Transgender people brutally killed in Punjab over past seven years

Underreporting of murders mean actual number much higher than recorded

LAHORE – A total of 23 transgender killings have been reported in Punjab so far in the last seven years whereas according to the data obtained from the office of the Inspector General of Punjab Police, the highest murder rate was in Rawalpindi, Pakistan Today learnt.

According to documents obtained, two transgenders were killed in Lahore, out of which Muhammad Arsalan belonged to Nishtar Colony and Farzand Ali from Johar Town area. Similarly, Muhammad Abbas within the limits of factory area of Sheikhupura police station, Nawaz within the limits of Sharqpur police station and Azam alias Sana within the limits of City Farooqabad police station were killed.

During the last seven years, Shehzad and Zain were killed within the limits of Gujranwala police station Ladhewala Waraich, while Ali Raza alias Nadira was killed within the limits of Arup police station and Usman alias Pia was killed within the limits of Kamonki police station.

“Incidents of oppression and abuse of transgender people are circulating on social media on a daily basis and yet the rate of their registration in the police station is very low. The biggest reason is that there are a large number of transgender people whose families are not ready to adopt them, so whenever there is an abuse or an accident with them, there is no one to report it.

Documents revealed that Yasin alias Billi and Hamza Tanveer alias Shahzeb from Waris Khan area of Rawalpindi police station, while Aurangzeb alias Neeli area of Civil Lines police station, Neelam within the limits of Murree police station and Kashif alias Kangana within the limits of Mandira police station, Khyber Shahzad alias Babli within the limits of Saddar Wah police station and an unidentified transgender man was killed within the limits of the airport police station.

Similarly, Hassan Raza within the limits of Dina police station of Jhelum, Muhammad Arsalan alias Sawira within the limits of Mianwali police station city, Mohammad Akram within the limits of Saddar Boriwala police station of Vehari, Muhammad Ashfaq alias Nadia and Sulaiman Rashid alias Muskan within the limits of Harappa police station of Sahiwal, Irfan alias Sunny within the limits of City B division of Bahawalnagar police station and Mazhar Iqbal alias Saima Khan within the limits of Rahim Sadiq Yar Khan’s City Sadiqabad police station were killed.

A member of the Youth Parliament for Transgender informed this scribe that the number was very low, when in fact the number of transgender killings was much higher.

“Incidents of oppression and abuse of transgender people are circulating on social media on a daily basis and yet the rate of their registration in the police station is very low. The biggest reason is that there are a large number of transgender people whose families are not ready to adopt them, so whenever there is an abuse or an accident with them, there is no one to report it. Another important point is that it is very difficult to identify transgender people because many transgender people look like men and have male genitalia. Therefore, it becomes difficult to find the difference between the dead body of a transgender and the dead body of a common man. Similarly, an important issue is that even if someone from the transgender community goes to the police station to report such a murder or accident, their complaint is not taken seriously. Rather, the transgender is feeling insecure in the police station. In fact, we are already scared because our family and society are not ready to adopt us, and the measures announced by the government to protect transgender people are only visible on paper,” he lamented.

On the other hand, an official of the IGP’s office informed that the Transgender Persons (Protection of Right) Act 2018 has been enacted by the government of Pakistan and in the light of which the Punjab government has issued a Transgender Rights Policy 2019.

“Under this policy, steps are being taken to provide transgender people with the basic rights enshrined in Article 9 and 25 of Constitution of Pakistan. Such as the right to education, the issuance of CNIC, the right to vote, the right to participate in elections and the right to form unions, etc,” he said.

Shahab Omer
The writer is a member of the staff and can be reached on [email protected]

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