When nothing could stop Karachi’s transgenders: not Chanda’s murder, not Muskan’s rape, nor Payal’s kidnapping


From Khayaban-e-Shahbaz to Sachal Goth to Baldia Town, the transgenders were done with this triptych of violence.

Imagine a street, bustling with activity. Men and women donning their best clothes and jewelry and gleaming wristwatches behind the dimly-lit windows of a promenade of restaurants – Lal’s Patiserrie and Bella Vita and Il Posto. Others exiting shops, bags tucked under their arms, disappearing into their cars.

The traffic is mercurial. Little boys scurry through it, tapping on angry windshields with their wipers. Somewhere around the corner, the cries of the fruit-vendors are still persistent, and a girl is selling faded roses.

This is the façade of the Shahbaz Commercial Area, one of Karachi’s poshest localities. The night is one of the few leading up to Eid, and so, it is natural that people should shop and dine and make way for celebration.

The restaurant-goers, numbering some dozen every night, are convinced that the picturesque myopia of the area should be maintained.

Venture no further into the lanes and the by-lanes, where, in the earliest hours of August 30th, certain foreign sounds impinged on the normal Shahbaz noises.

At the time, not a soul in sleeping Shahbaz heard them – one pistol fire, newspaper reports told the next day, went through Chanda’s head, killing the transgender woman on spot.

This was not the first time that Chanda had frequented this locality. In fact, she, along with her friends Vicky and Sajjad, was a regular denizen of the Shahbaz streets, where she had been begging since the day her family disowned her.

It was also not the first time that Chanda had seen the face of the killer. No, he had looked at her through the tinted windows of his white Vigo, opening it occasionally to hurl eggs and water at the group begging at the signal.

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