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Bombay High Court rules sex reassignment surgery can go ahead

Twenty-one-year-old in feud with parents allowed surgery after suicide threats
Swati Barua

The Bombay High Court yesterday ruled in favour of a 21-year-old transgender woman in a feud with her parents.

Swati Barua, 21, from Assam had been booked in for a gender reassignment operation in a hospital in Mumbai on 17 April. When her family found out they blocked her bank accounts and threatened the doctors who had been due to perform the surgery.

Last Thursday the high court reprimanded Barua for using pressure tactics after she wrote a letter saying she would commit suicide unless her petition was heard in court.

Barua says she has felt like a female trapped in male's body since she was a child and this angered his parents who were violent towards her. When she was 12 or 13 she found out about gender reassignment surgery on the internet and started saving for the operation.

'I am very happy that finally my prayers have been heard,' said Barua to India Today. 'I was sure that this would be the outcome but the delay was depressing me. It is my fundamental right to decide how I want to live. The doctors have told me that there will be several steps to this entire procedure but at least now it will begin. My fiance is very happy and we are deciding on a date to get engaged this month. I cannot wait for my new life to begin.'

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