Another transgender targeted

Alisha was brought to Peshawar's Lady Reading Hospital with 8 bullets in her body, after confrontation with men who were harassing her fellow transgenders

Trans Action Alliance (Peshawar) Coordinator Alisha is admitted in the Intensive Care Unit in critical condition at Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa after being shot eight times on Sunday.

Lady Reading Hospital Director Col. Hamid Saeed spoke to The Nation and said, “She was brought in on Sunday night with 8 bullets in various parts of her body. The orthopedic doctors were taking care of her. Today morning her health deteriorated and she had to be moved to the ICU.”

Alisha was shot and seriously injured by a group of men who were harassing transgender persons in Asia Plaza, Faqirabad. When she tried to help her fellows from these people she became a target of their hate.

Upon arrival at the LRH, the staff was non-cooperative and reluctant to assist her. When the transgender rights activists protested the doctors provided her treatment. The patients in the male and female wards did not allow her bed to be placed with them and during the night. Separators were placed around her bed and she had to spend the night in the hospital hall.

After not getting any support from the local authorities and hospital, the group resorted to social media to raise their voice and concerns. They started getting response from social media but the authorities were not moved.

On Monday evening KP Governor and Speaker Provincial Assembly Asad Qaiser paid a visit to Alisha after reading about it on social media. SSP Operation Majeed Marwat was also along with him. They took the hospital authorities to task and asked them to allot a VIP private room to Alisha immediately and expressed their disappointment on the behavior of the staff.

Transgender community in Peshawar condemned the way they were being treated in the hospital. Col Hamid Saeed while speaking to The Nation commented on the complaints. “We all know how they are treated in our society despite the fact that they are humans as well. We don’t have the funds to make a separate area/ward for them in the hospital, but will try our best to look after them in the times of need.”

Qamar Naseem, Coordinator of Blue Veins spoke to The Nation and explained the situation. “Alisha was asked by her fellow transgender folks to help them out of a situation in Peshawar on Sunday night as they were being harassed by a group of people in a building. She went there with a couple of people to help. They got into an argument and some men opened fire at her from the group.”

He further explained, “She got 8 bullets, two each on ankles, thighs, stomach and shoulder. She was rushed to the hospital where the staff was more concerned about sex workers, charges for services rendered, and rates for a dance and song performance for one night.” Qamar asked, “Is this how these doctors are supposed to treat their patients?”

Qamar Naseem also spoke about the threats he is receiving from the men who shot Alisha. “Since the day Alisha has been shot I personally have got a number of threat calls, telling me that I will be killed for supporting the transgender people.” Paaro, a transgender, is also receiving calls and she is afraid to move around now. These cowards can’t bear the fact that the transgender folks are now standing up for their rights.

Paro, an active member of Trans Alliance and belonging to the transgender community spoke to The Nation. “We are poor people, without a fixed income. Our gurus take care of us when we are ill. Now Alisha is in such a condition, we will be collecting money; her Guru will also pay the bills, but in the end she has to return the money all that was spent on her treatment. In case she does not get well then what happens? Who will look after her?”

Blue Veins and Trans Alliance has been working on transgender rights for some time now. During the period of 2015 and 2016, 45 transgender people have been killed. A number of complaints have been made to the authorities about the dangers this community faces
but the number of deaths are increasing with time as almost all complaints fall on deaf ears.

R Umaima Ahmed

Umaima Ahmed is a member  of staff

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