About 100 people paid their last respects to a murdered transgender woman in south India on Wednesday after her family refused to take her remains to their home in Kannur and perform her final rites, transgender activists in Kozhikode told TNM.
Friends of Shalu, a 35-year old transgender woman who was found dead in Kozhikode, tried in vain to convince her family to take her back to her home and “give her a funeral she deserved.”
“We tried to convince them. But they were not willing to take her back to her house and give her a funeral she deserved. They wanted to finish it off quickly in Kozhikode itself,” Sisily George, a transgender activist from Kozhikode told TNM.
But where her biological family failed, Shalu’s chosen transgender family stepped up to honor her memory, conducting a dignified funeral and cremation for her in Kozhikode on Tuesday.
“We took permission from the family and claimed her mortal remains in the morning, on Tuesday. We then performed the funeral at Sneha Koodu – a building owned by the Social Justice Department so that people could come and pay their respects to Shalu,” Sisily added.
Following the funeral, the transgender community took Shalu’s remains to the crematorium to perform the final rites. Sisily also added that Shalu’s relatives were not keen on displaying her remains for the public to pay their respects.
On Monday morning, the 35-year-old transgender woman from Kannur was found dead near the KSRTC bus depot in Kozhikode city under mysterious circumstances. Seeing the body, residents of the neighborhood quickly alerted the police, who in turn alerted Sisily and other transgender activists in the city.
Sisily said she strongly suspected that Shalu was murdered.
“There were bruises on Shalu’s body and she was bleeding from her nose when we found her body,” she had said.
CCTV footage helped Police identify two men who were seen in the vicinity of the crime scene on the night of the murder.
The suspects have been taken into custody for questioning.
Shalu had previously complained to her friends “of harassment by unknown persons and this, too, would be investigated by the police,” reports TNM.