City dwellers remain in a state of panic nowadays due to frequent attacks of hermaphrodite (hijras) populace who suddenly come to the houses or make attacks on individuals at different signal points for money or other goods.
Hijras attacked Shamima Akhter, mother of a two-month-old son, at her Gulshan residence where she lives with her husband.
She said, “I went to the veranda after hearing shouting of my guard around 11:00am yesterday and found some five to six hijras beat up my guard as he refused to allow them to the house.”
“I got panicked and called my husband, who was also harassed by the group of hijras. They demanded Tk 5,000 for our kid’s welfare, otherwise they would kidnap my son,” said Shamima.
The doting mother also said, “We finally paid them Tk 2000 after much hard bargaining. We have already decided to change our house from this area as they [hijras] frequently come.”
Runu Ahmed, mother of a newborn, of Sector-13 at Uttara Model Town said, “I’ve been observing some hijras moving around our house in the last few days. On Friday, when my husband and father-in-law went to the mosque for Juma prayers, they entered the house skipping the wall.”
“It was horrible as my mother-in-law was sick, and I just cured after my delivery 10 days before. So, we got panicked and called the police, who rescued us by paying Tk 500 on that day,” said Runu, wife of Jewel Ahmed, a high official of a private phone company.
The couple explained how they had fallen victim to the eunuchs second time just after three days. This time they [hijras] were saying with more offensively: “Police never do anything against us, and as you called police on Friday, you would have to pay more Tk 1000 and the grand total is Tk 6000 today.”
After an hour’s bargaining, the family got relief of the harassment after the intervention of the Rapid Action Battalion, who came to the place after getting a phone call from their neighbour, said Runu.
Officer-in-Charge (OC) ABM Zakir Hossain of Uttara Model Police Station told The Daily Star, “Earlier, we received at least 15 calls each day. The number is on the decrease now.”
“We have met the hijras several times and offered 300 hijras jobs at a time at a garment factory, but they refused to work, he said.
About 150 hijras live in different slums at Uttara, the OC said, adding, “Hijras ensured us at a meeting that they would not charge the exorbitant amount. The amount was fixed between Tk 200 and Tk 500, which was Tk 2000 and Tk 5000 earlier.”
“People now get panicked instead of showing kindness to them for their attacking and offensive behaviour,” said Zakir.
Hijras also attacked the commuters at different signal points where cars and other vehicle stopped for few minutes, said a victim, who recently lost a mobile phone and a wallet from his own car at Mohakhali.
“Suddenly, they come to the car and try to enter the vehicle by force or start to scold in very offensive language and gesture,” said the victim.
The hijras also attack the different construction firms who are constructing the new building. They come to the project site and demanded money, otherwise they take construction materials, including rod, wood and others, which also cost Tk 1000 to Tk 2000, said Mahmudul Hasan Prince, site manager of Nandan Kanon Developers.
Kachi, a hijra community leader of Uttara, told this correspondent, “We are human by born, not by sexual identity; but people always neglect us to live in a society or a family. So, we have to find new ways to survive.