Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Navy sacks sailor for sex change op, cites rule breach

Navy sacks sailor for sex change op, cites rule breach

In its official statement, the Indian maritime force said, "The serving sailor, who underwent sex reassignment surgery at a private facility whilst on leave, was administratively discharged from the service", the statement said. It added that the existing service rules and regulations can't allow the sailor to continue his service after the altered gender status, medical condition, and the resultant employability restrictions.

Sabi, formerly Manish Giri, joined the Indian navy in 2010. Ever since the news came out in the open, it has triggered a debate over naval rules and transgender rights in India.

Having served earlier with the marine engineering wing at the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam, Sabi had moved to the administrative wing after sex reassignment surgery.

An Indian Navy man was dismissed from service recently for undergoing a sex change operation. "How can they discharge me. just because I underwent a sex change surgery", Sabi questioned. The Navy released a statement on Monday stating the sailor was discharged from duty on account of going through irreversible sex-change surgery and thus fully altering the gender to which the sailor was recruited. After the surgery, I was forced to stay away from the ship and work from the base. The maritime force had allegedly kept the sailor in a psychiatric ward for six months. He has changed his name to "Sabi" and dresses up like a woman. "They tried to prove I am mentally unfit but they failed", she claimed. Eventually, Sabi added, she consulted civil doctors in Visakhapatnam.

"I am as much a citizen of India as any other male or female citizen of the country". I can still pull the trigger of a gun and shoot the enemy, why am I not fit enough to serve my country?

Sabi has chose to fight a legal battle and challenge the Navy's decision.

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