Their blessings are considered auspicious on every happy occasion in India. However, these blessings turned into a nightmare for Gehrilal Khatik, a paan shop owner, who died of his head injuries after being harassed by a group of Transgender Community.
On the occasion of his son’s birth, Khatik gave a sum of Rs 7000 to the Transgender who arrived to bless the child. However, a heated argument soon began between Khatik and three of them. Khatik denied paying more money but the transgenders demanded Rs 2000 more. In the heated argument, one of them slapped Khatik and his head hit on the wall. Though Khatik was rushed to a nearby hospital in Surat, the doctors could not save him due to the severe injury which caused a brain hemorrhage.
After his death, the police took immediate action and arrested a group of three accused named Renuka Kunvar (21), Bhagyashri Kunvar (23) and Sagri Kunvar (25). Inspector V M Makwana said “We had already arrested the three transgender persons under the attempt to murder charges on September 3. They were sent to judicial custody the next day. After Gehrilal died today, the three have been charged with murder,”.
After the incident, the Transgender Community faced huge opposition. The textile traders, who were also harassed by the transgender community for money during the festive season decided to ban their entry. The president of Japan Textile Market, Lalit Sharma, said: “We have banned the entry of transgender persons into the textile markets, as we have come across complaints of (them) misbehaving with shopkeepers who give them less money during Holi and Diwali festivals,”. Adding further to his statement, he said “These transgender persons also use abusive language with the shop keepers. After the recent murder of Gehrilal Khatik, we spoke to the presidents of various textile markets and requested them not to allow Transgender persons into the market areas, which all of them have agreed to.”
The death might be considered an accident but the sought of Treatment the Transgenders are opting to tongue out money from people is no more acceptable. The victim Khatik was the only source of income for his family of two daughters and a son along with his wife.
Keeping the poor situation of his family in mind, the other members of their community came up to help them. A group of Transgenders gave the family a sum of rupees 1.5 lakh and also assured them financial help during Diwali to cope up in difficult times.”