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Anchors Away! Indian Navy Sailor Loses Job After Sex-Change Operation

Anchors Away! Indian Navy Sailor Loses Job After Sex-Change Operation

The Indian Navy has discharged a sailor who underwent a sex reassignment surgery previous year at a private facility while on leave.

According to the Navy, the existing service rules and regulations do not permit the sailor's continued employment because of his altered gender status, medical condition and the "resultant employability restrictions".

Sabi says she's taking the navy to court to get reenlisted. The decision of the Indian Navy has sparked a debate on transgender rights and on the induction of women into the armed forces.

Giri, who was posted at a naval facility in Visakhapatnam, is now called Sabi and had undergone the sex change surgery in August at a hospital in Mumbai when he was on leave. Currently, transgenders or transsexual people are not allowed to join the armed forces. "I used to work on the ship".

However, she did point out that it is "sad and worrying that a "man" the Indian Navy deemed fit for the job of being a sailor has suddenly been declared unfit because of an organ change,".

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Born in Bihar, Sabi spent most of her childhood in West Bengal and later joined the Navy after Class XII. "But my new identity of a woman has forced me to stay away from ship and work at the base", she said.

The navy was unaware Sabi had transitioned to a woman until she came down with a urinary tract infection, forcing her to tell naval doctors about her operation. Eventually, Sabi added, she consulted civil doctors in Visakhapatnam. "They mentally harassed me and kept me in a psychiatric ward for six months".

"I am as much a citizen of India as any other male or female citizen of the country". Why did they punish me? I am just a soldier who served my country for last seven years.

"I will move the Supreme Court, if required, to fight for my right", Sabi said, adding she was seeking legal counsel in this regard.