Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde pulled up the Delhi police for permitting the media to take pictures of Ukrainian sex workers. Shinde's reprimand was during a discussion in the ministry on the cabinet note on amendments to the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act which seeks to punish a person visiting a brothel to buy sex. The definition of brothel under the new proposal is very wide and a person can even be arrested from his own home. Home Ministry officials pointed out at the meeting that while the police were quick to arrest sex workers, the clients generally managed to go scot free. The cabinet note proposes that clients visiting brothels be recognised as offenders who can face jail terms from three months to one year.
Message for mother
Bangladesh president Sheikh Hasina's daughter Saima Wazed Putul was in Delhi last week to attend a conference on autism at Vigyan Bhawan. Putul, who lives in Canada, is friendly with Priyanka Gandhi. She met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi separately during her visit. Sonia is believed to have assured her that despite Mamata Bannerjee's objection, the Indian government will clear the agreement for sharing of the Teesta waters. Since Bangladesh goes to polls by the end of 2013, this will be welcome news to Hasina.
President Pranab Mukherjee kept governors on their toes at the recent conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan last week. At times, Mukherjee's impatience surfaced. When Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal read slowly and inaudibly from her 36-page speech, the president ended her dreary oration by announcing that the speech would be taken as read. When Meghalaya governor, R S Mooshahary, wanted to discuss the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Mukherjee cut him short and asked him to stick to the agenda. When Orissa governor, Murli Bhandare failed to respond to the bell twice after he had exceeded the 14-minute time limit, Mukherjee announced over the microphone that he should wind up and the next speaker called.
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