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October 12, 2001 - October 12, 2001

Another Sharif Khan man caught Friday, October 12, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The Anti-Terrorist Squad nabbed another accomplice of Pakistan-based underworld gangster Sharif Khan who is accused of operating a hawala racket to send him supari money.

The accused Razzak Hasanbhai Meman is a major link in the network of gangsters operating an extortion ring here who were nabbed before the execution of a supari killing of a city-based builder called Rafiq Yejara.

Five persons were arrested earlier -- Noormohammad Ghoghara, Sohrabuddin, Praful, Vijay and Ibrahim Chauhan.

Chauhan confessed during the interrogations that he had sent Rs 3 lakh to Sharif Khan via angadia which had been forwarded by Razzak through the hawala route via Dubai and Pakistan.

Razzak belongs to Deesa and resides at Suhasini flat in Paldi and was introduced to Sharif Khan by Yusuf Meman who is associated with the Babbar Khalsa terrorist group and the ISI and is now in jail.

Razzak has also been jailed earlier under the COFEPOSA act after he was caught in gold and silver smuggling and reportedly operates a hawala racket.

Investigations by the ATS also revealed that Praful and Vijay are booked in several offences by the Madhya Pradesh police. Praful is accused of having murdered someone called 'Raju' by shooting him in the head which was still an undetected offence.

Vijay is wanted by the MP police and has a price of Rs 5,000 on his head. The entire operation to nab Sharif Khan's men was executed by Deputy superintendent of police Abhay Chudasama, Police inspector KC Chudasama and others.

One more arrested in ISD racket: The city crime branch arrested the main accused, Prakash Vinjani on Wednesday in connection with the ISD racket unearthed from Kubernagar last month.

The police also suspects that at least two employees of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd may be involved in the racket.

Three persons have been accused in this case unearthed by the crime branch following a tip-off from the telephone department where it was learnt that ten telephone lines were operating from a single building in Kubernagar.

Later investigations revealed that at least 24 lines had been operating from this building where a connection had been established with the United States via a dish antenna.

The other accused is the owner of the building Pandu Soni. The building had been rented to the accused for four months and it is assumed that the racket was in operation since then.

Further, the police suspects that the accused had established contact with someone in the US who was paying them in American dollars.

Ganja seized from Gandhinagar: The Gandhinagar police arrested two persons from Rajasthan and seized 8,440 grams of ganja from them which is valued at Rs 16,700.

The accused are Mohan Amichand Jat and Jagdishchandra Shobhalal.

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

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Illegal distillery unearthed in Sabarmati Friday, October 12, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The crime branch on Thursday unearthed a plant manufacturing 'Indian Made Foreign Liquor' from a bungalow in Sabarmati.

Three persons were arrested and booked under the Prohibition Act. Raids on Bungalow no 12 of Mandar Society revealed that the unit was a bottling plant for IMFL where inferior quality liquor was packed in bottles bearing labels like McDowell's, Aristocrat and 8 pm, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) GS Malik said.

The police also recovered 50 empty bottles and 18 filled with the concoction. The accused claimed to be getting their raw material _ basic alcohol _ from Mumbai and used charcoal as the filter.

Other ingredients included essence, glucose, mineral water and alum for purification of water. They brewed the liquor and filled them in drums on the terrace.

According to Malik, illegal breweries usually raided in the state manufacture country liquor. This was one of those rare ones manufacturing 'English liquor'.

"It cost them just Rs 30 to manufacture and bottle the stuff to make it look real. They used to sell it for around Rs 200."

Police inspector Tarun Barot led the raid. The main accused is Khivsingh Nathusingh Rajput from Jodhpur, who claimed to have mastered the art of manufacturing 'English daaru' from Mumbai. The other accused are Mahesh Rasiklal Shah and Nandkishore Swadhansingh Rajput.

The trio claimed to be running the business for the last six months and had found a good market in Kalol and Ahmedabad. They claimed to be doing business to the tune of Rs 4,000 a day.

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

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'India should focus on economic strength' Friday, October 12, 2001

VADODARA: After moving through a transitory phase, the world is now witnessing a new world order wherein the US is emerging as a major power centre.

And in this context India will have to follow a one-point agenda -- build up its economic strength -- the one factor that attracts political interest of foreigners, says former Indian ambassador to the UN Chinmay Gharekhan.

The M S University department of economics invited Gharekhan, a former MSU student, for a special lecture on "Current International Scene".

In addition to working as India's ambassador to the UN, Gharekhan is a retired Indian Foreign Service officer and also former under secretary general of the UN. He was also a member of economic council and UN special representative for middle eastern peace mission.

