Trans Woman Burned Alive Outside Police Station

Tara, a 28-year-old outreach worker in Chennai, was discovered with burns on 95% of her body.

A trans woman in India was burned alive outside a police station, after being harassed by officers and told to “go and die.”

Tara, a 28-year-old outreach worker, was reportedly detained by police in Chennai on November 9, after being accused of soliciting.


Two friends who came to the Pondy Bazaar police station to help discovered her on the steps outside with burns on 95% of her body. Tara was taken to Kilpauk Medical College but succumbed to her injuries.

Authorities say she set herself on fire, but are refusing to release security footage from outside the station, claiming the camera was malfuctioning. There is film of officers hurling abuse and telling her to “go die.”

passed the Upper House of parliament last year, it was watered down and resubmitted this year. Discrimination and violence against trans people and hijras persists.

A march calling for Justice for Tara was held on November 16.

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Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.