A staggering case has come to the fore in Haryana's Gurugram, where a police official barged into a shelter home and beat up two trans officials, accusing them of "kidnapping" his son Shyam*, who also identifies as a transman, and bringing him to the shelter home forcefully.
The Transgender Welfare Equity and Empowerment Trust (TWEET) Foundation, which runs Asra Shelter Home in Gurugram's DLF Phase 3, said that a police inspector from Uttar Pradesh barged into the shelter home wearing his uniform on 1 September at around 12:15 pm.
Accompanying him were his wife, his elder son, and two unknown persons.
Phones Snatched; Beaten in Police Jeep, Lockup
The police official and the three other men then started beating two shelter home officials, Arjun Sehgal (33)* and David Gomes (24)*, who were later forcefully put into a police jeep.
"Since the policeman had come in his uniform, the neighbours and other people outside could not stop him from illegally beating and dragging our team members into their jeep," TWEET said in a statement.
The phones of Sehgal and Gomes were also snatched and they were not allowed to contact their lawyers or other officials associated with the non-governmental organisation (NGO).
Put in the vehicle, the transmen were also beaten and "threatened," as they were asked to reveal the location of the police official's son. They were then taken to DLF Phase-3 police station and beaten there as well, TWEET alleged.
They also said that the local police did not do anything to prevent the four men from thrashing the transmen.
Instead, they allegedly made transphobic remarks about them, despite the officials informing them that their NGO works closely with the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and repeatedly emphasising that it was illegal to hold them there.
It was only after the transmen convinced Shyam's father that they would ask their team to bring his son to the police station that they were allowed to make a call to Abhina Aher, the founder of the TWEET foundation.
They then conveyed their location to her and also asked her to bring Shyam along (only to make the policeman believe that he would be coming).
Several trans rights activists reached the police station and protested against them. Only after this were the two transmen released at around 4:30 pm and subsequently taken for medical treatment, Aher told The Quint.
Shyam Came to Shelter Home Himself, Alleged 'Physical & Mental Violence' at Home
TWEET also said in its statement that the police official's son is an adult, aged 24, and had come to the shelter home of his own accord due to "mental and physical violence" by his family, who were not able to come to terms regarding his gender identity.
The NGO also released a letter from Shyam, in which he purportedly asked to stay at the shelter home.
In it, he alleges that that if he goes back to his home in Lucknow, his family would "either kill me" or "get me married."
He also adds that he needs a safe place to stay from where he can "take some legal action."
On 6 August, the police had recorded Shyam's statement in Delhi's Govindpuri, where TWEET's shelter home was earlier located, in front of his parents and NGO officials.
After confirming that Shyam is an adult and had the right to exercise his wishes, the Govindpuri police had refused to intervene in the matter and allowed the transman to live on his own terms in accordance with the law.
Shyam had also sent a legal notice on 16 August to his family, in which he alleged that he and the NGO were being threatened continuously.
In the notice, it was also alleged that Shyam's father would beat up his wife regularly, and on one occasion he had hit his wife so hard that she started bleeding from the head and was bedridden for days. It also said that he would beat up his son as well when he tried to defend his mother.
'Not a Kidnapping Case': Police
Meanwhile, TWEET said that they will register a police complaint in the matter soon.
The Gurugram Police also said that upon visiting the shelter home, the incident did not seem like a kidnapping. Hence, they released the two transmen.
"It was a case related to an inspector from Lucknow. His son is working in Gurugram. The father thought he had been abducted by two men," the Gurgaon Police told The Quint.
"But when we visited the shelter home, it didn't look like a kidnapping. He (Shyam) had gone there of his own free will. Hence, we sent both the people back," the police further said.
The Quint also reached out to the UP Police regarding the incident, but did not receive any response.
(*Names changed to protect identity)
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