City police seek guidelines to deal with LGBT cases

The city police want a set of rules to be put in place if the complainant or accused in an FIR is gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual (LGBT), along with guidelines on frisking these persons and and when in custody. While registering an FIR, they need to put in the gender as male or female in the form for subsequent legal procedures. The demand for guidelines came at a workshop, a first of its kind for the police in Maharashtra, for creating awareness on LGBT issues.

A proposal that is being prepared on the basis of the discussions at the workshop will now be sent by the Pune police to the office of the director general of police (DGP). It will subsequently be forwarded to the law department and home ministry, police officers said. The workshop was organised by the social security cell of Pune police and NGO Sampathik Trust that works for the cause of LGBT community.

Senior police inspector Bhanupratap Barge of the cell said, "In the recent past, many cases have been referred to us in which either the complainant or the person committing crime or both the parties are either gay, lesbian or transgenders. In some of the cases, our teams patrolling at night come across such couples at various places. We believe that we need to be trained in dealing with these cases, in fact we need to treat them not as different cases, but like any other case." The workshop for officers from all 32 police stations was organised after instructions from PC Gulabrao Pol and Additional Commissioner (Crime) Shahaji Solunke.

At the workshop, Bindumadhav Khire of Sampathik Trust said, "For instance, there is confusion on who should frisk the person. One of the options could be asking the person who needs to be frisked.These solutions need to be discussed on various levels. A lot of questions of these kinds came up during the workshop." Barge added, "We also need guidelines whether there should be a separate custody for these persons."

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