The Police, as custodians of law, have a special role to protect the vulnerable sections of the population, including the women, the children, the different ethnicities and minorities and the LGBTQ community. It is indeed a travesty that it’s been nearly seven decades that we earned our freedom but there is still so much ignorance regarding human rights. That being said, it isn’t dark skies without a silver lining.
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Our constitution does have certain provisions that make sure these marginalized groups do not suffer atrocities at the hands of more privileged sections of the society. In this article below, we will shed some light on what are the duties of the police towards the LGBTQ communities in India.
Responsibility of Police towards LGBT
- Article 16 of the Indian Constitution mentions that the State cannot discriminate against a citizen on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. This is necessary to bring about social equality. Every citizen of India has equal access to shops, restaurants, and places of public entertainment or in the use of wells, tanks or roads without any discrimination.
- The LGBTQ community are also safeguarded by this law against discrimination on the basis of sex. It is a travesty that it has taken us so long to expunge the archaic section 377 from the IPC which has caused pain to a countless number of individuals. That being said, the future looks promising for the LGBTQ communities in India. While the judiciary still lacks any structural framework defining the rights of LGBTQ communities specifically, efforts are being made to sketch out a comprehensive bill for them.
- The Supreme Court, upon expunging the Section 377, also directed the Government to take all measures to properly broadcast the fact that homosexuality is not a criminal offense, to create public awareness and eliminate the stigma members of the LGBT community face, and to give the police force periodic training to sensitize them about the issue.
In 2011, a Haryana court granted legal recognition to same-sex marriage, involving two women. After marrying, the couple began to receive threats from friends and relatives in their village. The Police played a vital role in providing protection to the couple and upholding the Court’s decision.
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Their lawyer said the court had served notice on 14 of Veena’s relatives and villagers who had threatened them with “dire consequences”. Deputy Commissioner of Police Dr. Abhe Singh told The Daily Telegraph: “The couple has been shifted to a safe house and we have provided adequate security to them on the court orders. The security is provided on the basis of threat perception and in this case, the couple feared that their families might be against the relationship.”
Actor Kamal Rashid Khan was processed by the police on 9 December 2018 for making obscene comments against the LGBT community.
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On 5 November 2015, K. Prithika Yashini became the first transgender police officer in the state of Tamil Nadu. At the time, the Tamil Nadu police had three transgender constables, but Yashini became the first transgender person to hold the rank of officer in the state.