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October 22, 2001 - October 22, 2001

Rioting incident at garba venue alleged Monday, October 22, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Garbas have not been without their share of problems this year. On Saturday night, a group of boys from the Gujarat University hostels reportedly ran riot at the university grounds where SOI Entertainment was hosting its garba.

Janak Suryakant Jhaveri from SOI Entertainment lodged a complaint at the Navrangpura police station against Indravijaysinh Ghanshyamsinh Gohil and 40 other boys, accusing them of having fought over entry passes.

The group was reportedly armed with sticks, and are learnt to have resorted to stone-throwing and damaging cars parked on the grounds. The complaint states that the group damaged the pandal and decamped with some Rs 20,000.

Earlier, when Navratri began, there was a rumour about someone having fired from a private firearm at a garba in Bhat village. The Gandhinagar district police, however, said such an incident had not happened.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Banaskantha :: Disproportionate assets case against asst engineer Monday, October 22, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has booked a case of disproportionate assets against additional assistant engineer (civil) Digvijaysinh alias Digubha Himmatsinh Jadeja posted at Banaskantha. Jadeja has been charged with accumulating movable and immovable properties worth Rs 8.92 lakh, which was way off his official income.

Jadeja worked at the office of the deputy executive engineer of the Public Welfare Department in Tharad area of Deesa taluka and has settled in Bhavnagar. He faces charges of adopting corrupt practices and purchasing properties in the name of his wife and other members of his family in a fraudulent manner, which was found out during investigations by the assistant director of ACB, Junagadh. A case was filed against Jadeja on October 19 under the Prevention of Corruption Act. On Saturday, ACB sleuths conducted raids on three of his premises at Bhavnagar.

Raids were conducted on 'Ketu Nivas' on Satyanarayan Road, shops in the Madhav Darshan Complex on Radha Mandir Chowk and Hastagiri flats. The raiding teams found evidence of Jadeja owning these properties on his own name and under names of his family members. Further investigations are being carried out by officials of ACB, Junagadh.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Kidnap was stage-managed to dodge financiers Monday, October 22, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
SURAT: Sources in the city police said Surat TV Channel promoter Nikhil Madrasi confessed before the Kolkata police on Saturday that he was not abducted and that the whole incident was stage-managed to fool the financiers, who wanted their investments back from the channel.

According to additional commissioner of police Mohan Jha, Nikhil will be lodged in Kolkata's Burra Bazar police station till the investigations are over.

One of the channel's key promoters, Nikhil Madrasi, was reportedly abducted on Monday with the kidnappers' demand being the channel's closure.

The channel is said to be under heavy financial debt and Nikhil was the key person who had managed the channel's affairs, including sourcing money of about Rs 4 crore from over 130 financiers, 18 cable operators and two co-operative banks.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Tiny-tots in dhotis, chaniyas cholis Monday, October 22, 2001

BY JAHNAVI CONTRACTOR, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: They can barely walk, but their tiny feet are dancing in tandem with the melodious tunes of 'garba'. The dancers are pre-schoolers aged between 2-and-half to 5 years. Keeping them company are school-going children between 6 and 14 years. Their proud parents in the audience look on.

Be it parents or grandparents, they are all delighted to see their children, who just a few months or years ago could barely stand, now suddenly dancing in perfect synchrony with the music. Not only parents but even day-care centre, nursery school and primary school principals seem to favour their students dancing during Navratri.

In many day-care and kindergarten schools teachers have organised special Navratri programmes and even taught toddlers different 'garba' steps. Parents too favour children's 'garba', while shopkeepers selling traditional clothes for children have reported increased sales, thanks to the large number of children's 'garba' being organised in different parts of the city.

"It's a great feeling to see my three-year-old Shweta dance. And even more exciting was seeing her in traditional 'chaniya choli' and 'chundadi' with anklets on her feet. This is her first Navratri," says Rekha Salunke, her mother who has made it a point to take Shweta daily to the United Arki 'garba' ground.

