India: 4 arrested for attacking Andheri-based youth 'for being gay'

What was meant to be a casual smoke break for a 22-year-old man, ended up being one of the most traumatic experiences of his life after he was sexually and physically assaulted by strangers for 'dressing and talking like a gay person'. However, Andheri resident Divyaroop Ananda turned his trauma into his strength. He is now an icon within the LGBT community for not only standing up for his rights, but also mustering courage to register a police complaint against his molester and assaulters.

Fearing social stigma attached with the LGBT community and those supporting it, Divyaroop's near and dear ones tried to dissuade him from filing a police complaint against the accused. But he mustered courage to approach the police after seeking help from the Humsafar Trust.

“There have been several cases wherein homophobia has led to attacks on members of the LGBT community. Besides, the victims of such attacks are scared of the social stigma attached to their sexuality, the unwillingness of the society to accept them and discrimination by police. This deters them from registering complaints,” said Sonal Giani, advocacy manager at Humsafar Trust.

“It's not just about the society's mindset, but the bigger challenge is to encourage people from the LGBT community to overcome their anxiety and approach police. Divyaroop's courage, as well as the understanding exhibited by API Shashikant Padave and officers from Khar police station is exemplary and is sure to encourage others as well,” said Giani. All four accused were produced in the court on Thursday, where they managed to secure bail. Read more via Mid-Day