An LGBTQ activist in Kolkata was allegedly slapped by a policeman when he was walking from the Park Street metro station to Nandan. The Kolkata policeman also reportedly asked the activist if he was there for “sexual encounters”.
The incident took place on Tuesday when Obhishek Kar was returning from Park Street metro station to Nandan. When he was near Maidan, he was stopped by three policemen on a motorcycle.
“They were in plain clothes and talking on walkie-talkie. One of them suddenly got off the bike, came to me and slapped me. He asked me if I was there for sex.” Mr Kar told NDTV.
“There were no signboards that I cannot take that route after evening. He could have stopped me, fined me, but he kept harassing me. He kept calling me a hijra (eunuch),” he added.
The harassment didn’t stop there. When some locals intervened, the cops told them there was a difference between hijras and normal people.
The accused cop apologised to Mr Kar the next day, but the activist wants for a formal apology.
“You cannot abuse someone based on their sexual identity. I demand a formal apology,” he said.
The LGBTQ community in the city is upset with such discriminatory behaviour of the police.
“This shows how their prejudice runs extremely deep. A change in law is not necessarily a change in the mindset, especially someone like police officers. Strict action should be taken against this policeman,” said Anindo Hazra, an LGBTQ activist.
When NDTV tried to contact the Kolkata police, our calls to the office in charge went unanswered.