North East

Tripura cops asked us to disrobe: LGBTQ members

Agartala, Jan 11 (UNI): A few members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community in Tripura have lodged a complaint of alleged physical and mental harassment against cops and said they were asked to disrobe in a police station, an officer said on Tuesday.

The complaint was lodged on Monday, and the police registered it as the First Information Report (FIR) on Tuesday.

The complainants alleged that they were detained the whole of Saturday night at the West Agartala police station where they were also asked to take off their clothes.

The complaint alleged that an accredited photojournalist along with police personnel harassed the four LGBTQ community members in the police station.

According to the complaint, the photojournalist was allegedly following them from a hotel which they had visited on Saturday night.

“When four LGBTQ friends had come out from a hotel at night, a photojournalist who was allegedly following them from the hotel had got there to catch them,” the complainants alleged.

The photojournalist allegedly stopped the four LGBTQ members and raised “inconvenient questions” on the street.

“He was soon joined by a few policemen who charged them about their dress, lifestyle and taunted them on their character and dress in the name of gender identification,” the FIR stated.

The complainants alleged that earlier at the hotel, the photographer had tried to “touch us and forcefully wanted to dance with us inside the hotel”.

The FIR said the photographer was “following us from the dance floor and he was taunting us…. We did not entertain him but he followed us with the police and caught hold of us in the city later.”

The four LGBTQ members were taken to the West Agartala Women Police Station at night, where they were yet again harassed allegedly by male and female police officials.

“We were asked by the police to open our dress and disclose our gender and the most embarrassing and hurtful incident was that the police kept our wigs and inner garment,” the FIR alleged.

“The police officials also forced us to write a statement that we will never wear cross dress or do cross make-up and if we are found in this attire anywhere in the city, we might be arrested.

“Sadly, we were charged without any legal consent or proof that we are into extortion. We filed FIR detailing everything, if actions are not taken immediately we shall move to court and resort to agitation across the country seeking justice,” said one of the victims.

She also demanded legal action against a few social media news channels including two news web portals which had made the entire video of their harassment viral.

However, an on-duty police officer said they have registered the complaint and brought the matter to the notice of the higher authority seeking advice about subsequent proceedings.

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