Transgenders who under a prison term in Karnataka have come under focus in the state now. Chamaraja MLA, Vasu, has raised the issue housing of transgender convicts and undertrials in Karnataka’s prisons with the home ministry. An English daily reported that the home ministry has promised to now allocate space to the prisoners so that they can be housed in the women’s barracks. There has been no specific rules so far as to where to accommodate transgender convicts and undertrials. When Vasu raised the issue on Tuesday, Home Minister G Parameshwara wrote back stating that they will now take steps to house them separately. He was reported saying, “Currently, there are no separate facilities in any of the prisons to accommodate transgender inmates as very few of them go to prison. In case of a conviction, we will accommodate them in separate cells within women’s barracks at all prisons.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home department sources have told the daily that till now there have been no major crimes committed by transgenders. Moreover, they have always been kept in separate cells.The officer did not comment on whether these prisoners would be housed in the men’s barracks or the women’s barracks. The LGBT community has been gaining more significance in India and there is more awareness today about their rights. A senior police officer has told the daily that when a transgender comes to prison, the person is referred to the jail doctor for a medical exam. If they are more feminine, they are sent to the women’s barracks and kept in separate cells. Else they are kept in separate cells in the men’s block he reportedly said. He added there was no discrimination against them in the cells. HNS Rao, director general of police, prisons, reportedly told the daily, “Considering the sensitivity of the issue, they will be accommodated in separate cells to address their requirements. As of now, in the rare case when they do end up here, they are kept in separate cells.”Transgenders are always housed in separate cells to prevent any harassment . Sources told the daily that only two central prisons — Viyyur prison in Kerala and Yerawada in Pune — have separate blocks to house transgender inmates.The decision taken by the government has been applauded by the LGBT community. LGBT activists have tld the daily that transgenders have been subjected to harassment at police stations and prisons. Officials have also been sensitive towards their rights, they added.Akkai Padmashali, LGBT activist and founder of Ondede, told the daily that in 2015, five transgenders were sent to ‘jail in Mysuru on false charges and forcibly lodged in the men’s barrack and that ‘all of them were sexually assaulted, harassed and raped in station and prison’. “Luckily, the judiciary came to our rescue,” he told the daily. .

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Karnataka: Transgenders in prison to be housed in women’s wing