According to Gharekhan, the post September 11 scenario has revealed the US's supremacy in the world affairs -- most countries have sent their pledge of support to the US and accepted its leadership in initiating the war. For the next few decades, its position as a supreme power would be unchallenged.

In this context, India will have to consolidate its position on the economic front.

"People come to India not because of our political clout -- it is India's economic potential that attracts them and this is where we need to concentrate. Even we cannot expect the US to fight our battles for us," he said.

"At the international level, Kashmir is perceived as a disputed territory beset with the problem of domestic insurgency. India may have accessed Kashmir but the world does not accept this. It also recognises that Pakistan is taking advantage of the domestic unrest and the insurgency to exploit the situation," he says. "But India will have to fight its own battle and tackle the problem, we cannot expect the US to do that for us," he adds.

Gharekhan said that after the cold war and the 1989 Berlin Wall collapse, the world order had changed drastically leaving a vacuum.

The transitory phase that followed now sees a new world order where the US rules and emerges as a power centre that is supported by the European Union, Japan, China and most other countries.

"The events in the last one month are suggesting that there is another centre of power -- Osama bin Laden. He has shown the US that despite its super power status, it is not immune to attacks."

Gharekhan said that India faces three main concerns. "India would have to contend with domestic backlash for supporting the US. "Just as Pakistan had to support the US, the only practical course of action for India was to support the US. However, I hope that we are not called to further support the US through other means such as use of our military in Afghanistan. This might trigger an extreme reaction from certain sections of the Indian people," he said.

The next area of concern is that India faces terrorism -- specifically cross border terrorism. Osama has said that after the US, India is its next target for attack.

It is uncertain if the US would crackdown on terrorist groups working in the PoK. Whether Pakistan gets pressurised or more nourishment from the US remains uncertain.

The third area of concern is that Pakistan which was until recently the "pariah state", is now increasingly getting the status of a front line state, which is a key player in the global coalition against terrorism. It was amply rewarded through the lifting of sanctions even those imposed for military rule there.

While summing up, Gharekhan reiterated that economic strength should be the main focus of India's policy.

"India should aim to achieve at least one to two per cent share in the world GDP to be a meaningful player in the world." he said.

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

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Narendra was a self-willed boy: Teachers Friday, October 12, 2001

MEHSANA: Life in the time-ravaged structures in the dirty, narrow and undulating streets of the ancient village of North Gujarat moves on as usual.

The vegetable or fruit vendors or the ordinary men and women buying things in the congested market do not seem particularly enthusiastic about one of their own folk becoming Gujarat no naath (the ruler of Gujarat).

Most of the small shopkeepers and commoners whom the TNN spoke to in the streets of Vadnagar though felt happy about Narendra Modi becoming chief minister, but were not sure if this would improve their lot or change the land-scope of Vadnagar.

"Anand ni vat to chhej pan Vadnagar ke amne sheon pher padvano" (Of course, we are happy, but what difference it will make for us or Vadnagar!) was the refrain.

But 77-year-old Rasikbhai Dave -- a veteran political and social activist -- living in Kuniya no madh explained that since Narendra did not come to Vadnagar for 32 years after he left this place in 1967 for further studies, people did not know much about him to be excited about his ascendancy to chief ministership and the pride he had brought to the place.

After being away from Vadnagar, Narendra came here in 1999 to attend the Golden Jubilee celebration of his school, Rasikbhai said.

The septuagenarian recalled that on that occasion, he was surprised that Narendra remembered the names of all his four sons and daughters who had by then become parents themselves. And Narendra had never met them before in his 32-year-long absence from his village.

His wife Saralaben -- an eminent scholar herself -- said that she was very touched by the gesture when Narendra touched their feet during his last visit and asked about the welfare of their children by remembering their names.

Rasikbhai said that this great power of retention had helped Narendra a great deal as an organiser.

That Narendra has had an elephant's memory was corroborated by his past teachers and schoolmates. Recalling his sudden meeting in a train a few years ago, Modi's Sanskrit teacher at B N High School, Dr Prahladbhai Patel -- now a retired college teacher, said that he was surprised when he touched his feet and asked him if he remembered him and went on asking about his friends and others recalling each one by names.

In fact, the teacher could not immediately recognise him. Rewinding further, Patel said that during his three years of schooling (1963-66), he found Narendra a determined, self-willed boy with great power of persuasiveness.

Patel recalled that whenever he asked Narendra to get his lessons checked by the class monitor, he insisted that he would show his lessons only to the teacher. He argued with his teacher and was satisfied only when the teacher himself had gone through his lessons.

Dr Sudhir Joshi, one of Modi's classmates, recalled Narendra showed qualities of leadership from his schooldays. He fought election for CR (class representative) and refused to budge when cajoled or threatened by rivals.

