From obscured to suppress community

From obscured to suppress community

Written By: / Editorial / Tuesday, 24 December 2019 17:15

Transgender community of Manipur still gets nothing from the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 – reason, the department of Social Welfare, Government of Manipur is not initiating any measures to enforce the act.
Before the Bill has been introduced the community remained obscured for quite a long time and even after the passing of the Bill and getting assent of the President of India they are now being suppressed in the state of Manipur. The rights has been suppressed as even the law enforcers cannot assured as no regulations existed for dealing cases involving them.
The Act was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 19 July 2019 by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot, in light of the lapse of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018. The 2018 bill, which was preceded by a 2016 version, were both met with protests and criticism by trans groups, lawyers, and activists in India. The 2016 bill was sent to a Standing Committee which submitted its report in July 2017. Following which, the Lok Sabha tabled and passed a newer version of the bill in December 2018. However, it did not incorporate many of the committee’s recommendations. Members of the opposition in Rajya Sabha criticised the bill and assured transgender persons of not voting in favour of it, although it was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 25 November 2019. On 5 December 2019 it was signed into law by the President of India.
 After the law, the government of India gave recognition of third gender in addition to the existing male and female. In school and colleges (even in Manipur) transgender can get their admission quota and some even did it.
However, when it comes to law and order, police often face difficulties in dealing with the transgender, as the state government of Manipur still is yet to establish a board for formation of regulations for implementation of the act. The police department too is facing criticism sometimes as they received criticism from the trans community as there is still yet to regulate legislation on which police force should be assigned when it comes to deal with cases involving trans- community. Besides, in case of arrest or detention, no police station in the state of Manipur has separate cell for accommodating them.
Recent case is about a complaint by a trans-female, who had even undergone surgery and change his sex to she needs serious attention of the government. Report appeared at some of the newspaper and websites said that some male police personnel without any women personnel came to the residence of the trans-female and harassed her. Police side of story in connection with the allegation is yet to be made, but when talk regarding the matter with some legal experts, it is being informed that it is the male police that has to be deal with when it comes to trans – female as of now. As for the trans-male community it is the female police that should be assigned.
Rather than interpreting the news report as that of the violation to the freedom of speech, one need to ponder upon is the issue coming up due to none implementation of the act by the state government authority.    

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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