Transgender activist shot dead outside home in West Bengal

A prominent transgender activist Sumana Dhar has been shot dead by bike-borne youths near her home in Sabitri Pally in Nimta, about 16km north from the heart of Calcutta on Sunday evening.

The 32-year-old Sumana used to attend meetings and conferences on transgender rights, The Telegraph reported.

According to the police officials, four youths came riding motorcycles around 7 pm on Sunday and fired four bullets from close range, leaving Sumana in a pool of blood on the road leading to her house, which is located in an area under North Dum Dum Municipality.

The bullets pierced Sumana’s back. Alarmed at the sound of gunfire, some residents of the locality rushed to the spot and took Sumana to Panihati State General Hospital in Sodepur, The Telegraph reports. The vocal community leader was later shifted to a nursing home in Barasat, where she died.

A senior officer of Nimta police station told reporters that they have learnt that Sumana had gone out in the afternoon to attend an invitation and was returning home in the evening when she was shot.

“It appears the assassins had information about Sumana’s schedule,” said the police officer.

The police said they are scanning CCTV footage and also Sumana’s mobile call records.

Officers have also spoken to some members of the community who knew Sumana closely. The localities Sumana lived have a sizable transgender population.

“Sumana came across as a very upright individual who wanted to reform some members of the community across parts of North 24-Parganas,” The Telegraph quotes Ranjita Sinha, a transgender activist and former member of the West Bengal Transgender Welfare Board as saying.

“This murder sends out very disturbing signals for our community,” she said.