Social security cell says cases it comes across at times need to be handled delicately

Senior inspector Bhanupratap Barge of the social security cell said the kind of cases they come across range from blackmailing to more grave ones like rape and those of forceful castration etc. "For instance, there have been many cases of people from the LGBT community getting in touch with other people through websites and becoming victims in blackmailing rackets. These issues have also led to cases of abetment of suicide. There are specific areas in the city, for example Faraskhana, where transgenders become victims or they target people coming in that area. Guidelines are needed on sections that should be applied in specific cases," said Barge.

Police officers shared details of cases in which the presence of a gay in the family led to suicide attempts or when a person of the LGBT community committed suicide because of the treatment they received at their work place.

"Many of these people approach us and seek our help to deal with the problem, but do not want to register a complaint. We feel that these cases need to be handled as delicately as those of child abuse. Even a small mistake from a policeman dealing with such cases can lead to mental trauma to the victim or even accused," said Barge.

An officer from a PCMC police station discussed the case of 14-year-old boy who was forcefully castrated by a group of transgenders. "Though a complaint was registered, the boy later said it was done with his consent. We did not know how to deal with the case," he said.

Barge said, "We apply Section 377 (unnatural sex) if the act is without consent. There have been cases of transgenders being molested. The policeman handling the case has to be sensitive in such cases. There are cases of people not allowing LGBT persons to stay in an area which is a crime and violation of their rights."

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