The bullet-ridden body of a transgender woman was discovered recently near a riverbank in the Nowshera Cantonment area, Pakistan.
The woman, identified as a 19-year-old named Maya by the police, had been living in the city of Peshawar with the Meena Group, an organization for the protection of transgender rights, and had fled her home in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province due to fear of violence from her father, Aurangzeb Akbar.
The Meena Group subsequently petitioned the police regarding the issue and received a written assurance in return from the father that promised cordiality once his daughter was back home.
Maya still resisted returning when her father and uncle came to retrieve her, but ultimately acquiesced and came back home on June 28th.
Her body was found merely a day later, and Akbar has since been arrested for suspicion of having committed the murder.
Akbar had been dissatisfied with his son identifying as a transgender woman and resorted to physical violence as a means to discourage Maya from her pursuits.
The incident is only one of many that have taken place against the transgender community in the province over recent years.
According to a report published this year, 63 people identifying as transgender have been killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since 2015, with the most recent having taken place on June 18th in Mardan, when the fire was opened on two transgenders – Kalajayi and Spoagmay – by unidentified perpetrators.
As such, Maya’s murder has spurred the embattled local transgender community into action, with large-scale protests having been witnessed over the past week in Peshawar.
Social activists hurled allegations of inaction at the district’s police force, citing their lack of proactive investigation into this and many other cases involving similar grievances, mirroring similar protests that took place back in August 2018.
An official statement from the authorities regarding the dissent is yet to arrive.