"The day-care centre where our three-year-old son Anil goes had organised a special day for Navratri on Wednesday and all parents were asked to send their children dressed in traditional attire. We bought a small 'kedia' and a 'dhoti' for Anil. He and his friends were taught 'garba' at the day-care centre and Anil has picked it up so well. It's a pleasure to see him dance," said Prakash Pandit, a proud parent.

There are many grandparents like H D Patel who accompanies his grandchildren to the 'garba' ground daily. "I love watching them. They dance with an innocence that is lacking in adults. They are carefree, they dance for their own pleasure, it comes from within. Besides all of them look so beautiful. The little boys in tiny 'pagdis' and 'dhotis' and the girls with 'chaniyas cholis' and anklets. It's a sight I would not miss for anything," he says.

For parents, especially those who have very young children, the festival of Navratri can be a blessing. "As it is we have to contend with late nights on all days as our three-and-half year old Radhika does not sleep early. She prefers to play and would sleep only after she is sufficiently tired. Taking her to the children's 'garba' not only gives her an opportunity to 'socialise' and 'party' with her friends but at the same time it also tires her out for a good night's sleep. We too enjoy watching her and dressing her up," said another parent.

Parents of older children of primary schools also find children's 'garba' a welcome break. "On these nine days the children go daily to the children's 'garba' and their television watching comes down. This gives them the much-needed exercise and at the same time initiates them not only to the Gujarati tradition of 'garbas' but also to the music and dance. It is a wholesome learning experience for them," said Aditi Rao, the mother of a six and a nine-year-old daughter.

Many schools too have distributed children's 'garba' passes to their students and many parents were brought to the 'garba' grounds by the children. "He received this pass at the Jeevan Mangalaya School and insisted that I take him to dance. I enjoy dressing him up in traditional attire and seeing him interact with other children too is fun so I have brought him here," said Anita Joshi, a resident of Dandiya bazaar.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Staring down the gun barrel Monday, October 22, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Guess what is exercising the minds of IAS officers these days? Well, the fear that they may be transferred. Many officials feel that the Damocles' sword is hanging over their head, and this has brought government work to a standstill.

It is common to find IAS officers huddled together sitting and chatting over a cups of tea trying to find out who may be next on the firing line. This is not surprising because the three earlier official orders which reshuffled 40-odd officials came very suddenly. One official in the Sachivalay said he has created a special corner in his office to keep his personal files.

"If I hear of my transfer, I won't even have to go to office. I will just ask my assistant to send all those files to my house," he said. Officers working as collectors or enjoying different positions in government corporations pour into Gandhinagar in droves these days to inquire about their fate. "Files are just not being pushed. Files are lying in several officials' chambers," commented a bureaucrat. "Who knows what's in store. Several more lists are believed to have been prepared, but nothing is final."
No transfers, get back to work

But the new CM is making frantic efforts to convey that he would not effect a major transfer any more. His aides are quick to point out that the first three rounds of transfers were just meant to be a "shock therapy" to shake up a lethargic administration into action. It is being suggested that the CM is now not interested in transfers, but in getting work done.

Only few major posts remain to be filled _ CEO of the Gujarat Informatics, MD of the Gujarat Industrial Investment Corporation and revenue inspection commissioner and youth and culture secretary. Except the first one, the three others are considered "punishment postings". The GIIC can make do with additional charge. There is no work there, said a bureaucrat. The loss-making unit might be closed down.

The Saparia surprise
Everyone is surprised that Chimanlal Saparia, the man who led the short-lived rebellion against Narendra Modi's imposition as Gujarat CM, has not only been taken back in the new ministry but given one of the most lucrative departments _ roads and buildings. Well-known for his support for Keshubhai Patel, Saparia even appeared on TV protesting against his mentor's ouster. He also went to the airport to receive a vanquished Keshubhai. Ironically, even Saparia, a Saurashtra Patel, is surprised. "I never expected to be back with such a bang. I must thank my stars, Keshubhai, Modiji and BJP president Rajendrasinh Rana for giving me an important department. It was beyond my expectation." Not everyone was so lucky. The worst to suffer was Saurabh Patel. A business management graduate with a foreign degree, he followed Saparia. He also gave TV interviews in support of Keshubhai. But he got nothing!

