Published: 28th November 2018
The number of transwomen who go missing is more than you can imagine, say activists, as Telangana candidate disappears
Activists are working closely with the authorities including the State Election Commissioner, Rajat Kumar, to trace her as soon as possible
When a transwoman goes missing or is sexually assaulted no one generally bats an eye. They have to beg authorities to register a case. These are the few rights Chandramukhi Muvvala has been fighting for among others. But the 32-year-old transwoman activist, contesting the December 7 Telangana Assembly elections on a CPI(M)-led Bahujan Left Front or BLF ticket from Goshamahal constituency in Hyderabad, allegedly went missing on November 27. Transgender activists fear that she might also be ignored like her other sisters.
As an activist with 'Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samiti' Chandramukhi had protested atrocities upon members of the transgender and hijra communities and had always been an outspoken voice at many rallies and public events upholding the self-respect of transgender people, her followers said. Her decision to contest was also a decision that she felt would help the entire community, they said. "We fear for her safety and condemn the lack of safety measures organised for her and for other women and transgender candidates, which acts as a strong force that dissuades transgender people and women from joining politics," they said.
Transwomen across the country are praying for her safe return. "I just hope that she is safe. Members of our community go missing more often than you get to know. If they are assaulted or go missing and we try registering a complaint the police do not comply more than often," said a transwoman who is closely associated with Troyee Foundation, a transgender organisation which works for the betterment of the society.
Activists are working closely with the authorities to trace her as soon as possible. "Activists are in touch with the State Election Commissioner, Rajat Kumar, the National Election Commissioner, and Women Safety Division and other concerned departments. The police have not shared any details with us yet," said Soumya, who works with the Humsafar Trust. "We are in close touch with the people on the ground. Some people are speculating that this might be a case of kidnapping but no one knows for sure yet."
Chandramukhi's campaign kicked off just one day before she went missing, her supporters said and demanded that police act immediately to trace her. "The last call she received was at 8.17 am, and her phone was switched off somewhere at Yaramanzil Colony, 2-3 km from her residence in Banjara Hills. She was noticed missing since 8.25 am and the door of her house is locked from the outside," Banjara Hills Police Station Inspector R Govinda Reddy told The Newsminute.
Reports of Chandramukhi going missing come even as a candidate from Gajwel constituency, who had reportedly gone missing after filing his nomination papers on November 22, was produced before the Hyderabad High Court Tuesday, a day after the court directed the police to produce him before it.
The Samajwadi Forward Bloc party, represented by its national president L Muralidhar Rao, had filed a petition in the court complaining that the party candidate K Dinesh Chakravarthy's whereabouts were not known after he filed his nomination papers.
Chandramukhi is pitted against senior Congress leader Mukhesh Goud and BJP leader T Raja Singh.