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LGBT community denied permission to hold pride march

Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 8:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
The community was to hold a march from August Kranti Maidan to Girgaum Chowpatty.

The city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community on Monday was disheartened after their permission to have the yearly gay pride march was rejected by the police. They were to hold a march on February 2 from August Kranti Maidan to Girgaum Chowpatty.
What hurt the community even more was that the march was rejected despite them changing the route after the police asked them to. “We were quite upset as this is the fifth year of the march. Our request was rejected without giving us an audience,” said Pallav Patankar, director, HIV programme of Humsafar Trust.

“It is a question of our existence and our identity. We had even changed the route when some officers told us that as per court orders, we cannot be allowed to have a rally at Girgaum Chowpatty,” said Sonal Gyani, who represents the lesbian and transgender community and is an advocacy officer at the Humsafar Trust.

Harish Iyer, an equal rights activist, said he did not understand why when everyone else is given permission to hold rallies across the city, why the LGBT community was denied the permission to hold the same. “The officer was not even willing to meet us. As representatives, we need to tell our members why permission was denied. We will sit and figure out what else can we do,” Iyer said.

When contacted, Brijesh Singh, additional commissioner of police, who the community’s representatives had tried to meet, said, “Permissions are given by jurisdictional police stations. We have no other perspective and only give opinion on traffic. I am not aware of this issue. I cannot keep a track of each one of them.”

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