Transgender activist Sangeetha (60) was found dead at her residence in Coimbatore on Wednesday. According to police, the decomposed body of Sangeetha was wrapped in a cloth and dumped inside a plastic drum.
Sangeetha, who resided at Sai Baba Colony on NSR Road, was the president of Coimbatore District Transgender Association. She has been an active member of many NGOs and initiated many charity events for the welfare of the economically weaker section. She had been in the catering business for more than 15 years.
A month ago, Sangeetha opened ‘Covai Trans Kitchen’, a restaurant entirely operated by transgenders. In an interview to indianexpress.com in September, Sangeetha said she wanted to help her community members who had lost jobs due to the pandemic. She said the response for the restaurant has been overwhelming and they are planning to open a second unit soon to provide more job opportunities.
According to local reports, Sangeetha was not seen at her restaurant for the past few days and her mobile number was found to be switched off. The panicked members of the transgender community visited her house on Wednesday morning, and after smelling a stench from her residence, they informed the police.
Trans rights activist Grace Banu condemned the incident and urged the district collector and the police commissioner to arrest the culprits involved. Speaking to indianexpress.com, she said: “This is an attempt to silence the members of the transgender community, they are under threat. There is no one to speak for us; the lawmakers are not acting tough on people who commit crime against this community. Last year, Rajathi who was working as a temple priest in Thoothukudi was beheaded by some goons. If the government doesn’t take lawful action, these kinds of crimes will continue. Yesterday it was Rajathi, today it is Sangeetha and tomorrow it may be Grace Banu,” she said.
The Sai Baba Colony police said they are investigating the motive behind the murder. The body has been sent for the post-mortem examination.