West Agartala Police officials have been accused of making four transgender strip in a police station to prove their gender, as per a police complaint filed by one of them. The police complaint mentions that they "were also made to write an undertaking that they will never cross-dress and if they are found in such an attire anywhere in the city, they could be arrested."
The alleged incident occurred when the four had gone to a party in a hotel on Saturday, January 9. The complaint mentions that they were taken to the West Agartala women's police station after they emerged from the party. At the police station, they were charged with extortion and were made to strip by police officers present there.
"In the police station, we were asked by the police to open our clothes and disclose our gender. The most embarrassing thing was that the police kept our wigs and inner garments in the police station," the complaint said. The complainant also called the extortion charge completely false.
The four LGBT community members "claimed that their Right to Privacy had been violated as well as those provided by Section 377 of the National Legal Services Authority judgement of the Supreme Court."
The role of a photojournalist has also been mentioned in the complaint, who allegedly followed the four throughout the night and was even present in the police station when the incident took place. "We did not entertain him, but he followed us with the police officials and caught hold of us in Melarmath area," the FIR said. Melarmath is about half a kilometre from the hotel here.
The alleged incident caused an uproar after a video went viral online. While no West Agartala Police Station officials have yet commented on the issue, a Tripura Police official said that the police is looking into the incident.
"Our junior officers said that they made preventive arrests under section 151 of IPC (assembly of five or more persons likely to cause disturbance of public peace). I'm not sure what grounds they (the LGBT members) were arrested, we are looking into the matter and have sought a report," he said.
Sneha Gupta Roy, an LGBT rights activist, slammed the incident and said that the viral video footage had caused mental suffering to the families of the four persons. Advocate Nilanjana Roy said that "the incident is not only a violation of transgender rights but a gross denial of human rights."