A first-year transgender student of Maharaja's College and her foster mother, a transwoman, were allegedly beaten up and targetted by a group of men near Kochi on November 10. The men man-handled the duo when the victims refused to comply to their sexual advantages and further destroyed the victim's vehicles, according to a Facebook post by a transgender-classmate. The victim, Rana VS, is a first-year BA Malayalam student at Maharaja's College and was adopted by transwoman Sajna Shaji who took Rana under her watchful care when the latter's family expelled her from their family after she came out of the closet.
In July this year, Rana was one among five transgender students who were granted admission to Maharaja's College. Their admissions were much talked about and lauded as it was the first ever in the history of the college.
In a Facebook post, condemning the growing incidents of moral policing against transgenders in Kochi, Theertha Sarvika, a transgender student and a batchmate of Rana said, "It has come to a state that we cannot even step out without fear. Rana and her mother were out to get food and were merely talking to their friends. The attackers after beating up both Rana and Sajna threatened to not let them walk in public."
On November 10, Rana along with Sajna were out to get food and were talking to their friends when a group of men allegedly accosted them and passed lewd remarks seeking sexual favours from Rana in public. For refusing to comply to their needs, the men manhandled both Rana and Sajna and destroyed the duo's vehicle. Rana was later admitted to at Ernakulam General Hospital where she is currently undergoing treatment.
Questioning the 'cold' response of the police, Sarvika added, "The police who arrived at the place of incident refused to help the victims in any way. They just stood by watching the incident and didn't even stop the attackers,"
Though a transgender policy has been formulated by the Kerala government, the number of cases of violence against the transgender community has been on the rise. Ending her post in almost pleading tone Sarvika asks, "When will we ever get our freedom? Aren't we humans as well? We don't have a place in the world as it is meant for either a man or a woman only."