A 28-year-old technician at a pharmaceutical company has spoken out about a homophobic attack last Friday night.
The victim, who is unnamed in a DNA report on the crime, was attacked in the toilet of Vasai Road station in Mumbai on his way home late from work.
‘They began raining blows at me and shouted: "Homogiri karne toilet mein aata hai aur abhi sharif banta hai" [you indulge in homosexual acts in the toilet and now you are trying to be decent],’ DNA reports.
‘They pinned me down near the bridge and hit my head so badly that there was blood all over from the chin.’
The attackers said they would tell the victim’s family he is gay unless he gave them money. When he told them his parent’s already knew they assaulted him more heavily.
‘I was told they’d let me go if I paid them Rs25,000 (Indian Rupees, $460, â‚¬350). I was then taken to the SBI ATM outside the station,’ the victim said.
‘Once I paid them, they returned my laptop and cell phone. While putting me on an auto, one of them put his arm around my shoulder and said sorry.’
‘”ªThis happens all the time”¬,’ Pallav Patankar, one of the organizers of Queer Azaadi Mumbai (Mumbai Pride), told Gay Star News.
‘Most of the times the victims are scared since they are not out to their families, in this case since the victim was out to his parents he has been able to stand against his attackers.
‘Most may not even raise their voice out of shame and hence gay violence goes unreported in India.’
Patankar said there needs to be more education on LGBT issues for junior police ranks in Mumbai:
‘”ªWhile at higher levels of police hierarchy they are sensitive to LGBT issues, at a filed level these guys live in some Victorian morality of what is right and wrong, until the "havaldars" [junior most officers] are senstive, there will be no change”¬.’