Beed: While the supposedly progressive Maharashtra state and top police brass have rejected Lalita Salve’s request to remain in the police force after sex reassignment surgery, she has the full support of her family and village
The Maharashtra home department contemplated over forming a policy for sex change operation to allow a woman constable to continue being in service after her gender reassignment surgery for some time. This came in the backdrop of the woman police constable 25 years old Lalita , attached to Beed city’s Majalgaon police station, seeking permission to undergo sex surgery. Considering her application as an extraordinary case, a new provision was mulled to allow her in service, minister of state for home and urban development Ranjit Patil said.
The constable’s plea remained pending with the Director General of Police (DGP), establishments department. Lalita Salve had sought permission from senior police officials to undergo a sex change operation in September.
Minister Dr. Patil said, “This has happened first time. It’s an elective surgery, but till today my office have not received any application from Salve.”
“But if the plea comes to me than I have to verify the recruitment rules and issues that should be taken into consideration for her plea. Serving in police is her right and we cannot deny it to her,” Dr.Patil said.
The minister Dr Patil, also said that rules could be changed to address her plea. The government will work out and get the detailed report in the case.
But none of these promises finally materialized.
The woman police constable’s request from a sex change surgery, had left the Maharashtra Police in a dilemma.
But rules ruled the day finally.
A police official from department of DGP said in view of the fact that she was recruited in the police force under women’s quota, she might have to pass the another procedure and qualification criterion for men to be retained in the service. “Even we have to check her mental and physical fitness whether she is fit for the job or not,” he added.
Meanwhile, superintendent of Beed G. Shreedhar said,“We have received her application and have forwarded it to DGP. She is serving with the police station and she has not taken a leave. With her sex change surgery, she might face some problems.”
When asked what did she had to say about the prospect of losing her job after undergoing sex change operation, Sreedhar said, “Salve told me that my personal life is important and I have made up my mind for the sex change surgery.”
That was the police way of letting Lalita know that she had to make up her mind whether her private life or job was more important for her.
But While the men in khaki dashed constable Lalita Salve’s hopes of finding her true identity as a man, the villagers in her hometown have supported her decision overwhelmingly. The 2,000-odd residents from the village of Rajagaon, many of whom are uneducated and had not even heard of gender realignment earlier, have come out in support of Salve’s decision.
When newspaper Mumbai Mirror met the sarpanch of the village, Sangeet Ingle, he said, “It is a matter of choice. If she is comfortable in changing her sex, why should we stop her? We may not be well educated, but we can understand she is going through a difficult time. If this helps ease her pain, so be it.”
In a letter to Beed Superintendent of Police G Sreedhar, Salve had said that she had been experiencing hormonal changes for the past four years and feels as if she has been living the life of a transgender. “I have been living the life of a man in a woman’s body. As my family was putting pressure on me for marriage, I told my mother about my state as I do not wish to ruin anyone’s life,” said Lalita.