Sambalpur Police close eyes to trafficking by transgenders

A couple of years ago, a transgender was remanded in judicial custody after being arrested and produced in court by Bargarh police over some case. But it turned out to be a nightmarish experience for the jail authorities to find a suitable accommodation for the prisoner on the jail premises. Neither the accused could be accommodated with male prisoners nor with women prisoners. Finally, the jailer housed the transgender prisoner in his office chamber and later, the prisoner was let out on bail.

Perhaps this could be the reason why the Sambalpur police has turned a blind eye to a group of transgenders offering unnatural sex to commuters on the road linking Baraipali with Ainthapali. They descend on Ainthapali Chowk during night and move towards the IMFL outlet mingling with crowd.

Though an on-shop where one is not allowed to consume liquor, it acts like an off-shop and customers enjoy their drinks with push carts rolling out snacks. Here the transgenders make money and later move to desolate area near a closed office where they indulge in the illegal activity till late in the night.

With garish makeup and trendy and hugging scanty outfits, one can hardly make out whether they are girls or transgenders till they speak out with their gruffly voice. They have regular customers. The virtually abandoned premises of the office is used to carry out their trade.

The presence of the transgenders has forced the commuters to take the Highway route instead of driving on the service road. Although PCR vehicle is seen patrolling at the spot, the police seem to be more interested in collecting money from parked trucks than driving them out.

Social activist and transgender Mira Parida said irrespective of gender, every individual has biological urge but privacy needs to be maintained. The circumstances under which they are into the trade also needs to be reviewed, Mira said, adding that the State Government should take steps to provide livelihood to transgenders.

When contacted, Sambalpur SP Sanjeev Arora assured that action would be taken. He said a cell can be earmarked in Sambalpur Circle Jail to house transgenders and directed the Ainthapali police to round them up and book them under relevant sections of IPC.

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