Transgender journalist lodges report over wrongful arrest

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 02 Mar 2005

IPOH: It was their biggest operation against transvestites but in their haste the Taiping Religious Department enforcement officers detained a non-Muslim. 

Ravi Varma Nambiar, 41, a journalist who said he was leading a transgender life, did not take the detention lightly and lodged a police report alleging abuse of power and brutality against the department’s enforcement officers in the 1am incident yesterday. 

He alleged that the enforcement officers did not ask him for his identification card before arresting him. 

Ravi Varma who is not a Muslim showing a copy of the police report he lodged against enforcement officers from the Taiping Religious Department after he was detained.

Ravi Varma said he was sitting in the garden of his friend’s house, talking to a friend, Kamaruddin Mohd Aliwi, 24, when two officers stormed into the compound of the house at Taman Eliatamby, Taman Tasek Taiping in Taiping, about 80km from here. 

He alleged that the officers did not identify themselves nor show their authorisation cards, adding that the officers had pushed the gate, which was slightly ajar and entered the compound.  

“They came straight at me, threatened to smash my face if I tried to run away. Initially I complied with their directive as I was still confused by their actions,” Ravi Varma, who is from Kuala Lumpur, alleged. 

“After I was handcuffed, they roughly pulled me into a waiting van, which had six transvestites in it,” he said.  

He said he only realised who the men were after the van arrived at the Taiping Religious Department office, about 4km away. 

“We were herded into a lock-up and while in the lock-up I used my mobile phone to call my friends at the house to bring all my identification documents. 

“They came immediately but were not allowed in for over an hour and could not show my identity card to the authorities until then,” said Ravi Varma, who is attached to a magazine publishing company. 

Shortly after his release at 3.30am, Ravi Varma lodged a report at the Taiping police station. 

A department official said the raid took place when it was still dark and was conducted based on complaints from neighbours that indecent activities were taking place at the house.  


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