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October 21, 2001 - October 21, 2001

Notices to engg colleges on NRI seats Sunday, October 21, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The state government has threatened a number of engineering colleges with serious action for not admitting students on seats converted from the NRI category to payment seats.

The Directorate of Technical Education has issued show cause notices asking why they should not recommend to the All India Council for Technical Education to cancel their affiliation. Prominent among these colleges are those run by the Charutar Vidya Mandal at Vallabh Vidhynagar.

Trusts like the Mandal are waiting for all litigation to be cleared on the NRI issue at the Gujarat High Court, while officials at the Centralised Degree Admission Committee (CDAC) say the admission process cannot be stopped at they have received no such order or stay from the court.

In another unusual case, the K M Shah Dental College, Vaghodia in Vadodara refused to accept fees from students on the grounds that they did not have the original no-objection certificate. Enraged officials at the CDAC have been telling the college for the last three days that they can't demand the NOC and yet the fees have not been accepted. Admissions are expected to go on till November 1.

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Police Flag Day today Sunday, October 21, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Even as the Gujarat Police celebrates yet another Police Flag Day on Sunday , the fund for the welfare of the ex-police personnel remains unused six years after its creation.

"Serving policemen are taken care of by the Police Welfare Fund but nobody cared for the retired policemen till a fund for them was created," says S N Sinha, ex-DGP, Gujarat Police. But Sinha rues that the purpose of creating the fund was defeated due to its non-utilisation since it was created in 1995.

The fund was set up to collect donations from the public on the occasion of Police Flag Day on October 21 to commemorate the sacrifices of policemen who laid their lives while on duty throughout the country.

The fund has swollen to over Rs 70 lakh from donations collected during the successive Flag Days but has been unused due to the 'indecision' by director generals of police, Sinha added.

The indecision was due to 'open' definition of the fund and lack of interest from DGPs, too, towards ex-policemen's cause. Over the years the government increased the price of tucking a flag on the donor's chest from Rs 1 to Rs 10 mopping Rs 15 to 20 lakh every year, but utilisation of the fund has yet to find its way.

Non-utilisation of fund for retired policemen was going the same way like the Police Welfare Fund for serving policemen which has accumulated to several crores over the years. "During British era respective district superintendents of police used to redress the grievances of retired policemen during their visit to police stations but later on everything vanished into thin air," says B K Yadav who retired as assistant commissioner of police.

The fund was also unique in the country as for the first time a separate fund was created for ex-policemen on the government's initiative.

Sources in the directorate general of police disclosed that a meeting of retired policemen has been convened on October 25 to discuss ways to spend the accumulated amount.

"Suggestions from the district headquarters and range DIGs have already poured in and would be discussed on October 25", a top member of the DGP's office said.

"There is an immense difference between problems of serving policemen and those of retired ones," says G R Prajapati, General Secretary of Gujarat ex-policemen Association and a retired police inspector adding that the association is ready with a list of suggestions to discuss in the meeting.

The association is in favour of group medicare scheme for retired policemen and providing succour to families of some 50 odd policemen who died in the January 26 quake.

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

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Bus overturns near Anjar, killing 4 Sunday, October 21, 2001

GANDHIDHAM: Four persons died on the spot when a mini-luxury bus overturned near Ratnal village of Anjar taluka. The bus was coming here from Bhuj.

The Arzu Travels bus toppled down twice and landed into bushes by the roadside - one km from Ratnal - when the driver lost control, at 10 p.m. Four persons died on the spot. Their names are not known yet. It is learnt that they were from one family.

Of the 30 injured passengers taken to hospital at Anjar, two are unconscious. Some are being shifted to the Bhuj government hospital. DySP P L Mal rushed to the spot and arranged to shift the injured to hospitals.

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

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Six months later, Nidhi's killer still at large Sunday, October 21, 2001

AHMEDABAD: It is six months since the gruesome and mysterious murder of 24-year old Nidhi Shah from Ahmedabad, on the outskirts of Virar in Mumbai and the case has turned into a whodunit that is taking long to crack. But investigations till now point to a person who was probably associated with her intimately, as being the murderer, said sources.

At least three witnesses have confirmed having seen Nidhi with the long-haired boy whose computer sketch was constructed on the basis of the description by the village patel's wife at Bavkal village where Nidhi's body was spotted on April 19 near a holiday resort.

Nidhi disappeared from the University grounds after her web-designing class around 7.45 p.m. on April 16. She had abandoned her car near the Dadasaheb Na Pagla temple in Navrangpura and the only thing missing from the car was a scarf she used to cover her head. She was then spotted at Paldi on April 18.

On April 27 a police team from Virar came down with her belongings confirming that she had been murdered on April 19.

Apparently, two of these witnesses are from Ahmedabad, sources confirmed which indicate that the killer probably was from Ahmedabad. But Nidhi's family persistently believes that the police have not done much to book the criminal. They feel that her fiance Puneet Sancheti is involved, but there has been no evidence till date to indict him. "It is our fervent request that the police take the case seriously", Nidhi's father Anand Shah told TNN on Thursday.

Incidentally, a Maharashtra police team came with Puneet to Ahmedabad in July following a clue, but did not find much. Some facts that have come to light in the past three months are that the Shahs used to receive anonymous outstation calls from persons wanting to know or inform about Nidhi.

One such conversation with a girl, who reportedly identified herself as 'Jyoti' (the name by which Nidhi is learnt to have travelled to Malad) was recorded nearly a month after Nidhi's body was spotted on April 19. The family claims that the cassette was submitted to the city crime branch which was assisting the Maharashtra police in the investigation which they allege has been 'misplaced' by the police.

There was also an anonymous letter in Gujarati which the family received. It was reportedly sent to the investigators, but its contents are unclear.

Police sources claimed that 'there was nothing in that cassette worth noting'. No case was registered in Ahmedabad and the police here feels that the girl's family was not 'co-operative enough'.

And there were also anonymous callers indicating that the girl might have been involved in drug peddling, which have been dismissed by the police as 'diverting the investigations'. Police sources claim that Nidhi was reportedly with this mysterious person for at least 55 hours before she was killed. The other fact that has surfaced is that the fiance Puneet received a call on his cellular phone on April 25 from someone who threatened dire consequences if he did not meet the person at a stipulated rendezvous in Mumbai.

The police also reportedly tracked down the phenyle bottle found from the site of the crime, as having been bought in Ahmedabad. But whose face will the pieces of this jigsaw reveal is still a mystery.

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

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Soiled notes turn to paper bricks! Sunday, October 21, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat headquarters of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) here has installed a Rs 2 crore note-shredder imported from the Netherlands at its regional head-office near Gandhi bridge, said regional director, RBI-Gujarat VS Das.

"For long Ahmedabad citizens have complained of the pollution created when the RBI burns soiled currency notes. This machine will considerably reduce the pollution problem," promised Das.

Old currency notes which need to be destroyed are put in this machine. After shredding these notes, an end product in the form of paper bricks come out. "These paper bricks can be used by paper mills to make products like card-boards," explained general manager-issue department AK Khound.

Around 30 tonnes per month of paper bricks will come out of this machine. "In fact, in six months we will install another machine to reduce the first machine's load as well as to act as a stand-by in case one machine gets out of order," he said. Khound said the RBI has issued a tender for paper mills interested in buying the paper bricks.

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

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