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Manipuri transgenders demand apology from minister over attack

IMPHAL (IANS): Artistes, lyricists and transgenders in Manipur are up in arms against state Rural Development Minister Moirangthem Okendra after his security guards allegedly beat up a popular tansgender artiste here.

The artistes, lyricists and transgenders who on Friday staged a sit-in protest have served an ultimatum to Okendra to tender an apology within seven days or face consequences.

Personal security guards and armed personnel of the minister had allegedly beaten up Bishesh Huirem, a film and mobile theatre artiste, following a road rage incident on Wednesday night.

Huirem is one of the transgenders from 30 countries who has been selected to participate in the International Beauty Queen contest to be held in Thailand on November 9.

Officials of the Minister, however, refuted Huirem’s claim over the incident and told IANS that Huirem was driving “dead drunk” and was unable to reverse her car that was blocking the minister’s convoy. A security guard stepped in to help her out.

However, Huirem threw tantrums at this saying she had the right to drive and tried to force open the door of the minister’s vehicle — leading to her being restrained.

Huirem has strongly denied the “baseless charges”.

In preparation for the beauty contest Huirem is undergoing hormone therapy and personality development course.

Huirem has denied she was drunk. In a statement, she said that she is avoiding salt and oil in her food for the hormone therapy, “and it is outrageous to say she was dead drunk. Shocked by the incident she is now in hospital.”

The artistes have decided to ban all mobile theatres, films and music programmes in the Heirok constituency of the Minister unless he apologises.

This could impact on campaigning as Manipur goes to polls in February 2017.

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