A drunken police officer ‘harassed and molested’ a trans rights activist. His colleagues ‘saluted’ him

Police car on the street

A police officer in Kolkata, India, has been arrested for harassing, molesting and using obscene language and gestures towards a transgender rights activist.

According to The Times of India, inspector Abhishek Bhattacharya is facing the charges for targeting Ranjita Sinha, a well-known local activist who leads sensitivity training efforts on LGBT+ issues.

The outlet reports that Sinha and two friends were in a car travelling through central Kolkata on Monday (September 21), on their way back from feeding homeless trans people, when they were harassed outside a café by a reportedly-drunken Bhattacharya, who started shouting abuse.

Sinha recalled: “I got out of the car and tried to stop the man who, we later learnt, was a senior police officer.

“When I protested and demanded to know why he was unnecessarily harassing the driver, he turned towards me and started touching me inappropriately.

“He made lewd gestures at my friends, who were in the car. He kept banging the car windows and even tried to drag them out. Our driver was also assaulted when he tried to shield us.”

Police arriving on the scene allegedly saluted the officer

Police arriving on the scene allegedly saluted the officer (File photo)

The driver was left with a fractured arm after the altercation. When the group called the police for help, they swiftly found out the drunken man was himself a senior police officer.

Police ‘saluted the perpetrator’ after trans woman was harassed.

Moon, another member of the harassed group, said: “Instead of taking action, the police team started saluting the perpetrator. Even at the police station, the perpetrator’s family members came in and requested us not to file a complaint against him.”

Sinha added: “As an activist, I have faced precarious situations involving cops but those were during agitations or on certain issues. This was absolutely uncalled for, totally unprovoked.

“We felt betrayed because the accused was not booked under a non-bailable offence, but some senior police officers later called me and assured me of justice. Let us see if we get justice.”