The high-ranking officials within the Uttar Pradesh Police find themselves in a perplexing situation, as two female constables stationed in Gorakhpur and Gonda have formally requested permission from the department's headquarters to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
According to officials, there exist distinct physical requirements, such as height, endurance, and shoulder strength, for individuals categorized as male and female within the force. This poses a significant challenge as to how these constables can be allowed to change their gender identity post-recruitment as female officers.
While cases of gender reassignment are not uncommon worldwide, they are relatively unprecedented within the state police authorities. The central dilemma facing the authorities is how to reconcile the constables' gender change requests with the distinct physical criteria mandated for male and female constables.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an additional director general (ADG) ranked official from the UP Police confirmed that both constables had submitted requests for gender reassignment, each citing their unique reasons.
He elaborated on the primary issue, stating, "The primary challenge in permitting their gender transition is the compatibility of other physical requirements essential for male constables after their transformation. There are specific criteria, such as height, endurance, and shoulder strength, designated for both male and female categories."
The official emphasized that the recruitment standards designated for men and women were rigorously upheld within the UP Police, and any female personnel changing their gender identity after employment under the female criteria would be in violation of these norms.
He noted that the headquarters had presented this same response in the Allahabad High Court when one of the two constables approached the court after facing difficulties in obtaining approval for gender reassignment, despite pursuing her case since January of that year.
"The court has urged the headquarters to reevaluate the female constable's request based on merit and to establish guidelines for future similar cases," revealed another senior police official from the UP Police headquarters.
He further disclosed that the police authorities had already reached out to the King George's Medical University of Lucknow (KGMU) to conduct medical examinations for both constables through a medical board and provide their professional opinions.
"We are actively soliciting input from all stakeholders involved in matters related to women and gender issues, in addition to seeking medical and legal counsel, before arriving at a final decision," he asserted. The court is scheduled to revisit this case in the first week of December.
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