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Dead Body Of Transgender Person Found In Peshawar

FILE: Two Pakistani transgenders in Peshawar.
FILE: Two Pakistani transgenders in Peshawar.

Pakistani police say the body of a transgender person bearing signs of torture was found in the northwestern city of Peshawar, the latest attack targeting the marginalized community in the conservative Muslim country.

Senior Superintendent of Police Sajjad Khan said that the body was recovered from the Ashiqabad area near Warsak Road late on October 21.

Khan said the corpse was three days old.

He added that police were not been able to identify the body so far, though fingerprints and DNA samples were collected.

According to census data released in August, Pakistan's total population of transgender people stood at more than 10,400.

In 2009, Pakistan became one of the first countries in the world to legally recognize a third gender, allowing transgender people to obtain identity cards and vote. Several members of the community have also run in elections.

Despite this progress, many of them continue to face rampant discrimination, are reduced to begging or prostitution, and subjected to extortion and violence.

On August 30, a transgender person identified as Chanda was shot dead by unidentified attackers in the southern port city of Karachi.

Transgender people in Pakistan -- locally known as Khusra or Heejra -- claim to be cultural heirs of the eunuchs who served as senior courtiers to the Indian subcontinent’s Mughal rulers in the 17th and 18th centuries, before being banned under British rule.

Based on reporting by AFP and Dawn