PESHAWAR, May 25: In an unprecedented case here on Tuesday, a man and a transvestite arrested on charges of marrying each other were remanded into the custody of local police for a single day by a local court.
Forty five other persons, including around a dozen transvestites, charged by police for participating in the alleged marriage ceremony, were sent to prison by the court of judicial magistrate, Syed Shaukatullah Shah.
The arrested persons denied the charge and stated that a birthday party of one of the transvestites was in progress when police raided it.
Their counsel said that they had not committed any offence and the entire incident took place because of some vested interests of the SHO concerned, Shaukat Ali.
The said 47 persons were arrested by officials of Faqirabad police station late on Monday from a plaza. Police alleged that they received report that marriage of the man, Malik Iqbal, about 45, and the transvestite, identified as Kashif alias Kiran, about 20, would take place at Malik Plaza, situated on Dalazak Road.
The SHO, who is complainant in the case, claimed that when the marriage ceremony was in progress they raided the place of occurrence and arrested the said 47 persons including the so-called bridegroom and the bride.
The accused are charged under section 3 and 4 of Dancing Act, 1974, section 377 (unnatural offence), 511 (attempting to commit offence), 294 (obscene acts and songs in public), 148 (rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of Pakistan Penal Code, read with section 13 of the Arms Ordinance.
“I have not entered into any wedlock. This is a lie,” said Kashif alias Kiran. He added that police had disrupted a function and arrested them on fabricated charges.
The advocates appearing for the detained persons requested the court not to allow physical custody of the alleged couple and also discharge all the arrested persons of the charge. They said that police had misused the laws and detained innocent persons. They requested the court to quash the said FIR.
The public prosecutor, Nisar Khan, contended that the case was in initial stages and only after investigation the accused persons could be discharged. He added that the court of judicial magistrate had no authority to quash an FIR.
In sheer disregard to the orders of Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry that the transvestites and transgender persons should be treated with respect, the local police turned them into a laughing stock. Some of the policemen were seen pinching the arrested transvestites, who were attired in colourful female dresses.
Police, who normally avoid giving any information to journalists, gave easy access to the crews of private television channels as well as photographers of newspapers to film the detained persons at the police station as well as on way to the Judicial Complex.The detainees were boarded in a bus and brought to the Judicial Complex. Despite scorching heat they were kept in the bus for many hours till the continuation of the court proceedings.
Large number of people including lawyers and court officials thronged the courtroom to catch a glimpse of the alleged couple as well as other arrested transvestites. They were passing sarcastic remarks on them.