Thane civic body steps in as cops shy away from taking action against soliciting transgenders

May 30, 2018, 14:53 IST | Anamika Gharat

Thane locals say repeated complaints of escort services being offered on the streets in the residential area have fallen on deaf ears; civic body promises to spruce up stretch and install lights

The spot near the highway at Majiwada where locals allege that trans people and women stand in the evenings and solicit customers. Pic/Sameer Markande
The spot near the highway at Majiwada where locals allege that trans people and women stand in the evenings and solicit customers. Pic/Sameer Markande

The Thane police are afraid to take action against transgenders and women openly soliciting customers in Majiwada because they "curse" them. So now, the Thane Municipal Corporation's (TMC's) garden department has stepped up to try and help the residents.

Civic officials said though the area comes under the highway authority, they will spruce it up and put up lights in a bid to stop the nuisance. Residents, meanwhile, said they are at their wits' end, having complained to the police numerous times, and yet, no action has been taken. On Sunday, a few MNS workers had even nabbed some transgenders near Majiwada red-handed and handed them over to the police.

At their wits' end
A resident in a Lodha high-rise, Ajay Janve, said, "We have approached the police so many times, but they have been very reluctant to take any action. The situation became embarrassing and unbearable for us; hence, we approached TMC officials, and they assured us of making changes in the area."

Another resident from the area who has to pass that stretch every day, Sangita Jadhav, said, "I myself have complained to the Kapurbawdi police many times, but to no avail. The police say it's not their fault and that the transgenders are able to carry out such activities because there are no street lights in the area and no one has bothered to trim the overhanging branches of trees that offer cover. But my point is why does anyone need to cut trees to stop this? The police need to be vigilant enough. They are not doing anything and just blaming others."

TMC garden department official Kedar Patil said, "The MMRDA is already extending that road; hence, we can't make many changes. But we will definitely try our best. We have decided to clean the area and trim all overgrown trees. We also plan to install street lights.

"We cannot do everything though; there's no guarantee that these activities will stop after the measures we take. Other authorities need to improve their vigilance too." When contacted, senior inspector at Kapurbawdi police station, V Darekar, said, "We have been taking action against them from time to time, and we will continue to."

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