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October 3, 2001 - October 3, 2001

AMC school board administrator suspended Wednesday, October 3, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The chairman of municipal school board, Ganpat Parmar, on Monday placed the administrator, N N Qureshi, of municipal schools under suspension.

Levelling a plethora of charges that include demeaning the chairman's office, disregarding instructions issued by the municipal commissioner's office and acting autocratically, Parmar put the assistant administrative officer in Qureshi's charge.

While AMC authorities were busily looking into books of law to verify the validity of Qureshi's suspension and whether the school board chairman can take this extreme measure or not, Parmar reasoned: "According to the BPMC Act, an administrative officer can be dismissed with a two-third majority at the municipal corporation's general board. However, in this case, Qureshi's appointment as the administrative officer is yet to be ratified by the general board. So, as the chairman of the school board, I have placed Qureshi in suspension till a vigilance inquiry against his misdeeds is complete."

Sources in AMC disclosed: "Parmar's move came in the wake of Qureshi's move to take back certain official facilities like the computer system from the chairman's office on Tuesday. When Parmar asked for attendance register and some other important documents from Qureshi, the latter is learnt to have expressed his inability to do so. This tussle has resulted in Qureshi's suspension. Qureshi was recently handed a charge-sheet by Parmar, based on allegations of misuse of his official status."

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

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Bhavnagar :: Jan Sangharsh Manch leaders flay liberalisation policy Wednesday, October 3, 2001

BHAVNAGAR: At the state-level convention here on Sunday, Jan Sangharsh Manch leaders belonging 37 unions of workers and employees, categorically said that the process of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation (GLP) would extensively damage the interests of not only the weaker sections of the society but also of small-scale industries.

Central Trade Union national secretary A L Bajaj said the Central government's new economic policy had generated unemployment and dearness in the country. He alleged that Central government was sick and weak.

Rajasthan High Court former Chief Justice A P Ravani said that GLP was fundamentally against the democratic rights of equality of workers and labourers. He appealed the labourers and union leaders to put up a combined fight against GLP.

According to Gujarat Mazadur Panchayat leader P Chidambaram, any revolution was most welcome but it should be for the development of the country.

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

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Defence man caught trafficking charas Wednesday, October 3, 2001

AHMEDABAD: In a joint operation, the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Anti-Terrorist Squad caught four drug traffickers and seized at least 92 kg of charas hidden in a truckload of Kashmiri apples heading for Mumbai. The main accused here is a personnel from the Military Engineering Services, Daljeet Singh, posted at Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, who also owns the truck which was seized with the contraband narcotic.

Authorities have expressed concern over the upsurge of the narcotic trade in the state, and have decided to contact the CIB to get to the bottom of the network, Deputy Inspector General of Police, ATS Vipul Vijoy told a press conference on Tuesday.

"We are also trying to probe whether the money earned in this trade is used to fund 'jehadi' groups," the ATS chief said. He did not rule out the fact that although the drug appeared to be from the Indian side of J&K, it might very well be from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

The other concern was that despite the flourishing drug trade and seizures in the last months, authorities in J&K had turned a deaf ear to the requisitions from the NCB to curb it from the roots, say sources.

"They can always destroy the fields where this is cultivated and investigate into their bank accounts," said Vijoy. There is also speculations that the inflow of narcotics might rise and their prices soar in the post-Afghan crisis. The present seizure is estimated at Rs 2 crore in the international market.

The NCB has already traced an account belonging to the local contact in the network, Gulam Mohammad Habibullah Ganai, in the Vadodara branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank, NCB zonal director P S Tomar said.

The other two accused are Abdul Sattar Haji Noor Mohammed Chandiwala from Surat and Iqbal Ibrahim Shaikh of Vadodara. Gulam Mohammad, who belongs to Kashmir, has a wife there and is now settled in Dabhoi in Vadodara district in a new marriage.

The accused were picked up from Aslali as the teams acted on specific information and kept vigil near the Transport Corporation of India on Saturday. The team comprised intelligence officers Monish Bhalla, Umesh Pathak and Shailendra Lodha.

The truck (PAT 8683) was found parked, and a white Fiat car (GAS 8042) belonging to Gulam Mohammad with three persons in it, received at least eight packets of charas packed in taped polythene. The teams swooped down on the traffickers soon after and recovered 22 such packets and papers containing telephone numbers and whereabouts which could provide vital clues, Tomar said.

Fourteen of these packets were recovered from a cavity in the truck's cabin, and the entire seizure weighed 91.724 kg. Daljeet Singh admitted that he was in the drug trafficking business since the last five years and was booked in 1999 in an NDPS case by the Mumbai police. Singh too was staying in Vadodara earlier and moved to Mumbai in 1998, and confessed to earning around Rs 1,000 per kg in the business.

Sattar, who is himself an addict, was to receive 8 kg of charas from Gulam Mohammad. Iqbal is the latter's assistant and has been kept in judicial custody. The other three are in NCB custody.

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

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Cancer cases at MSU chem dept spread panic Wednesday, October 3, 2001

VADODARA: Four cases of cancer among teachers working at MSU's chemistry department, two of them resulting in death, have spread panic through the university. Taking serious cognisance of the incidents, authorities are contemplating consulting senior physicians and oncologists to look into the possibility of laboratory chemicals being the cause of cancer.

Three of the teachers had worked at the physical chemistry laboratory of the Faculty of Science since long. Of them, RN Ram, died of leukaemia last week. One woman teacher, who worked extensively in the laboratory, is suffering from bile duct cancer, while another woman teacher is suspected with lung cancer.

Earlier this year, a teacher of organic chemistry, AP Prajapati, died of leukaemia. The incidents have pressed the panic trigger among teachers and students at the chemistry department. Several of them now are demanding a detailed investigation.

Reader at the department of chemistry, BV Kamath, said physical chemistry laboratories do not normally use chemicals that can cause carcinoma. "While there does not seem to be a direct link between the incidents, a investigation is definitely called for. One cannot pin point the reason, but the possibility of teachers developing cancer due to laboratory work cannot be ruled out," Kamath said.

Kamath said in the long run many seemingly harmless chemicals could lead to health problems. "This, however, would depend on the body constitution of a person," he said adding that a thorough medical test of teachers was necessary.

Husband of one of the woman teachers taking physical chemistry practicals said a probe was necessary. "We are definitely worried after the series of events. It might be too premature to say anything, but the university must definitely look into the matter," he said. The teacher herself was ill and not in a position to talk.

Teachers in the department pointed out that cancer cases had also become a cause of worry to students. "Some of them have panicked despite the fact that their exposure to various chemicals is very limited. Their chances of having any serious ailments are very few," Dr Kamath said.

MSU in charge vice-chancellor VD Pathak said the cases were "disturbing in nature". "The fact that the cases took place in only one department might be a sheer coincidence, but we are going to probe the matter. The university will be asking a senior physician and an oncologist to do a study. This is must to do away with the panic and reassure the teachers," Pathak said.

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

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Amthabhai Desai appointed TLA acting president Wednesday, October 3, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Textile Labour Association (TLA) senior secretary Amthabhai Desai was on Tuesday elected acting president of the TLA at a meeting of the joint representative council of the Gandhian trade union.

TLA president Navinchandra Barot made this announcement after the meeting was over.

Trade union leaders reiterated their commitment to Gandhian ideals and assured the gathering that the TLA would continue to function on the path of Gandhiji, who founded the organisation in the 1930s.

The meeting was attended by a large number of textile mill workers and their representatives. The meeting was also addressed by senior TLA functionaries, Manharbhai Shukla and Ramanbhai Patel.

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

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