The State-Level Transgender Protection Cell at the Police Headquarters in the Mangalagiri town of the Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh (AP) was launched on November 23 by PV Sunil Kumar, the AP Crime Investigation Department (CID) Additional Director General of Police (DGP).
The protection cell has been opened following the instructions of DGP KV Rajendranath Reddy. Further, KGV Saritha, the superintendent of the police (SP) women's protection cell, will serve as the cell's nodal officer.
Protection Cell In Every District
A transgender protection cell has been introduced in every district and will function under the District Magistrates. The Transgender Protection Act 2019 was passed by the Union government for the protection and welfare of the community, said ADGP PV Sunil Kumar. In a similar attempt, in 2020, the Supreme Court made the Transgender Protection Rules.
He also added that the central and state governments are making efforts to provide reservations in education and employment for transgender people. He expressed, "The protection cell will be functioning under the district magistrate in every district to ensure that transgender people are respected."
SP Saritha assured that a case would be immediately registered on receiving a complaint and justice should be served. She also said that if any transgender goes to the police station with a complaint, they should be treated courteously and respectfully.
Welcome Move Empowering Transgender Community
The Logical Indian team reached out to Sushant Divgikar, a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, a drag artist, singer, actor, and model, for their comments on the same. Sushant expressed, "This is a welcome move. I'm very, very happy that we are now making efforts to support and provide for the transgender communities in our country. We as transgender people deserve as much respect as cis-gendered people (male or female) and to be safeguarded by authorities as much as heterosexual cis men and women."
Commending the action, Sushant added, "I do believe that we are witnessing an evolution in mindsets, and I'm happy for this change."
Further, B Manjamma Jogathi, Padmashri Awardee and transwoman from Karnataka said that she appreciates the efforts and similar steps should be undertaken in other states. In a voice note, she also said that such support for all is a positive step in transgender upliftment.
As per a 2016 study by a team from the National Institute of Epidemiology, the biggest perpetrators of violence against transgender people were police and law-enforcing authorities. Social apathy and violence remain pervasive despite orders from high courts, the Supreme Court's 2014 decision, and laws implemented three years ago to protect transgender rights. A protection cell will enable high rates of documentation of crimes against transgender, and it will reinstate their confidence in the police personnel, allowing more victims to register complaints.
Also Read: 'Violence Against Transgender People Is Everywhere': Gender-Based Brutality Rising, Here's How Activists React