PESHAWAR: The menace of ‘honour killing’ is no more restricted to women as in recent years, transgender persons of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were also killed for the sake of ‘honour’ by their male friends or partners.

“Since 2015, 62 transgender persons have been brutally killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and of them, 49 were killed by their male partners or boyfriends for honour,” transgender rights activist Qamar Naseem told Dawn.

He said in most cases, the suspected killers remained in relation with their transgender victims for years and killed them for flouting their orders to stay home and not meet other men.

Mr Naseem said some transgender persons were killed by close relatives, who felt that the former’s gender shamed family and so, they’re honour killings.

He claimed that the province had from 45,000 to 50,000 transgender persons, who mostly lived with their gurus as their families had abandoned them.

Activist insists mostly ‘male partners and boyfriends’ behind such murders

Investigation into the recent honour killing of transgender persons Alisha, Chutki, Spogmay and Nazu revealed that most suspected killers had been either in relation or living with their victims for years.

Nazu of Peshawar was brutally killed in Pishtakhara earlier this month allegedly by a person with whom she had lived for around nine years, while Chutki was gunned down two months ago allegedly by a male friend, who had stopped her from stepping out but found her with another traveling in a rickshaw.

“Since there is no legal status of a relationship between a man and a transgender person in our society and so, usually when male partner kills a transgender person claiming he’s spent money on her living and other expenses, it is easy for the police to term it a money dispute and mention that in FIR,” said Qamar Naseem.

The activist acknowledged that the police, prosecution and even judiciary didn’t look at the killings of transgender persons as ‘honour killings’ for which the amended law forbad any reconciliation in such incidents.

Aarzo, general secretary of Trans Action Alliance, an organisation working for the rights of transgender persons, also confirmed that all 62 members of her community were brutally killed and in most cases, male partners or boyfriends were involved in their killing.

The transgender persons held several protests in the provincial capital after every such murder asking the police to provide them protection. However, neither police nor the prosecution looks into the ‘honour’ aspect despite it being the main reason for the recent killings. The police simply term the ‘monetary dispute’ as the reason of falling out of the two parties and ultimate killing of a transgender person, rights groups say.

Capital city police chief Qazi Jameel, who had set up a committee to look into the recent killings of transgender persons, said he would like transgender persons to be part of the panel to learn about their vulnerability to ensure their protection.

He acknowledged that in the Nazu murder case, the accused arrested from the crime scene with the mutilated body had said that he had been living with the transgender person for around nine years and had spent so much money on her and therefore, it looked like ‘kind of honour killing’.

“We will sit with them (transgender persons) to find out what should be done to ensure their protection,” he said.

The CCPO said if relatives were suspected of murder, one could term it honour killing but it was a bit new phenomenon that transgender persons were also killed in the name of honour by their male friends. He promised the police’s action on the matter.

Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2018

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