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Bangalore activists suspect foul play in transgender’s death

A city-based voluntary organisation said it would launch next month a year-long campaign in a bid to add dignity to the lives of sexual minorities in the society.

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Bangalore activists suspect foul play in transgender’s death
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A city-based voluntary organisation said it would launch next month a year-long campaign in a bid to add dignity to the lives of sexual minorities in the society.

The organisation, Sangama, decided to launch the campaign following the mysterious death of a 23-year-old transgender at her house in Nethaji Nagar on Monday.

Even as the KP Agrahara police were suspecting that the deceased, Kumari Velu, had consumed poison, gender rights activists said they suspected foul play.

Velu’s family preferred to cremate the body without informing the police. However, a few activists, who were informed of the incident, approached the police.

The police were suspecting that Velu consumed poison after her parents demanded her to crop her long hair. Velu’s parents reportedly told the police that she became unconscious after coming out of the toilet.

A post-mortem examination was conducted at the Victoria Hospital. The police sent the viscera to the forensic laboratory for further investigation.

Velu had been working as a management information system coordinator at an NGO, Suraksha. She was also pursuing her final year BCom.

Meanwhile, several human rights activists and psychiatrists would be joining the Sangama campaign.

 “Everyday we receive one or other cases related to violence and discrimination against the community. This has also led to a rise in suicide cases in the community. The campaign is to end discrimination against the community and help them lead a normal life,” said Shubha Chako, secretary of board, Sangama.

Three transgenders in Bangalore committed suicide in the past 15 days. At least 29 transgenders in the city had taken the extreme step over the past 15 months. Ten others were found dead under mysterious circumstances.
Sangama said that they faced resistance from police as well as the family members of transgenders while registering cases.

“The society is biased against the community. Even the police and government do not help the community,” said 27-year-old Akkai Padmasthali, a transgender and gender rights’ activist.

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