CERTAIN GROUPS of transgenders are indulging in prostitution and extorting money from people across Chandigarh and Mohali, said Chandigarh Police officers. Members of these groups, dressed in women attire, target people mainly near ISBT-43, ISBT-17, Sector 52/53 dividing road, Housing Board light point and near Dhanas village, officers told Chandigarh Newsline.
ASP (South) Niharika Bhatt said, “We are aware of certain groups indulging in wrong activities in different areas. And, since the attack on a police party, we have decided to take stern action against these groups.”
Raghuvir Singh, one of the parking attendants at ISBT-43, says, “Every night, a few transgenders dressed as women are spotted loitering here. They stop motorists and lure them. On several occasions, I have seen police personnel removing them from this area, but they come back after a couple of days. Recently, a man, who had arrived from Delhi, was lured by two transgenders and later they robbed him of Rs 4,500. The man had also informed the police, but did not lodge any formal complaint.”
A police officer requesting anonymity said, “These groups have become a nuisance in the city. The group involved in the attack on a police party earlier is known for indulging in immoral activities on Sector 52-53 dividing road. Lately, they had changed their location near ISBT-43. We tried to deter them several times but they are adamant. Whenever they are confronted, they create a scene by taking off their clothes and creating a ruckus.”
Meanwhile, two groups of transgenders settled in Dadumajra, Sector 38, and Derabassi in Mohali, approached Chandigarh Police on Monday demanding stern action against the offenders calling them “imposters”. The Dadumajra-based group is headed by transgender Meera Mahant while Sonia Mahant heads the Derabassi faction of transgenders. Both met the Police Post ISBT-43 in-charge, Sub-Inspector Chander Singh. In Chandigarh, there are three Deras of transgenders who used to collect celebratory money (badhai) from people on occasions of celebrations.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, Meera Mahant said, “The recent incident of showing nudity and indulging in violence with police personnel is no isolated instance. These transgenders are impersonators. They do not belong to our community. As a tradition, our sole source of earning is collecting badhais on marriages, birth of children especially male babies and on other occasions of celebrations. We do not step outside our houses after sunset and do not demand money from people in the dark. These things are considered a sin in our community. Our areas are also demarcated.”
“In May also, a group of transgenders did the same act on the Chandigarh International Airport road in Mohali. That time also, we had requested Mohali police to take stern action against such miscreants. These groups are only defaming our community,” Sonia Mahant told Newsline.