Wednesday, November 12, 2008

12 NOV Press Release

Campaign for Sexworkers & Sexual Minorities Rights
No. 9 ABABIL, Patel Cheluvappa Street, J C Nagar (MR Palya), Bengaluru – 560 006.

Press Release
12th Nov 2008, Bengaluru

The Editor/Director


Dear Madam/Sir,

Sub: Illegal evictions of hijras in Dasarahalli Area by Amruthahalli Police

On November 10th, 2008 over 100 hijras residing in Dasarahalli were asked to vacate their premises by their owners. Some of them had been living there as long as two years. When the hijras inquired of the owners of the reasons for them being asked to vacate they were told that some of the owners had received a notice from the police in connection with a criminal case filed against two hijras on November 7th, 2008 on charges of abduction, grievous hurt and attempt to murder. The police notice dated November 9th, 2008 and issued by the Inspector, Amruthhalli Police Station to various home owners in Dasarahalli, intimated them that, while they were entitled to rent out their houses to hijras, it had come to the notice of the police that immoral activities were being carried out in their houses. In this connection a criminal case had been registered in Sampigehalli Police Station and an inquiry had been initiated. Those who were named in the police notice were asked to appear before the police failing which they would themselves be made responsible'.

This notice was accompanied by verbal police threats that the hijras who were tenants should be evicted forthwith. Acting on this arbitrary and irrational action by the police, many owners out of fear began to ask the hijras to evict the premises. Due to this arbitrary police action, over hundred hijras have been forced to leave their homes. On inquiry with home-owners it transpired that they had no problems and no complaints against the hijras who were their tenants. The only fear was the fear of police highhandedness and police vindictiveness should they fail to comply with the oral dictates of the police.

While we believe that the law should take its course as far as this specific allegation against some members of the community is concerned, but what is of grave concern is the targeting of the entire community of hijras in Dasarahalli and some other parts of Bangalore. This is being done in the name of enquiry regarding the alleged crime by a few individual hijras.

The hijra community in Bangalore is an extremely underprivileged community. Most often they do not have the right to live their lives in the gender that they desire as that gender has no official value. Many of them are forced to leave their homes because of violence fueled by rejection by their families. However, the hijra community today is victimized socially, legally, politically and economically. They struggle for day-to-day survival as they do for their basic human rights.

We condemn this high-handed police action and would like to clearly state that:

1) While the police are entitled to clearly prosecute offenses committed by members of the hijra community, any alleged wrong doing by some members should not be taken as a license to target the community as a whole.

2) The collective punishment of the hijra community by the police smacks of vindictiveness and
arbitrariness, and violates the Constitutional promise of equality, freedom of movement and the freedom to settle in any part of the country and the right to live with dignity guaranteed to all citizens under Art 14, Art 19 and Art 21.

3) We demand that the notice be withdrawn and the hijra community is not subjected to collective punishment.

For more information contact: Siddharth – 9845001168, Manohar-9880223460

Yours faithfully

for CSMR

(Constituents: Alternative Law Forum, Aneka, Environment Support Group, Garment and Textile Workers Union, Gud As You, Hengasara Hakkina Sangha, Jyothi Mahila Sangha, Jansthu, Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike, Karnataka Komusouhardha Vedike, Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, Karnataka Sexworkers Union, Karnataka Janapara Vedike, LesBiT, Lawyers Collective, Milana, Openspace, Pedestrian Pictures, People's Democratic Forum, People's Union for Civil Liberties, Reach Law, Sadhane, Samanatha Mahila Vedike, Sadhana Mahila Gumpu,Samara, Samvada, Sanchaya Nele, Sangama, Suraksha, Swathi Mahila Sangha, Vijaya Mahila Sangha, Vimochana, Visthar and many other individuals and organizations)

Police Notice

victims of illegal evictions

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