Phoenix Marketcity in Pune reportedly denied entry to a transgender woman on Thursday evening (March 15).

“I had gone for shopping to the mall around 8 pm on Thursday evening. As I proceeded to the ladies section for security check, the lady guard, who was visibly awkward, refused to check my belongings and proceeded to call other lady guards,” said Sonali Dalvi, explaiing her ordeal.

Speaking to ANI, Dalvi said that the security guards barred her from entering the mall. They said it is against the policy to allow transgenders to enter the premises.

“One of them came up to me and said transgenders are not allowed in the mall as per the company policy, and subsequently asked me to leave,” Sonali said

The 29-year-old said, “Later, a crowd gathered at the spot and asked the guards to let me go. However, one of them present there said I could enter, but have to refrain from going to the second and third floors. They kept me waiting for half an hour and kept giving me excuses. I have never been discriminated against in any public place so far. I will definitely file a case against the owners so that nobody from my community or any other faces this in the future.”

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This matter came to the fore when Sonali shared a video of the incident on social media sites. She currently works an activist with an NGO working for welfare of transgender people

The video of the altercation was shot by a friend. It has gone viral on social media.

Having being kept waiting for an hour, Sonali now plans to take the authority to court over discrimination, according to Pune Mirror.

READ: Activist Akkai Padmashali is the first transgender woman to be awarded Honorary doctorate

However, an official statement from Phoenix Marketcity denied Sonali’s claims.

“We would also like to clearly state that we neither had nor have any intentions of hurting sentiments or discriminating anyone on the basis of their caste or gender. In fact we strongly believe in an inclusive society,” the statement read.

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Feature Image Credit: ANI

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