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Indian regional parties take steps towards election alliance

By Shyamantha Asokan and Nigam Prusty NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A clutch of Indian regional parties met on Wednesday to discuss plans to stymie the government's goals for parliament's final session, fueling expectations that they will forge an alliance before national elections due by May. Officials from 11 parties plotted a possible strategy for the session in which the ruling Congress party hopes to push through a raft of anti-corruption bills to woo voters.

Indian father sues son for marrying outside caste

A father in eastern India is suing his only son for defamation after he married a woman from a lower caste, saying he has damaged his reputation and social standing. Sidhnath Sharma is seeking 10,000,000 rupees ($162,000) in damages from his son Sushant Jasu and wants to prevent him from using the family surname, with a court hearing set to resume this weekend in Bihar state. Sharma, a lawyer from the upper-caste Bhumihar group, said the marriage last year broke 400-odd years of tradition.

Five girls of one family killed in village in E. India

Five girls of one family killed in village in E. India NEW DELHI, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Five girls, all of them first cousins or siblings, were killed allegedly by their own family members in a village in the eastern Indian state of Bihar Thursday, said police on Friday. The murder took place at Sonath village in Bihar's Gaya district. The deceased were aged from 3 to 15. The adult members of the family had left the village allegely for the treatment of an ailing mother while the male children also left the house to spend the night elsewhere.

1stLD-Writethru: Foot bridge collapses at railway station in E. India

1stLD-Writethru: Foot bridge collapses at railway station in E. India NEW DELHI, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- A foot bridge at a railway station in Muzaffarpur of the eastern Indian state Bihar collapsed Wednesday, said local TV channel NDTV. TV footage showed the foot bridge was partially broken and some part of it was hanging from the structure over a train. No casualty has been reported so far, said the TV channel.

Indian temple to glitter with 300 kilos of Thai gold

India's Mahabodhi temple, one of the world's holiest Buddhist shrines, is to have its dome inlaid with 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of gold donated by Thailand's king and other devotees, officials said Thursday. The precious metal arrived late Monday on a special flight from Bangkok and is under armed guard at the temple in Bodh Gaya, a holy town about 100 kilometres (64 miles) from Patna, the capital of Bihar state.

India opposition slams security as bombs toll hits six

India's opposition slammed security arrangements Monday after six people were killed by bombs at a rally by their leader Narendra Modi, fuelling fears of a bloody build-up to next year's elections. Seven small explosive devices, which were activated by remote control, caused panic on Sunday when they were detonated shortly before Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Modi addressed supporters in the state of Bihar. The death toll from the bombings, including people caught up in the ensuing stampede, rose to six overnight after the body of another victim was recovered.

India opposition rally blasts toll rises to six

The death toll from a series of crude bombs targeting supporters of Indian opposition leader Narendra Modi rose to six on Monday, a doctor said. Seven small bombs planted by six suspects and linked to timers exploded Sunday near the venue of a rally by Modi in the eastern city of Patna where tens of thousands had gathered to hear him, according to police.

Bomb blasts kill five at Indian opposition rally

A series of crude bombs killed five people and injured dozens in an eastern Indian city Sunday, shortly before opposition candidate Narendra Modi was due to hold a campaign rally. Seven small bombs exploded near the venue in Patna where tens of thousands were gathering to hear Hindu hardliner Modi, a popular but divisive leader, launch the opposition's campaign in Bihar state for upcoming general elections.

Small bomb blasts near rally for India opposition leader

Five small bombs exploded on Sunday near a rally for India's opposition leader Narendra Modi in eastern India, TV reports said. TV footage showed several small explosions and smoke outside the venue where Modi is shortly expected to address a large political rally in Patna, the capital of Bihar state. Another small explosion also occurred at a railway station in Patna, NDTV reported. tha/pst

Indian ex-minister sentenced to five years for graft

A former Indian federal minister and regional ally of the government was sentenced Thursday to five years in jail over a corruption scam, disqualifying him from parliament under new anti-graft rules, lawyers said. The special court in the city of Ranchi in eastern India convicted Lalu Prasad Yadav on Monday of criminal conspiracy, corruption and cheating relating to a so-called "fodder scam" dating back to the 1990s.
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