UP women constables seek gender change for inclusivity

| | Lucknow
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UP women constables seek gender change for inclusivity

Sunday, 24 September 2023 | Biswajeet Banerjee | Lucknow

UP women constables seek gender change for inclusivity

In an unprecedented development, five women constables of the Uttar Pradesh Police have submitted applications to the office Director General of Police seeking permission for gender change. Among these applicants is a female constable currently stationed in Gorakhpur, a revelation that has raised concerns and prompted discussions among officers.

While this marks the first instance of its kind in the police department, authorities are now exploring how to address this complex issue.

Reports indicate that the Allahabad High Court had previously declared gender change a constitutional right in a similar case, adding a legal dimension to the matter.

However, the DGP’s office has taken a proactive approach by requesting that letters be issued to police district captains where these women constables are deployed, facilitating counseling sessions for them to better understand their circumstances and decisions.

One of the constables, Karishma (name changed), is posted in Gorakhpur. She revealed that she submitted an application to the DGP’s office, where she also underwent enquiries about her situation.

Karishma cited gender dysphoria as the primary reason for her request, and she attached a medical certificate to support her application.

As of now, there has been no official decision from the Lucknow headquarters regarding this matter.

However, Karishma expressed her intent to pursue legal action if a favourable resolution is not reached, emphasising her desire to undergo gender transition. Karishma, a resident of Ayodhya, joined the Uttar Pradesh Police force in 2019 and was initially posted in Gorakhpur.

Her journey towards gender transition began in February 2023, when she approached various authorities, including the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Additional Director General (ADG), and the Gorakhpur headquarters.

She explained that her experiences included the gradual realisation of changes in her hormone levels, prompting her desire to transition from female to male.

To facilitate her request, Karishma sought counseling from a prominent doctor in Delhi, who diagnosed her with gender dysphoria. She attached the doctor’s report to her application for gender change. Once she obtains the necessary permission, Sonam plans to initiate the gender transition process.

In recent times, Karishma’s demeanour and behaviour have evolved to align more with traditional male characteristics. She adopts a masculine hairstyle and clothing style, even riding a Pulsar motorcycle.

Karishma’s daily attire consists of pants and shirts, and she enjoys shooting, exemplifying her inclination towards traditionally male activities.

Her childhood experiences were marked by discomfort when wearing skirts or engaging in activities stereotypically associated with girls.

The case of the female constable in Gonda mirrors Karishma’s, as she has also submitted an application to the Allahabad High Court for gender change.

In response, the Allahabad High Court asserted that sex change is a constitutional right of an Indian citizen, emphasising that denying or failing to acknowledge this right in modern society would only exacerbate Gender Identity Disorder Syndrome.

The court directed the UP Director General of Police (DGP) to promptly address the female constable’s application. Karishma and four others now harbor hope that they will receive justice, inspired

by the High Court’s decision, marking a significant step forward in recognising transgender rights.

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