The new patron of Bengalis
Guess who is the most sought-after man by Bengalis of Ahmedabad this 'puja'? The Governor of Gujarat, Sundar Singh Bhandari. This Tuesday, he is going to inaugurate as many as five 'pujas' in the city (including Gandhinagar). The interesting thing is that all of them will be within the span of two hours. Last year, Bhandari had thrown open two 'pujas', but this season more 'puja' committees made a beeline for the governor who readily agreed to oblige. It seems that the only governor who is going to outdo Bhandari is West Bengal Governor Viren Shah. He is going to inaugurate some thirty 'pujas'. But then Kolkata has many more 'pujas' than Ahmedabad.

Nagpur better bet than Delhi
The faithfuls of the former chief minister are searching for new godfathers. Some officials have even been to New Delhi to identify people who could convey it to Narendra Modi that they can indeed deliver the goods. The more intelligent ones, however, are those who do not think visits to New Delhi can be of much help. Nagpur is, after all, a better bet. One case is that of Non-Resident Gujarati Foundation chairman Hari Desai. Desai was heard proudly telling someone that he had been to Nagpur, the RSS headquarters, to get blessings. "I was NRG Foundation chairman and I will remain one," he declared even before he went to the place which directs all Sangh Parivar activities in India.

Staying put in Gujarat
Former chief minister Keshubhai Patel has been quick to abandon his plans to go out of Gujarat for health recuperation. He had earlier declared he would visit a naturopathy clinic near Bangalore for 45 days to reduce weight. But he has now found a better option within the state _ in Vadodara. Run by a veteran Congressman, a health centre has offered the ex-CM, now 73 years old, several courses. But he has decided to take the shorter one of two weeks. He is inimical to the idea of governorship offered to him. "I have to decide. I will just not go," he insists. His well-wishers, however, say, by remaining in Gandhinagar, he would never forget the humiliation suffered at the hands of the BJP high command. They say it would be better for him to live a quiet life as governor in Rajasthan, instead. But Keshubhai is convinced it is not the end of his political career, and by staying put in Gujarat he would be able to keep his flock together. It is now up to Modi to exert more pressure on the leadership to convince the former CM that the party does not really want him in Gujarat.

No downsizing the CMO
Indications have emerged that the CM's office would follow the foot-steps of the jumbo Modi ministry. The principle of 'small is beautiful' may be abandoned in the case of the CMO too. Plans to downsize the CMO are being reconsidered. Additional Principal Secretary Anil Mukim, with the charge of information secretary, was asked to occupy to a place in the CMO which was earlier planned to be demolished. And, he has just shifted to the air-conditioned wooden structure built under the ex-CM's directions in the corridors of the fifth floor, Block 1, Secretariat. A new official is expected to occupy the chamber of C J Thakkar, the man who used to look after sensitive files, many of them with political strings attached. There is rumour that only one CM adviser, S K Shelat, is not enough. At least one more, particularly among the retired bureaucrats, may join in. If this happens, the CMO strength would remain the same as the one earlier headed by Keshubhai.

Holding sway over bureaucracy
With the central government's department of personnel having ordered that he be taken back, senior IAS officer A M Bharadwaj, now freed from suspension for his alleged involvement in a civil supplies case of 1997, waits for a reinstatement. But guess who he met to request for a new posting. A man called Harsh Brahmbhatt, a class I officer several ranks junior to him, who now serves as official on special duty in the CMO and is considered crucial in transfer and posting matters. Bharadwaj, of course, met the new CM, too, who promised him a posting by October 24. He also met the CS and the ACS, GAD. "All that was just a formality," said an official. Because the CM will go by Brahmbhatt's advise.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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