By Arré Bench Oct. 22, 2020
The shocking murder of M Sangeetha, a transgender entrepreneur who started Covai Trans-Kitchen, in Coimbatore has revealed the toxic transphobia prevalant in our society. The decomposed body of the 55-year-old transgender activist was found in her own apartment.
The shocking murder of M Sangeetha, a transgender entrepreneur, in Coimbatore district has revealed the toxic transphobia prevalant in society and the vast distance we have to still cover to ensure equality for members of the transgender community.
A brilliant leader and activist, Sangeetha, was brutally murdered in Coimbatore yesterday. She was Chief of the Transgender Association, and opened the first trans kitchen, employing 12 trans women. Transphobia is global, we must #StopTransMurder now. pic.twitter.com/ppTBHPn89H
— Sharmin Hossain (@sharminultra) October 21, 2020
The decomposed body of the 55-year-old transgender activist was found in her own apartment on Wednesday morning. Police found her body in a plastic drum that was used to store water, after they were informed of foul smell emanating from the house. The drum was filled with salt, a method used to hasten decomposition, Saibaba Kovil police told HuffPost India. Police stated that the body bore two stab injuries and a cut on the left side of the neck. There are calls for a swift and fair investigation into the case to deliver timely justice. Coimbatore City Police Commissioner Sumit Saran formed three special teams to investigate the murder. Deputy Commissioner G Stalin said no one had gone to Sangeetha’s house on Monday or Tuesday and that the motive for the murder was yet to be ascertained. The special teams questioned several people in the case, including employees of Covai Trans-Kitchen, a hotel Sangeetha had started, employing 12 transgender persons.
And obviously the police and government gonna take no action as usual. Humanity is long dead guys. There is no point saving earth from climate change when the ones living are just beasts inside. https://t.co/50reOumAky
— Angry South Indian (@voidabletweets) October 22, 2020
The incident has shocked the transgender community in Coimbatore. Sangeetha ran the Covai Trans-Kitchen in the city. She was known as a “respected humanitarian” in Tamil Nadu’s transgender activist circles. Before starting the venture, Sangeetha was undertaking catering work and also did welfare work for the transgender community in the city.
She started the mess just a month back to help transgender persons who had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Many trans people in Coimbatore make a living by asking for alms or doing sex work due to the discrimination faced by the community. Social distancing norms across the country have deprived many transpersons of their means to earn a livelihood.
“She was a close friend. The last I spoke to her was two days ago. She had received support from an angel donor and was planning to distribute the donation,” Subhiksha, Joint Secretary of South Indian Transgender Federation told HuffPost India.
Shocked and horrified . Sangeetha was a respectable and responsible citizen working tirelessly for upliftment of trans people. Such a gruesome murder ! I call for a swift and fair investigation @CMOTamilNadu @policecbecity #transgender #activist https://t.co/VHigiyIgCs
— Kasturi Shankar (@KasthuriShankar) October 21, 2020
Grace Banu, a Tamil-Nadu based transgender activist took to Instagram to express her anger at the incident. She posed the question to the audience, “Why did she have to die when all she ever wanted was a dignified life?”