Victims refrain from lodging complaint fearing stigma
IMPHAL | May 15
In a loud and clear instance of racial and gender discrimination, two NupiManbi (transgender) students from Manipur were allegedly gang raped by three local hooligans in Bangaluru.
The incident happened on May 12 around 8:30 pm in the rented room of the two students located at Koramangala area of Bangaluru. The students were undergoing MSc. Nursing course in a private institution located at Kengiri area of Bangaluru.
As intimated by the victims, they are currently in a helpless condition as they are not willing to inform even their family members, let alone lodge a complain to the police or college authorities fearing the stigma discrimination meted out against trans people by the society.
Narrating the ordeal to IFP, one of the victims said that they were watching a TV serial that fateful night and had ordered fried chicken from KFC as they were feeling hungry.
He said that around 20 minutes past eight, there was a knock on the door and they opened it thinking it was the delivery boy.
On opening the door, three men armed with swords barged themselves into the room and started questioning who they were. The intruders only asked them remain silent when the students raised questions who they were after identifying themselves as students from Manipur, he stated.
“The hooligans then locked the door and placed the swords on our necks while threatening to slay us if we shouted for help,” narrated the victim and added that the trio were looking heavily drunk and aged around 25-30 years.
The rape victim maintained that the three men then asked them to undress and lay on the floor. “At first, we resisted and even pleaded the three men to spare us from such lewd torture. But our pleas were in vain and the trio gang raped us,” he recounted the incident. “The three after taking our mobile numbers left around 10:30 pm with the warning to kill us if we disclose the incident to anyone,” he added.
On asked why they are not lodging complaint to the police regarding the incident, the rape victims conveyed that the rapists are hooligans and past experience taught them not to deal with them in such ways.
“Right now, we are staying in a safer place after we left our rooms right after the incident. We want to finish our studies and are likely to continue living this way, distancing ourselves away from such hooligans. We do not want our parents or colleagues to learn about the incident also”, the victim maintained.
The Supreme Court of India in one of its landmark judgment had recognised the rights of transgender in 2014. However, the Trans community are still waiting for the day when they will finally enjoy their rights.
Meanwhile, secretary, All Manipur NupiManbi Association (AMANA), Santa Khurai, while strongly condemning the incident, contended that many youths from northeast and especially the transgender are rendered helpless when they are victimised outside the State.
They are easily targeted because of their vulnerability being the transgender and the plight of hate and racial discrimination meted out towards the northeast is also equally responsible, Santa observed and contended the society also always questioned the character of a transgenders when they are at the receiving end of discrimination and hate.
The AMANA secretary also intimated that in March, 2019, a transgender beautician from Manipur, who earns her living by working at a beauty parlour in Bangaluru, was also looted by hooligans but the matter was not made public.
He added, “We face a lot of discrimination, yet there are so many untold stories and we only internalise the matter and refrain from taking help from support system.”
Santa further opined that a support system irrespective of gender and ethnicity needs to be established for the Manipuris staying outside. “If not, we can never defend ourselves from racial attacks,” added the AMANA secretary.