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We are also women, say transsexuals

Manabi Banerjee, a post-operative female in Kolkata, along with a group of similar people, is demanding 'women status' in matrimony.

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We are also women, say transsexuals
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KOLKATA: Transsexuals -- or males who have undergone sex-change operation to become females -- have an agenda today, on Women's Day.

They too want to enjoy the rights and social status of women. In fact, they want the special laws enacted for the protection of women to be applicable to them as well. Further, they have demanded that women rights groups and activists give equal importance to their cause.

A cross-section of the community has demanded that as 'women' they should also be able to reap the benefits of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, which defines the offence of matrimonial cruelty.

The demand has come mainly from Manabi Banerjee, a professor in a college in West Bengal, who is currently fighting a matrimonial-cum-criminal suit against her husband, Avijit Pahari.

Manabi, born male as Somnath Banerjee, underwent a sex-change operation three years ago and married Avijit a year later.

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