Sonia Masi aka Imran Ajmeri, who had emerged as the face of the transgender community in Gujarat, was shot dead near Rupali cinema by unidentified assailants on Thursday night.
Sonia was better known for contesting in the general elections against BJP leader LK Advani. She was on her way to have refreshments near Rupali cinema when some men in a car shot six rounds at her.
Cops believe the incident to have taken place at 8:20pm. HK Patel, zone-2 deputy commissioner of police (DCP), said that Sonia had arrived at a street vendor's stall to have pani puri outside a garden near Rupali cinema when the assailants pumped in around six bullets from a pistol on her.
He informed that the police had recovered two empty cartridges from the scene of crime. However, cops are yet to ascertain the number of rounds fired at Sonia.
Eye witnesses said that Sonia collapsed after the attack and succumbed on the spot. Police sources claimed that there were four gun-shot wounds on her body at the neck, chest, back and one on her hand. She was rushed to VS Hospital but was declared brought dead by the doctors. Sources said that she was shot at point blank range as the assailants were determined not to leave any chance of survival.
Previously in 2008, there was another attempt on Sonia's life near Nehru Bridge circle, which she managed to survive. A resident of Mirzapur, Sonia was Imran Ajmeri before she became a eunuch and changed her name.
Apart from the gang wars, Sonia shot into prominence in the last five years when she contested the Lok Sabha polls against LK Advani from the Gandhinagar constituency, spending lakhs of money. She had also stood for the assembly elections from Shahpur against Kaushik Patel of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Besides her political stint she will also be remembered for her unending pursuit of a fashionable and high-end lifestyle.
Sonia would spend large sums to beautify herself. She married one Yusuf Pilot and had been living with him. Pilot refused to comment on the development despite repeated attempts.
Police said that Sonia had also made a lot of enemies on her way to becoming the face of eunuchs in Gujarat. She also frequently participated at national-level fashion events. However, she had also become a target for various gangs in the city including gangs of rival eunuchs.