Friends and transgender community members cannot still believe the police version on Tara’s death

Chennai, November 11: The transgender community members in Chennai staged protests alleging the role of police brutality over the death of Tara (28), a resident of Choolaimedu. Tara was found outside the Pondy Bazaar police station early on November 9, with 95 per cent burns on her body.
She succumbed to the third-degree burns at Kilpauk Medical College Hospital a day later. The transwoman Tara was picked up by the Chennai police patrol team around 5 am on wednesday. They have taken her scooter also into custody along with her. Police said that when they took her in custody, she was in an inebriated condition and has indulged in an argument with the SHO of the station.
After sometime she returned to the station with a can of petrol and set herself ablaze. Tara’s friends and relatives as well as the transgender community refused to believe this plot.
In her dying declaration Tara is heard saying that police asked her to go and commit suicide which made her pour petrol on herself and set ablaze. In the declaration she also says that the police had harassed her after confiscating the vehicle and mobile phone.

One of Tara’s friends and a transgender activist, Angel Glady, said that, Tara had gone to recharge her phone at a 24-hour shop on Habibullah Road around 4 am. By the time, Police picked her up and accusing her of sex work. When Tara argued, they took her to the police station for questioning, where they allegedly assaulted her. Around 5 am, Tara called two of her friends from the station and asked them to come to the police station.
When her friends came there on a look out for Tara, found her lying n the ground, severely burnt, in the police station compound. They rushed her to the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital immediately, but she died around 10 in the morning.
Tara’s friends and activists doubt the police version of the event. They asked where did Tara get petrol to immolate herself when her vehicle and key were held by the police.
The police is yet to show them the CCTV footage of Tara’s alleged self-immolation. They have started an online campaign #JusticeForTara to reach out to more people.
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