Coimbatore Transgender Association President Sangeetha was found dead at her residence in the city on Wednesday, The News Minute reported, citing unidentified police officers.

The police found her decomposed body after neighbours complained of a foul smell coming from her residence near Sai Baba Colony. Her body was in a plastic water drum and wrapped in a blanket. The police said there were injuries on her neck and were waiting for the postmortem report. Sangeetha, a 60-year-old transgender activist, was last seen by the members of her association on Sunday.

The investigating officer of the case told the digital news platform that they have formed three teams to conduct an inquiry and were looking at the incident from different angles. “So far we have spoken to people close to the victim and are trying to narrow down suspects,” he said.

The officer said they were checking if there was some personal connection or rivalry behind the killing. “We have sourced call records, bank account details and are looking to see who has visited her in the past few weeks,” he added. Another police officer and an additional commissioner of police are also part of the investigation team.

Transgender activist and founder of Trans Rights Now Collective Grace Banu urged the Tamil Nadu government, Coimbatore district collector and police commissioner in a Facebook post to find the culprits behind the killing and take strict action against them. “Let the culprits and the government not assume there is no one to ask [about transgender killings],” Banu said. “No one should be murdered like this. Tamil Nadu Govt should trace out the culprits of this gruesome murder.”

She further condemned the incident, saying that the mindset of people who committed such an act gives one heartburn. “We [Transgender people] are achieving many things despite insults, difficulties, hostile environment etc.,” she said. “To know one more such transgender person had to meet such a cruel death at the hands of some unknown person gives a lot of heartburn and sorrow. No one knows who did this and how it happened.”

Sangeetha was among a group of transgender people who had opened a restaurant, Covai Trans Kitchen, to provide employment to members of the community who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus, according to The Indian Express.