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Arrests of Queer Activists in Bangalore

Hi,

This is a short and hurried email, to let everyone know, that some of us in
Bombay and Delhi have recieved phone calls from activists in Bangalore about
arrests of some hijras, kothis, Sangama activists including Manohar, Sumathi
and others.

From what I have gathered from a few conversations, first around five hijras
were arrested under charges of extortion sometime in the morning.
Thereafter, five other hijras and kothis from Sangama who went to inquire
about these arrests at the police station were also arrested under charges
of 'rioting', 'unlawful assembly' and 'assaulting a police officer'. All of
these ten people have been produced in magistrate courts.

Thereafter, Manohar, Sumathi and some other Sangama activists who went to
protest at the police station were also arrested and held up in the police
station. It is unclear whether the police booked them under any criminal
provision, or just held them in custody. I have also been told that all the
people arrested have faced police violence. Apart from this around 30 other
people who were protesting outside the police station have been kept in
police custody and have still not been released.

The latest news is that Manohar, Sumathi and a few others have been
released. They have undergone medical examination. I have preliminary
information that they have faced physical violence. Ofcourse, this being
Bangalore, legal help with Venkatesh and ALF is available. Lots of
people/activists/community members are at the police station. Apparently a
lot of media activity is also happening, although I cant find anything on
the news.

We will have more information, hopefully, directly from people in Bangalore
tomorrow morning.

Alok