Lalita Salve, the Constable from Beed was always a boy!
Lalita Salve, the Beed constable whose decision to seek a sex-change surgery has caused much turmoil in the police department, does not have a single female organ in her body, doctors at JJ Hospital found out on Monday.
A panel of doctors that checked Salve at the state-run hospital said the only anatomical anomaly with Salve is “undescended testes” and “undeveloped penis.” Doctors said that Salve should have undergone a corrective surgery when she was a child.
An earlier surgery in 1995, when Lalita was just 7, led to the removal of Salve’s right testicle, plastic surgery expert on the panel, Dr Rajat Kapoor, said: “Undescended testes can cause pediatric hernia. She was operated for hernia when she was seven and during that surgery the doctor removed her right testicle.”
Lalita yesterday, had undergone a series of tests monitored by a panel of eight doctors comprising a gynaecologist, a radiologist, a plastic surgeon, a general surgeon, an urologist, a physician, a psychiatrist, and a forensic expert. The tests revealed that in 1995, when Salve was only seven, her right testicle was removed because the concerned doctor mistook it for a tumour. “It is shocking the trauma Salvi has undergone. If not earlier, during the 1995 surgery, the concerned doctors should have realised what the problem was,” said Dr Ashok Anand, head of Gynaecology Department at JJ.
Salve’s ultrasound revealed absence of ovaries, fallopian tube, uterus, vagina, vulva, breasts and mammary glands. “Ultrasound revealed a left testicle and an underdeveloped penis,” said Dr Anand.
As a result of Doctors failure to diagnose her correctly, Lalita was raised as a girl and struggled with gender identity issues all her life. She decided to seek surgical intervention only when her family began pressuring her for marriage.
The JJ doctors, who took 12 hours to finalise their report, will submit it to the state home department on Tuesday. “We can operate upon Salve as soon as we receive the government nod,” said adoctor who did not wish to be identified.
Salve’s request to be retained in the police department after undergoing a sex reassignment operation was initially rejected by the DIG’s office. However, following sustained public pressure,Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had intervened and asked the police chief to consider her plea citing it as a ‘rarest of rare’ case.
Salve, who was accompanied by her uncle Arjun Ujgire on Monday, said the support she has received from her family and her village has been overwhelming. “Now I don’t want to look back. I have lived as a woman for 29 years. It’s time I am freed of this gender forced upon me,” she said.