Ajita Bhujel is described as a strong, independent and outspoken transgender woman by her friends. They say Ajita was not afraid of voicing her opinions and loved her friends more than anything in the world.

Ajita’s death in Hetauda has devastated not only her family, but the entire transgender community in the country. Kiran Thapa aka Dear Kiran, coordinator for the Blue Diamond Society in Hetauda, is a close friend of Ajita.

Recalling the incident Kiran informed, “Ajita was sipping tea till 12:00 am on Sunday with her friends. They parted ways after around 1:00 am and her friends went home in an auto rickshaw. But Ajita’s semi-naked body was found by the roadside in the early hours of Sunday.”

She added, “I saw Ajita’s body on the road which still had a wire wrapped around her neck. The lower half of her body was naked. But she did not have any other bruises on her body.”

Police ferried Ajita’s body to Hetauda Hospital from the road for post-mortem. But the hospital recommended that the body be taken to the Kathmandu-based TU Teaching Hospital for a more detailed and accurate autopsy.

“Police have not made the post-mortem repot public but they said the cause of death was strangulation. She was also beaten mercilessly,” said Kiran.

She added that though police have not confirmed that Ajita was raped before being murdered, clothes missing from private parts of her body is more than enough evidence to prove that she was sexually abused. “Ajita was not killed by a single person because she was physically strong enough to fight a single guy.”

She added that a friend, who had been living with Ajita for over a month, is currently on the run and police are searching for him.

The friend (left) who was living with Ajita and is now on the run.

According to Kiran, Ajita always told her friends and family that if she suddenly died someday, she wanted to be cremated like a bride. And so she was. Ajita’s friends and family made sure that she looked like a bride at her funeral.

Kiran said, “The LGBTIQ community is scared for our lives in the absence of government policies that ensure our security or at least a dignified life. Our friends are being killed like flies. It is high time that the state acknowledged our existence and guaranteed our rights.”