Beed (Maharashtra): Attired in smart-fit khakhi uniform and blue beret, constable Lalit Kumar Salve saluted his superiors here on Tuesday and rejoined duty a month after undergoing sex reassignment surgery.
Appearing cheerful and confident in his new ‘avatar’, the policeman, earlier called Lalita Kumari Salve, walked in the Majalgaon Police Station and reported to Senior Police Inspector Raju Talekar.
This was the first case of a sex change operation for a woman police officer who became a policeman in the country and continues to remain in the force after battling tremendous hurdles, court, political and administrative battles and emerging successful.
“My life has changed after the operation. It’s like a re-birth for me… It is a very happy day for my family, me… The feelings I experience are beyond description, but we are overwhelmed,” Salve told mediapersons.
He said he felt more confident now as a man and would sport the dark blue beret meant for male constables.
Lalita Kumari Salve was admitted to St. George Hospital in Mumbai on May 22 and after her successful surgery was discharged as Lalit Kumar Salve a week ago.
In 2014, she underwent agony after developing transsexual gender symptoms and was attracted to females against males due to the chromosomal Y status found in her genes.
After a series of tests, the medicos finally advised her to undergo a sex realignment surgery in 2016 as a permanent solution.
“In absence of due medical care from state or police department she/he continued to live under serious mental trauma and social stigma,” she had said in her petition before the Bombay High Court seeking permission to undergo a sex realignment surgery and continue in the police force as a policeman.
The BA Literature graduate’s issue caught the media attention and later Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked the Director-General of Police Satish Mathur to favourably look into her case.
After the first phase of the surgery, in which the hospital initiated the process to elongate Salve’s urethra by creating a tissue conduit, she will undergo the second stage of procedures after six months, according to Rajat Kapoor, Head of Plastic Surgery at St. George Hospital.