One of the police officers recently received a lot of backlash for demanding a gender certificate from athlete Santhi Soundarajan in Chennai. The entire case took place while the police began the probe into Santhi's complaint in which she claimed gender-based and caste-based discrimination against her by a colleague at the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT).
The 40-year-old is a widely popular athlete who bagged 12 international medals for India in the field of sports. She was also officially appointed as a woman athletic coach in the state-run Tamil Nadu Sports Development Authority, reported ABP.
Santhi Soundarajan's Complaint
Back in 2018, Soundarajan filed a complaint to Vepery police claiming that she was discriminated against based on her caste and gender by her colleagues.
The police decided to take up the complaint after an official direction from National Commission for Scheduled Castes. During the investigation, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Vepery Range, G Harikumar, allegedly told her to provide a gender certificate to confirm that she was a female.
In the report mentioned above, the southern regional representative of the National Council for Transgender Persons, Gopi Sundar, stated that every individual has the freedom to self-identify their gender according to the judgment in NALSA Vs Union of India. The court or police do not have any right to question gender expression or identity.
Previously, Santhi lost a silver media that she won at Asian Games in 2006 after failing a 'gender verification test'. According to the test, females with higher testosterone are not allowed to participate in women's events.