Chaanda, a well-known figure in the transgender community, was shot dead in Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday.
Police have indicated that the murder was due to a ‘local dispute’, adding that an investigation was underway to arrest the culprits. Her friend was also shot and injured in the incident.
“It’s too early to say about the motive behind the killing but it doesn’t appear to be a target killing incident but rather a local dispute,” District Police Officer (DPO) Mardan Dr Zahid said.
The incident was also confirmed by several members of the transgender community.
In a separate incident, police arrested Sabtin Fida of Bedadi on Monday for allegedly shooting five transgender people in their home in the Manshera, charging him with attempted murder.
Mona, a trans woman shot in the incident, told police, “I reached my room near Pima Hospital along with my other colleagues. Sabtin who was already in the room, opened fire on us with an intent to kill us.”
As many as 70 transgender people have been killed in KP in the last few years, according to an activist speaking with the Tribune.
The transgender community in Pakistan has historically faced stigma, poverty and marginalization, despite various laws which have been passed for the community’s protection. In 2018, parliament enacted the progressive Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018, which legally ensures equal protection to transgender citizens and safeguards their rights. The law allows people to choose their gender identity on official documents and prohibits discrimination in schools, at work, on public transportation, or in hospitals.