MUMBAI: A lady police constable of Maharashtra Police, Lalita Salve, on Friday underwent a successful sex-change surgery to become a 'police-man', creating a history in the state.
The sex-change operation was conducted for over four hours by well- known plastic surgeon (Dr) Rajat Kapoor and his six-member team at the St George's Hospital in south Mumbai.
Salve, who has already re-christened herself as 'Lalit Kumar', was admitted to the hospital on May 22 and underwent a series of pre-surgery tests and procedures.
She was taken to the operation theatre this morning and after the surgery, he was brought into the intensive care unit (ICU) where he will remain for the next few days.
An official of the St George's Hospital said that this was the first such "complex and ultra-sensitive" operation for changing the sex of an adult person, conducted in this leading government healthcare facility.
"All his vital parameters are normal, he is currently under observation and will not be allowed to meet anyone for at least three days. He is likely to remain in the hospital for around a week and then discharged," the official told the media persons here.
The former woman police constable, Lalita Kumari Salve (28), had joined the Maharashtra Police in May 2010 and was posted in Majalgaon City Police Station in Beed district.
A graduate in Literature, she had developed transsexual gender symptoms around three years ago and in 2016, had even taken her seniors into confidence about her agony and plans for a sex-change operation.
However, since her trauma went unheeded, she later made an application for a sex reassignment surgery (SRS), which was declared as 'strange' and rejected outright by her superiors.
Undaunted, she filed a plea before the Bombay high court which directed her to Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal, and even appealed to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Finally, in November 2017, Fadnavis seemed inclined to favour her cause, which would have wide ramifications on the issue of gender equality, discrimination and rights of sexual minorities, and asked the police department to consider her plea.
The Chief Minister's Office directed the Home Department to examine her case positively, which in turn forwarded it to Law & Judiciary, and then onto Director-General of Police, followed by Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil.
After Patil's green signal on Monday last, the final clearance came in writing from the government with the Beed superintendent of police G Shreedhar, allowing her medical leave for SRS.
Salve, now a male constable, is expected to resume his duties after around a month of post-operative care and recuperation.