Maharashtra

Maharashtra’s Transgender cop resumes office after sex change surgery

The Hush Post: A cop from Maharashtra who got sex change surgery has now been allowed to resume his duty as the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis supported him.

A 29-year-old Lalit Salve had joined the police force as a female constable in 2009 in Maharashtra. He (who was a woman till then) had surgery on 25 May, two years after deciding to be a male, a report said.

Lalit Salve

Lalit Salve after sex change surgery. -Photo courtesy BBC

Lalit Salve said that initially, his seniors did not support him. But Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis intervened after he moved Bombay High Court.

“The last few years have been very stressful. But when I woke up after the surgery, I could breathe freely,” Salve was quoted by BBC Marathi’s Janhavee Moole.

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to live or die. It was a horrible time. I had felt suffocated. I struggled to overcome this and now I feel I have won,” he was further quoted.

Earlier his department refused to sanction him leave for one month, which he needed for the surgery. Salve further said that his superiors told him they were unsure about how to proceed in such a situation as they had recruited him when he was a woman and he now wished to be identified as a man, the report said.

In November 2017, Salve appealed to the Bombay High Court to allow him to be treated as a man in the police force. He said he had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition where a person’s biological sex and identity does not match, it was reported.

After news about Salve’s episode was highlight by media, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked the police force to make an exception for Salve. Salve said that he had been confused and tense about the surgery but his family had always stood by him, the report said.

Post surgery, on his return to his village in a remote Maharashtra district, Salve was given a hero’s welcome and was overwhelmed.

“I’m so happy to see this. All the love people are showering has brought tears in my eyes.” I met people who taunted me. But the number of people who supported me was more. They understood my emotions, my pain and stood by my side. I want to thank them all – the media, the chief minister, the police department, my family, everyone,” Savle was quoted was quoted as saying.

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