Transgender activist Chandramukhi turns up at Police Station

Bahujan Left Front candidate for Goshamahal constituency and first transgender person to contest the elections in the two Telugu States Chandramukhi Muvvala reached Banjara Hills Police Station on Wednesday night.

In a late night development, Mx. Muvvala, who was missing since Tuesday, reached the station along with other members of the transgender community and her advocate R. Govind Reddy at around 11.30 p.m., Inspector Banjara Hills told The Hindu.

Mx. Muvvala refused to give a statement to the police about her whereabouts, police said. Though the High Court ordered the police to produce her on Thursday morning, Banjara Hills police said her advocate can withdraw the Habeas Corpus petition, if the need arises, thereby quashing the case. Banjara Hills inspector said that Mx. Muvvala may give a statement in High Court or to them on Thursday.

Earlier on Wednesday morning amidst protests by transgender persons, High Court at Hyderabad had ordered the State police to produce before it Mx. Muvvala on Thursday. A Division Bench comprising Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Satynarayana Murthy was ruling on a Habeas Corpus petition filed by Anitha, Mx. Muvvala’s mother.

Bahujan Left Front (BLF), which fielded the candidate on an MLA ticket in Hyderabad’s Goshamahal constituency, upped the protests on Wednesday staging a dharna in front of Chief Minister’s Camp Office and at Banjara Hills Police Station. Both the protests were led by transgender activists of Telangana. In a petition, the BLF also asked Chief Electoral Officer of Telangana Rajat Kumar to take necessary action because the missing case could lead to election process being countermanded in the particular constituency. Mr. Kumar in a media conference said that he had sought a report from the police on the matter.

BLF plans protests

State secretary of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Tammineni Veerabhadram, who held a press conference here along with other BLF leaders, accused Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party of having a hand in the missing case and had decided to stage protests across the State on Thursday.

“Director General of Police Mahender Reddy informed me in a telephonic conversation that Mx. Chandramukhi’s phone was last traced in Anantapur. The police claimed she went to Anantapur district to meet a transgender guru. But we suspect she was abducted by her political rivals most of whom have criminal history,” Mr. Veerabhadram said. Mx. Muvvala is in the fray with BJP’s sitting MLA Raja Singh, Congress candidate Mukesh Goud and TRS candidate Prem Singh in Goshamahal constituency. Meanwhile, Hyderabad police recovered CCTV footage of Mx. Muvvala leaving her apartment alone on Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.

CCTV footage

Members of Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samithi contradicted this statement, claiming the footage which the police previewed for them showed Mx. Muvvala moving around with four men. “In the footage she was seen wearing clothes that she usually wears at home. It raises suspicion because she never leaves her apartment without wearing a formal saree,” Rachana Mudraboina, a transwoman activist said.

In a related development, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative said in a statement: “Mx. Chandramukhi is the first and only transgender candidate to file a nomination for the State Assembly elections, and the manner in which this case is handled will either serve to strengthen or weaken the trust the Indian LGBTQ+ community has in the State”. Telangana’s transgender community claimed Venkat Reddy, a person with alleged criminal history of attacking transgender people too should be considered a suspect in the missing case.

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