THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a move expected to prove a game changer, the state police have decided to set up Transgender(TG) help desks at all police stations. Sources said the desk will be modelled on the lines of the Women’s help desk and Senior Citizens’ help desk.“Yes, if some of the recent incidents were an indication, the relationship between transgender(TG) persons and the police has not been cordial. It was after factoring in this, DGP Loknath Behera directed the police stations to set up a Transgender help desk,” said an officer attached to the Kerala Police Head Quarters(HQ) here.
Meanwhile, State Transgender Cell’s project officer Shyama S Prabha said the move to set up the desk followed the decision taken at the officer-level meeting.“The state police chief had in March issued a circular asking the police personnel to deal with cases of atrocities against TGs strongly. The decision to establish a help desk at police stations appears to be a follow-up of the said circular,” said Shyama.
While the circular is said to have issued proper instruction to the police personnel to fast-track the probe into the atrocities against the TGs, it is alleged it skirted the police excesses against the sexual minority and the action to be initiated in this regard. The incident in which TGs were arrested in Kochi on charges of being members of a sex racket and the one in which a TG was stripped at a police station in Alappuzha and her images circulated on the social media by a woman Civil Police Officer had created a furore in the state, with the Transgender Justice Board intervening in the matter.
Anil A of ‘Sangama’, an NGO working towards TGs’ welfare, said the 24X7 helpline for transgenders could well usher in a change as the marginalised section can now avail help readily.
“To ensure the welfare of the transgender persons, district-level Transgender Justice Boards were constituted.
But now the Social Justice Department is planning to set up crisis management committees in 14 districts which will have doctors, advocates, police officers and others as its members. The forum can indeed address issues like police atrocity or misbehaviour effectively,” said Anil, who is a member of State Transgender Justice Board.