the culprits behind the attack. A number of human rights activists and the leaders of the transgender community have been campaigning since long to ensure security and protection for hundreds of colleagues.

Before Gul Panra, a number of attacks took place in Peshawar and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and elsewhere in the country in the last few years. A few of the transgendered persons were killed in the attacks while others were tortured, beaten and abused. Some of the attackers were those who were once known to the victims but they later developed differences.

Apart from protection, a large number of people have been demanding equal rights for the transgendered males and females so that they could live respectably instead of dancing and other festive occasions. Many of them also get involved in crimes, begging and other activities when they are disowned by their parents, families and friends.

The rights activists have been campaigning for years to persuade the families of the transgendered persons to own and help them get education so that they could become respectable citizens.