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November 2, 2001 - November 2, 2001

Yet another anthrax hoax Friday, November 2, 2001

News Source : Asian Age Online

Vadodara, Nov. 1
Envelope containing white powder finally proved to be a hoax as authorities at Sir Sayajirao General hospital confirmed on Thursday that it was not anthrax and according to them, was meant to panic the villagers.

SSG superintendent Kamal Pathak said that it had nothing to do with anthrax, as tested. It may be recalled that a peon received an envelope addressing the taluka development officer of Pavi Jetpur on October 29.

The case was handed over to Vadodara district police and the samples were given to SSG hospital for examination. District police, however, said that efforts would be made to catch hold of the person who had posted the envelope.

News Source : Asian Age Online

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Police identifies 2 in firing case, no arrests made yet Friday, November 2, 2001

Navrangpura police has identified Shailendra Singh and two others as those who shot Mr Abay Vora on Wednesday evening. Shailendra Singh had come to Sheetal Chhaya Apartments, near Gujarat University, to recover Rs 6 lakhs he had loaned Mr Kailash Aggrawal, who is also the complainant in the case. Mr Aggrawal, however, refuses that he owed any money to Singh.

According to the complaint, Mr Singh had been harassing Mr Aggrawal since last three years and on Wednesday he had come with two others to force Mr Aggrawal to pay up the money.

He pulled out a gun and threatened Mr Aggrawal. At this point Mr Abay Vora came visiting Mr Aggrawal and intervened in the matter. The gun accidentally went off in the ensuing struggle and Mr Vora was seriously injured. Mr Vora died while being taken to VS Hospital. Till late Thursday night, no arrests were made in the case.

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West end city turns insecure after series of criminal cases Friday, November 2, 2001

News Source : Asian Age Online

Ahmedabad, Nov. 1
One person was shot dead in an apartment near Gujarat University on Wednesday over money matters. The incident occurred in a posh locality of the western part of the city.

A person was stabbed to death near Nehrunagar Circle by a group of six persons when the man protested against his wife being teased. The incident occurred on a busy road on Friday at around 11 pm during Navratri festival when thousands of people are out on the roads for the festival.

One student was stabbed to death by another student on Ashram Road at 10.30 am when hordes of people head for their office on the busy boulevard. The incident started due to a fight over a girlfriend.

One boy stabbed a girl at St. Xavier’s College in the ladies toilet at 8.30 am. Although the motive was not established in this case, fact remains that the incident occurred at a college situated in the Navrangpura area, which is among the most posh areas of the city
An old woman was brutally murdered in her house at Sardarnagar Circle, another posh locality, in broad daylight and her gold bangles were stolen.

A woman was murdered by her nephew, Roop Mehta, 17, a class 12 student of an English medium school, at her Paldi residence.

All these incidents have occurred in the last four months in the affluent areas — Navrangpura, Ellisbridge and Satellite. Till recently, most of these areas were considered safe but if these violent incidents are anything to go by, it may not be the case now. Late night eateries and multiplexes have also come up, which have increased the scope of night life and hence more crowds on the roads than ever before, late into the night.

Some residents are now scared to send their children out in the night alone after the spate of violent incidents in the recent past. Joint commissioner of police M.K. Tandon said these were isolated incidents but he agreed that they were sensational cases anyway which had caught the notice of the people. But he maintained that the law and order situation was satisfactory in the city and there was no cause of undue concern.

Navrangpura first PI A.C. Jadeja tried to shift the responsibility away from the police by saying that it is never possible to preempt murder or, for that matter, any crime. He blamed the deteriorating situation on the growing influence of television, particularly on the youth and the quantum increase in the number of people from other states settling in Gujarat.

A mother of two teenage girls, Ms Vinita Lobo, who lives at Parth Indraprasth, off Gurukul Road, said she does not send her daughters out in the night unaccompanied, particularly in isolated areas with low police presence. Though she accepted that the situation in the western part of the city was much better than the eastern side, she still felt that it was not safe for girls to go outside in the night.

News Source : Asian Age Online

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Congress keen to burst Modi Samras Vision Friday, November 2, 2001

News Source : Asian Age Online

If the Congress abides by its decision to field a candidate in every village for the panchayat elections, chief minister Narendra Modi may not be able to realise his dream of samras gam, which is part of his vision for Gujarat.

