LAHORE: The Data Darbar police arrested on Friday 16 people for harassing transpeople and snatching cash and other valuables.
The incident occurred while some transpeople were distributing free HIV/AIDS test services and medicines to people in the area.
According to a police official, they received a call from Maham and apprehended the suspects, who were later identified as Naeem Nadeem, Usman, Zubair, Mujahid Ali, Ansar Bhatti, Saleem Haider, Shoib Khan,MalikAli,Muhammad Bilal, Ali Muhammad,Tanveer,andfour others.
Maham informed the police that the suspects intercepted them while they were raising awareness about HIV/AIDS in the area.
The suspects abused them and asked them `inappropriate` questions. As Maham and her colleagues protested, the suspects physically assaulted them, broke the mobile phone of one of her colleagues, and snatched the national ID card and purse of others.
The police official stated that a special police center had initiated action against the suspects to provide security and legal aid to the transgender community. To facilitate transpeople, atransperson hasbeen posted at the Gulberg Khidmat Markaz Centre. The police also have established `protection centers` across the province to safeguard the rights of the community, civil society workers, and transgenderrepresentatives.
Several other government departments and private organisations have alsobeen engaged to protectthe rights of the transpeople and prevent harassment and violence against transpeople at public spaces.
The Gulberg Khidmat Markaz Centre has received 10 complaints from transpeople, four of which were related to harassment at public places.