Anwar Zeb

The bloodied body of transgender Mano was lying at a stretcher outside the hospital. There were no relatives around. Transgender belonging to Peshawar were milling around the stretcher, weeping and wailing over her death.

Mano belonged to a remote village of Batkhela area and was shot dead on Friday by his former partner.

She was later laid to rest in unknown location of Peshawar as her family considered it better to bury her here instead of taking her back to their village.

Mano was shot dead by his former partner in Jangi Mohallah, a densely populated area of provincial capital. Police said that the Mano had objected the marriage of her former partner, Sanaullah, which led to his murder.

In a similar incident, antoher transgender was shot dead in Mardan while another one was injured while five transgender were injured when a man opened fire on them in Manshera last Sunday.

maRakh or partner behind most of the murders

When the news of the Mano murder spread, there were speculations that maRakh may have been behind the murder.

Taimur Kamal, a transgender rights activist told TNN that about 75 cases of murder of transgender have been reported in the province over past six years. Mr Kamal said that in most of these cases maRakh or partners have been blamed for the murders of transgender.
He said that maRakh or partner used to spend money on transgender, buy them clothes and jewelry. Besides, maRakh also arrange accommodation for them.

However, Mr Kamal said that situation takes a turn for the worst, when maRakh witness their partner befriending other people and many a time they murder the transgender due to jealousy.

“These are the incident of honor killings,” Taimur said. Besides, he said that there was other who do not have money and they extract money from the transgender after befriending her.

“They kill transgender or torture them when the stop earnings from dancing,” he said.
Some four years back, Peshawar police recovered human body parts from rickshaw. The investigations revealed that the parts belonged to transgender Nazo, whom her maRakh had murdered after he befriended someone else.

The killer told police that he had spent huge sums on Nazo and could not see her with someone else.

Hajra, another transgender was also murdered on the Warsak Road for accepting a friendship proposal.

Protection for a transgender: a distant dream

Regarding transgender protection, Mr Kamal said that after many cases of violence against transgender, Awami National Party government had ensured informing the relevant police station before inviting for any event. “This resulted into considerable decrease in killing of transgender,” he said.

He said that this procedure had made it quite easier for police to investigate the cases of transgender murders.

Gul Rehman, a senior lawyer said that accused in most of the murder of transgender were not punished due to the absence of witnesses. He said that proper perusal of cases can enhance prosecution of the killers.

Mr Rehman said that good progress has been made in the case of transgedner Alisha murder. Alisha was also killed at the hands of her maRakh.

Adil, (not his real name), a local who has spent many years with a transgender as partner, said that they like transgender as other people like females and males.

However, he said that it was not always necessary to spend money on transgender and in cases transgender spend money on males who go living with them. “I know some people who were living with transgender who were also spending money on them,” he added.
Regarding the murders, he said that most of the killings took place due to the friendships.

Adil said that maRakh usually have sexual relations with transgender.

Arzoo, provincial president of the Transgender Association said that initial information suggests the maRakh had murdered Mano. She said that maRakh or partners were involved in many cases of attacks on transgender. However, she said that sometimes, transgender are also murdered in the name of honor as families do not want seeing their children dancing.

She said that transgender remained in relationship with maRakh so as to depend them in hard times. “We live on the fringes of society, therefore, had to rely on such people,” she added.