The Congress game plan, as per highly placed sources, is to defeat the samras gam programme of the state government under which it has announced to give incentives upto Rs 60,000 to villages that elect the sarpanch and gram panchayat through consensus.

Meanwhile, leader of the Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha Amarsinh Chaudhary said he welcomed the decision of the state government to hold the gram panchayat elections although the decision was belated. Speaking to reporters here on Thursday, at his weekly press conference, Mr Chaudhary said the BJP was “running scared” of elections after the defeat at the hustings at the recently held Sabarkantha parliamentary and Sabarmati Assembly by elections and before that the overwhelming defeat during the district and taluka panchayat elections.

He said the announcement of samras gam by the new chief minister Narendra Modi and the subsequent gram sabhas held at all villages showed the fear that the state government had in holding the gram panchayat elections. Mr Chaudhary said the samras gam scheme with the objective to elect the gram panchayat body and the sarpanch with a consensus has received little success as per reports available with him.

Mr Chaudhary said despite putting the district development officials and almost the entire staff of the gram panchayat offices on the job to promote the samras gam scheme, the reports that the chief minister has received back seem to be discouraging. “Not a single village till date has announced at the gram sabha that they want to avert elections in their village,” Mr Chaudhary said.

The Opposition leader said the lack of support from the villages is due to the fact that the villages are aware that there have been massive cuts of 40 to 50 per cent in rural schemes such as the Jawahar Rojgar Yojana. He said the ploy to pay Rs 60,000 to elect a body unanimously has bombed.

Mr Chaudhary said the intent behind the samras gam was actually a face saving exercise by the new chief minister as any defeat will demoralise the BJP further and erode its credibility. He reiterated that scheme was against the tenet of democracy.

Mr Chaudhary also accused the BJP of inciting religious sentiments with elections in mind as the party is bereft of any issues for the next elections. Mr Chaudhary also criticised the police inaction when the VHP and Bajrang Dal activists went on a rampage following the arrest of the VHP international general secretary Dr Pravin Togadia.

“The VHP and Bajrang Dal activists indulged in stone throwing and gutting of buses in the presence of police, which remained a mute spectator,” Mr Chaudhary claimed. “Similar scenes were witnessed in my constituency in Khedbrahma where a rally was taken out and shops owned by minorities were looted, their houses attacked and their furniture burnt,” he said.

Mr Chaudhary warned that such incidents will be on the rise in the days to come and the police will remain mute spectators on the instructions of the state government.

Souce Asian Age Online

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Corporates can play key role in rural development : V. Naidu Friday, November 2, 2001

News Source : Asian Age Online

Ahmedabad, Nov. 1
The government understands that rural areas need infrastructure and other programmes for social regeneration like health and education but it does not have enough funds for this, Union rural development minister Venkaiah Naidu said here on Thursday.

He was addressing a three-day conference “Rural Enterprise Summit” organised jointly by the state department of rural development, Confederation Of Indian Industries and Union ministry for rural development with Maharashrta as the partner state.

“We have 5.4 lakh registered companies in the country and if one corporate takes on the responsibility of just one village in providing either water or schooling facilities, we will be able to herald a new change in the country,” he said.

“The problem with the country today is that the entire thrust of development was on major cities with the political parties, planning commission and even press focusing on urban centres. This resulted in development of infrastructure like colleges, hospitals and industries around urban centres and migration for these facilities from rural areas,” he added.

The need for the hour is to involve the people, said Mr Naidu. “It is because of competitive politics that we keep promising everything to the people and people start expecting everything from the government. But this is not a feasible reality. The people expect everyone to do something and in the end nobody does anything. This has killed the initiative in the people,” he added.

Chief minister Narendra Modi criticised the present model for village development and said that the model tried to solve problems by taking urbanisation to the villages while the need is to take into view the socio-economic realities and make the village self-sufficient.

He said that the scheme of equipping STD/PCO booths with computers will help take the government to their doorsteps and the rural areas too will have government forms at just a click away.

“I am all for modernisation, but modernisation without westernisation. Science is universal but technology should be local,” he added. Bio-technology has a good future as it has the capacity to give value-addition to the produce of the villages, added Mr Modi.

The three-day conference also coincided with the buyers-sellers meet and a fair by rural artisans organised by the CII. Various topics like approches to rural development, impact of WTO on non-agricultural rural enterprises, rural industrialisation and e-commerce in rural scenario were also discussed at the conference.

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