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Friday, May 17, 2024

Trans candidate in Indian election gets protection order

The parliamentary hopeful decided to seek authorities’ help after enduring ‘life-threatening’ attack

An Indian court has asked police to provide security to a transgender person who is contesting the country’s general election in the South Delhi constituency. The candidate sought police protection after an alleged “life-threatening” attack at his office, Indian media reported.

“Any discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity impairs the equality before the law and violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India,” Anoop Kumar Mendiratta, the Delhi High Court Judge presiding over the case, pointed out.

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Judge Mendiratta argued that the government must safeguard the rights of transgender persons as set out in the Constitution, and asked South Delhi police to offer protection to Rajan Singh of the Rashtriya Bahujan Congress Party, as he registers to run in the election.

Singh had previously registered a complaint with police after the alleged attack at his office. The Delhi police counsel at the court proceedings assured the court he would be given protection to register and, if deemed necessary, additional protection, according to news outlet The Hindu. Meanwhile, police have also vowed to continue their investigation into the alleged attack.

Singh is expected to file his nomination with the support of a relatively new and unknown political party, which has so far has fielded candidates in three elections (2009, 2014 and 2019), but hasn’t secured any seats in the parliament.

South Delhi is one of the seven Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) constituencies in India’s capital and is currently represented by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Ramesh Bidhuri. Sahi Ram of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which rules Delhi national capital region’s government, is the other notable candidate. Voting in the constituency will take place on May 25, and the results of the national election will be declared on June 4.

Read more: Indian court dismisses plea to disqualify Modi from election

As India continues its national polls, labeled the largest democratic exercise in history as it sees nearly 970 million people eligible to vote, several transgender candidates across the country have registered their candicacy. Kinnar Mahamandaleshwar Himangi Sakhi, a candidate from the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) party, who is running against PM Narendra Modi in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, is the other noteworthy transgender candidate contesting the 2024 election.