PESHAWAR: Police have claimed to arresting the man who allegedly shot transgender activist Alisha dead last week and seizing the weapon used in the murder. Police presented accused Fazal, a resident of the Ram Kishan area in Peshawar, to the media at the Central Police Office. Police claimed that Fazal and his three accomplices attacked Alisha near Shah Bagh and fled. Fazal shot Alisha eight times with a semi-automatic firearm. Police said they had recovered the weapon used in the murder from Fazal. Alisha was taken to the Lady Reading Hospital where she succumbed to her injures after four days of negligence at the hospital. The killing saw an impressive activism by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police amid considerable media coverage of the incident. Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Mubarak Zeb Khan took personal interest in the case. Speaking at a press briefing, Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Abbas Majeed Marwat said that police formed a special team to trace Fazal after his role in the killing was established. “Fazal made threatening calls to Alisha as well as other transgender activists. Our special team conducted raids in Badaber, Khazana, Ram Kishan, Bakhshi Pul and Gulbar before getting a strong lead about Fazal’s presence in Qazi Killay, from where we got hold of him along with the weapon that he used to kill Alisha,” Marwat told the media. Though no clear motive has been given for the killing, it is believed that the accused was friends with Alisha and the two recently developed differences. Farzana, head of the TransAction Alliance for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, praised the police role in solving the murder case. “Every police officer assured us that the killer will be arrested and they did it in just a few days. We want the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police to give us protection against people who do not tolerate our existence,” Farzana said. Farzana said that Fazal made threatening calls to her and another transgender activist Paro after killing Alisha. “He called us many times, threatening that he will kill us and some others. We were able to record the calls and pass on those recordings to the police,” she said. Qamar Naseem, a social activist associated with Blue Veins organisation that works for the empowerment of transgenders, told the media that violence against transgenders increased in the past year. “Alisha is the 46th transgender to be killed since 2015. All these are not just target killings. Many of them were killed over petty issues and many of them fell prey to harassment, intimate partner violence and honour killing by parents who do not wish to be known as parents of transgenders,” he said. Naseem lauded the police role in the recent incident, but he lamented a lack of interest by health officials in the issues faced by transgenders. “We tried our best to persuade higher health officials to provide proper treatment to Alisha, but they did not. Not even the health secretary and the health director general took any interest,” he said. No doubt the killing of Alisha is a cruel act, but it has given transgenders an opportunity to publicly hold funeral prayers for the victim and draw the attention of the political parties, the government, the police and the media to their problems.