His argumentative skills and power of persuasion showed themselves when he was in the school on many occasions. Another schoolmate Narendra Shastri -- now a principal of the same school -- agreed with Joshi and added that besides being frank and fearless, Narendra was a self-disciplined student.

Though short and thin, he commanded respect. Shastri also recalled that he and Modi were together as NCC cadets. Recollecting Modi's schooldays further, Patel said though he was not an extraordinary student, he was interested in other activities like drama.

He recalled that in 1965 Narendra acted in a play 'Jogidass Khuman' directed by him. Though he was originally given the lead role of the outlaw, he was shifted to a minor role later due to his weak built up.

Narendra accepted the change sportingly and acted well in the role of Vajesinh Maharaj. Vinod Nayak "Raagi" who was given the lead role remembered that Narendra was keen on learning the nuances of acting from him saying that he was doing this for the first time and Vinod had in his blood.

He also played as a soldier in another play 'Hariyali no Hatyaro' in 1966. The play was based on the Chinese aggression and Narendra charged with political fervour acted convincingly, Patel said.

Rasikbhai Dave, a close friend of the Modi family, recalled that Narendra's father ran a very small canteen at the railway station here and had a big family to support. Narendra had a very humble bringing up.

In Ahmedabad also, he stayed in the canteen at the central ST office and studied. He was a man of conviction and commitment even in those days. His commitment to the RSS kept him away for more than 30 years.

But, when he had accepted to come here at the school function in 1999, he rushed here from Wagah border where he had to leave an important national programme.

Dave was sure that Modi's voice would be heard at the Centre and many long pending matters would be resolved in favour of Gujarat.

He said that Narendra's attachment to his school and respect for his 'gurus' was evident at the function.

Some eight teachers of his time were specially invited from different places at the function and he met them later separately to pay his respects to them. He had also roped in a donor who announced a donation of Rs 7 lakh for the school.

Jayantibhai Modi, president of Milkat Trust, Ambaji and Vadnagar Modi Samaj, told TNN that his community was proud of Narendrabhai and planned to felicitate him.

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

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CM to carry list of probables to Delhi today Friday, October 12, 2001

GANDHINAGAR: Chief Minister Narendra Modi is leaving for New Delhi on Friday on a two-day visit with a list of probables to be included during the proposed Cabinet expansion, and will hold discussions with the BJP central leadership.

The new ministers could be sworn the latest by Wednesday.

After leaving out 'tainted' and inefficient ministers, Modi has indicated that same criteria would be applied while selecting the ministers next week. However, regional balance and caste considerations would definitely be considered during the ministry-making exercise.

It is learnt that size of ministry will be restricted to 30-35 as against 39 of the ousted Keshubhai ministry. But it will be considerably larger than the figure of 22 to 25 ministers that was mentioned earlier.

It is learnt from reliable sources that after inducting nine ministers of Cabinet rank, there was no possibility of any increase in their strength in the next round of expansion.

Modi feels there is no need for a three-tier ministry, but is facing stiff opposition from some party leaders and may ultimately succumb to their pressure.

It is now clear that former ministers Jaspal Singh Gabhaji Thakore, Jay Narayan Vyas, Mangubhai Patel, Khodabhai Patel, Prabhatsinh Chauhan and Chimanbhai Saparia will not find a berth in the second phase of expansion.

MLAs Gordhan Zadaphia and Maya Kodnani are lobbying hard for their inclusion in the ministry but Modi feels they should continue in the party organisation.

Former ministers Haren Pandya, Parmanand Khattar, Mahendra Trivedi and others like Ramanlal Vora, Ranjitsinh Chavda, Purshottam Solanki, Liladhar Waghela, Narayanbhai Patel, Karsanbhai Patel, Harjivanbhai Patel and Babubhai Bokhiria and Bhupendrabhai Lakhawala are likely to be inducted.

The fate of former Keshubhai loyalists like Bharat Barot and Bimal Shah is not certain, but it is understood that GSRTC chairman Kamlesh Patel, ADC Bank chairman Amit Shah, Sunil Oza, Prof. Mangalbhai Patel and Rajnikant Rajvadi are being considered as the new faces.

Several members of the Keshubhai ministry and he supporters of BJP legislators were seen queuing up outside Modi's chamber at the CMO for the second consecutive day to plead for their inclusion.

In Ahmedabad, similar representations were made to state BJP president Rajendrasinh Rana who has been camping here for the last two days to meet delegations pouring in from various parts of the state even as the ministry-making exercise is in full swing.

Modi was expected to meet Keshubhai Patel and Suresh Mehta late on Thursday to discuss the names of probables.

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

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