Anannyah Kumari Alex, Kerala’s first transwoman radio jockey, was found dead at an apartment near Edapally in Kochi on Tuesday evening. The police said that Anannyah Kumari ended her life by suicide.
According to the reports, Anannyah Kumari Alex, the first from her community to become a radio jockey, was found hanging in her flat in Kochi. She was reportedly suffering from severe physical discomfort for over a year after undergoing sex reassignment surgery at a private hospital in the city.
Alex had recently accused doctors at a private hospital of medical negligence during her surgery and had sought justice on the matter. The former Radio Jockey had said she was facing serious health issues ever since a sex-reassignment surgery she underwent in June last year to become a woman. She had said that she had severe pain in her vaginal part, and she was finding it difficult to urinate, and sometimes she could not even sit properly.
Alex had said that she could not work due to severe physical pain even after a year of the surgery. “I’m a victim of gross medical negligence. My private part looks like a piece of meat, it has no resemblance to a vagina. I want to conduct a re-surgery, I want justice,” she was quoted as saying in an interview.
“I want to regain my health, I want resurgey. I’m talking as a representative of many others like me. There are scores of people who have been victims of this. The money for the surgeries are painstakingly made by many through sex work, pooling from here and there, and even begging. And hospitals even charge more than what had been told before. But after all that, when this is the result people get, what are they supposed to do? Why are marginalised people like us being attacked like this for money?” she had said.
As Alex had alleged media negligence before her death, Kerala health minister Veena George has ordered a probe into the matter. The health minister has asked the director of the Health Department to conduct an immediate inquiry on the suicide of Anannyah Kumari Alex. George said that an expert committee would be set up to study issues related to gender reassignment surgery.
Following the suicide, Kerala police have ordered Renai Medicity in Kochi to stop Sex Reassignment Surgeries, the hospital where Alex had undergone the procedure. Police ordered the hospital to suspend such procedures till further orders are issued after Queerythm, an organisation of the LGBTQIA+ activists, registered a complaint against the hospital alleging medical negligence.
The transgender community in the state has also demanded that Anannyah’s post-mortem should be done by an expert committee. They are demanding the probe saying that they suspect mystery in the suicide. Transgender activists in the state held a protest outside the Renai Medicity. They allege that negligence by the hospital was the reason for Alex’s death. They were also objecting to the claim by the hospital that Anannyah suffered health issues due to engaging in prostitution without maintaining hygiene. This is an insult to the community itself, the activists said.
Earlier, Alex had also filed her nomination in the Kerala Assembly election candidate from the Vengara constituency of Malappuram district. She fielded herself against Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader PK Kunjalikutty as a Democratic Social Justice Party (DSJP) candidate.
However, Alex suspended her campaign a day before polling, claiming that she was being harassed and received death threats from her own party leaders. As she could not withdraw her nomination before the elections, she had urged voters not to extend their support to the DSJP.
Meanwhile, Kerala Health Minister Veena George has ordered an investigation into Anannyah’s death. The minister said that an expert committee would be formed to look into the issues related to sex reassignment surgery.