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Mamata wants Rail Minister sacked for not following her ‘orders’
Report dated 15/03/2012 @ 7:57 PM
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, angry over Dinesh Trivedi's Railway Budget proposal to hike fares, publically disowned her own party’s minister in the Union Cabinet. She wrote to PM Manmohan Singh asking him to sack Trivedi and replace him with another Trinamool Congress party member Mukul Roy.
Mamata had rejected the hike in fares as anti-poor and asked the minister to rollback the fare hike immediately. Trivedi however was defiant and 'put his country before the party'.
He had worked closely with the PM, planning commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, technocrat Sam Pitroda and others in Congress, much to the chagrin of Ms Banerjee.
US-educated Trivedi 61, presented his maiden Railway budget in which he proposed an across the board hike in passenger fares to absorb the additional Rs.4000 crore spend on railway safety. Mamata went ahead and made a public declaration that she will not permit the fare hike, complaining she had not been consulted by Trivedi whom she called a 'Congress agent".
Meanwhile the TMC is organising a protest outside Parliament demanding a special package for West Bengal.
After Mamata's move the Congress core committee met to decide on the next step, but a senior Congress leader said a final decision will only be taken after the union budget.
Humiliated ex-serviceman returns Army medals to minister
Report dated 15/03/2012 @ 7:52 PM
Laftain Singh of a village in Ambala who had a dispute with his cousin over agricultural land and had taken up the matter with the grievances committee, was humiliated over the treatment he received while pleading his case, and returned the medals he won during his service in the Army.
He had put his case before revenue minister Mahendra Partap Singh and those in the office of the sub divisional magistrate laughed when Laftain raised the issue, taking his point lightly.
The humiliated Laftain then placed his medals before the minister in protest at the inaction to his complaint as well as the treatment meted out to him during the meeting.
The minister promised action and requested him to take back the medals. But Laftain left the meeting, leaving the medals on the minister's table.
Village of Sex Workers’ finally celebrates mass marriage
Report dated 12/03/2012 @ 9:16 PM
Eight women from Vadia, notorious for being a 'village of sex workers' tied the knot at a mass marriage event held in Banaskantha. Another dozen girls from the same village were engaged to prospective suitors at the gathering.
For the Sarania women, from a denotified tribe, prostitution is a tradition and the only means for a living. All women in the community that has roots in Rajasthan practice prostitution while the men are pimps.
A social NGO Vicharta Samuday Samarthan Manch has been working with the Sarania community for over five years. Their efforts made the mass-marriage possible. Marriage or engagement of a girl in the community means she cannot be forced into the flesh trade.
Women throw cops off the roof
Report dated 10/03/2012 @ 9:03 PM
Sub-inspector SI Rangilal and a fellow constable went to look for a person accused of participating in a group clash during Holi festivities in Jhabbara village, UP
They were chased by a group of women belonging to the family of the accused and fell from a roof top.
Both were rushed to hospital where their condition is said to be stable.
Meanwhile, police have arrested three persons connected with the group clash.
3.5 million Kerala women cook food on streets for feast of Pongal
Report dated 09/03/2012 @ 11:53 PM
To observe the rituals of the feast of Pongal, some 3.5 million women thronged Trivandrum streets to cook a special meal called Pongala to offer up to the deity Bhagavathy at a temple there. Devotees believe the offering will bring them blessings, including the well being of their husbands and families.
A number of single women also offer Pongala to find husbands.
The ritual begins in the morning when the chief priest lights the main stove at the temple. This fire is then passed to one hearth after another.
An area of 12 km radius around the temple is occupied by the women, cutting across caste and religious lines and people of all castes creeds and religions gather to help the devotees.