Monday, October 27, 2008

Kidnapping Eunuchs In Karachi: A Health Hazard

Witness the latest bizarre and depressing development from Karachi. According to Dawn, a “mysterious campaign” against eunuchs was launched this week, by persons unknown.

“F alias S told The News that last Saturday evening “she” along with her two other friends were standing at Haidery Market when five youths carrying sticks and wearing gray trousers and black shirts inscribed with “Police Security” took them away.

When “15” Madadgar policemen intercepted them, the youths aged 16 to 18 years said that they were taking them to the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) office to get their names registered there.

The eunuchs were driven in a van to the Super Highway where they were forced to massage the youths, said S, adding that the fake policemen also snatched money from them and abused her.

Later, the youths brought them near the terminal of G-13 mini-bus and gave them Rs20 (coins) at about 11.30 pm to leave town.

[F alias S] claimed that these people were posing as “government employees”, claiming that they had orders from Asif Ali Zardari to rid the city of eunuchs."
I don’t want to make light of what was no doubt a traumatic experience, but parts of this story are ridiculous.

Firstly, what the hell is the point of referring to someone as “F alias S”? Surely F is the alias. And if her name actually is F, then why mention it along with the alias, S?

Secondly, NADRA? For arguments sake, say you were one of the abductors in the aforementioned scenario, and the Madadgar 15 Police catch you with your pants down, along with your bored and ignorant friends, 3 eunuchs and some felonious t-shirts. One would expect you would have a nice, airtight excuse at the ready for just such an emergency. Surely you could'nt even hope to rely on the pathetic excuse for an excuse that is: “Oh Good Evening officer, me and my friends and my eunuchs are all on our way to NADRA”.

Dawn reports that this individual incident (inanity notwithstanding) is actually part of a wider ‘anti-eunuch campaign’. F Alias S continues:
"On October 23, said S, some youths took her friend from a marriage hall near Five Star roundabout and after subjecting her to a similar treatment they abandoned her on Super Highway by giving her Rs10 (coins)."

She asserts that this has happened to about 40 to 50 eunuchs from Nipa roundabout, Water Pump Chowrangi, Jail Chowrangi and other locales, all of whom are apparently still missing.

“If we have committed a crime then we should be arrested instead of being thrown into the jungle and abused,” she said adding that, she and her friends are now begging in localities instead of main markets."
If this is true, I find it quite saddening to note that some of the weakest members of our society prefer arrest by the Sindh Police over their current state of affairs.

I would also like to draw attention to the title and opening of the source article, which is annoying even if it isn't true:
‘Mysterious’ drive against eunuchs triggers health concerns'

Unknown elements have launched a mysterious campaign against eunuchs since the last week, triggering anxiety among non-governmental organisations working for the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
The NGOs fear that if this trend continues, it will force eunuchs to go underground and their alleged abuse might transmit Aids, Hepatitis and other diseases among the abusers since eunuchs are considered to be part of the high risk group.
According to DAWN, it appears that the primary issues of concern with respect to the abduction, extortion and sexual harassment of eunuchs are the health implications for the abductors and broader heterosexual society. I for one am glad they told me. Forewarned is forearmed.

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