Guwahati: Trishna Das, a Guwahati-based journalist, was allegedly harassed by a trans person while travelling to Goalpara in a private bus.
According to Das, her bus reached Dhupdhora around 12:20 pm where the bus halted for a couple of minutes when a trans person boarded the bus. The person, she said, began to demand money from people aboard.
The person allegedly even snatched a hundred rupees from a commuter’s wallet in return for blessings despite the man asking her to take a ten-rupee note instead.
On refusing to give money, Das alleges being touched inappropriately and misbehaved with.
“The person wasn’t wearing a mask. So, I asked the person to stay away, when suddenly the person started verbally abusing me in public,” Das told EastMojo.
“Why should I stay away. No, I won’t. I will keep touching you. What will you do? You are Corona,” the person allegedly shouted at Das, while hurling abuses in Assamese.
By the time she opened her video recording app, the person spat on her, Das alleged.
On approaching the nearest police station, when she narrated the incident to the cops, she was told that these kinds of incidents have been frequent in the area, and people get away after committing such acts.
After insisting for some time, the police went looking and returned with the person who had spat on her and two others.
When they got of the police van, they recognised Das and began to apologise for their behaviour, and one even fell at her feet, but Das requested the police to lodge her complaint.
On finding out about the FIR, the trans persons got aggressive and stripped inside the police station, trying to scare her into withdrawing the complaint.
“One of them got extremely close and tried to snatch my phone as I was video recording the incident for proof. People at the police station asked me to stay inside as the situation got worse. I was with my little cousin brother, who is under 14 years of age. It was a horrific scene for him too,” narrated Das.
Das noticed that they spoke a different tongue and were not of Assamese ethnicity. “They were speaking in broken Assamese and a mix of Bengali. His name is Asad Ali and is popularly known as Rekha,” said Das.
“They often go and harass people in front of the cops, and they do nothing to stop them,” Das added. Students and middle-class families that travel by the route every day are asked for a hundred rupees every day.
“They misbehave with men especially since they can’t touch and misbehave with women much. Men face a lot of trouble here on this route,” said Das.
“As a journalist, I must fight for justice, especially when the incident has happened with me,” she added.
In her report, Das alleged being spat on despite the pandemic, having received death threats in public and being verbally abused.
She also mentioned that the trans person had threatened to ruin her life by approaching Swati Bidhan Baruah, the Vice-chairperson of the Assam Transgender Welfare Board.
“Some of these people have been taking my name and committing such offences. I have already spoken to the Goalpara SP and have instructed them to take whatever legal action is needed in the case,” Swati Bidhan Baruah told EastMojo.
“I am no one to hinder the legal process and the culprits have already been apprehended by the Goalpara Police,” added Baruah.
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