A transgender woman, who was among the organizers of the climate march that was held in Karachi on Sunday, was allegedly abducted and raped the night before on Saturday, with the attackers trying to extract information about the march.
The Karachi Bachao Tehreek, a grassroots organisation working against demolitions and for marginalized groups, reported the news in a Twitter post on Monday night.
“The night before our protest, we held an organizing meeting. One of our organizers, a trans woman, was abducted on her way home,” it stated, adding she had been tortured and raped.
Shehzadi Rai, a trans activist, told Aaj News that the victim is 28 years old and is one of her chailas (student) who went missing for several hours on Saturday night while she was on her way home after a meeting of the organisers.
“She was abducted by four men in a black sedan near the Abbassi Shaheed Hospital,” Rai said. She was then taken to an undisclosed location where she was tortured and sexually assaulted, Rai continued.
“The people asked her about the climate march while warning her to stay away from such gatherings,” Rai said. They also accused the organizers of the climate march of receiving “foreign funding”, she added.
When inquired whether a complaint has been lodged with the police, Rai said that the victim and her family were scared of taking it up with the authorities.
Another activist, a member of the KBT, said suggested that the same authorities might be involved in the abduction.
The activist, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Aaj News that people were indigenous and marginalized communities have been targeted, including with the help of the state apparatus, and the latest attack was part of the same campaign.
According to the activist, there were instances of sexual favours being demanded of affectees facing demolition of their houses in and around Karachi’s Gujjar and Orangi Nullahs, while fictitious police reports were filed against those protesting encroachment by the Bahria Town housing society.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has taken notice of the incident and ordered the inspector general of police to conduct an inquiry into the case and submit a report to him, according to a tweet from his office.
The Ministry of Human Rights has also taken notice of the incident, saying its transgender rights expert was in contact with the victim's guardian.
"Our Transgender Rights Expert, Reem, has been in touch with the relevant people including the victim’s guardian and our ministry will be contacting Sindh government to ensure her protection."