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September 3, 2001 - September 3, 2001

Municipal teachers demand pending salary Monday, September 3, 2001

NADIAD: Nearly 13,000 students of 47 municipal primary schools have been deprived of their education since August 17 as teachers numbering 319 have resorted to strike protesting non-payment of salary for June and July.

The teachers took out a rally and submitted memorandum to resident deputy collector. They also met Nadiad school board chairman Chitranjan Brahmbhatt but he expressed inability to help considering financial crisis in the municipality. On Saturday, the teachers also met Nadiad MLA and former president of Nadiad municipality Pankaj Desai who heard them patiently and appealed the teachers to withdraw their strike in the interest of students.

He also told them that he had already drawn the attention of the state government. However the teachers wanted an his assurance from him that they could get salary soon. Though 95 per cent of the salary was deposited by the government only five per cent was to be borne by the municipality. Somehow for the past two months municipal authorities have failed to deposit such a negligible sum. Former municipal councillor S Varma said nobody cared for students of municipal schools whereas parents of private school students could afford high fees.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]

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JUNAGADH :: Temple wall ransacked Monday, September 3, 2001

JUNAGADH: The wall of an ancient temple 'Nag Sthan' near Prabhas Patan Geeta Mandir (Somnath) has been damaged reportedly by Balar Raja Rabari and Umed Rajput, according to a police complaint lodged by the temple keeper Raju Mehta whom the duo allegedly assaulted and then threatened to kill.

Patan residents have sought immediate and strict action against the duo as the place is of immense religious value.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]

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JAMNAGAR :: Staff shortage hits Jamnagar medical college Monday, September 3, 2001

JAMNAGAR: Once the only medical college in Saurashtra, MP Shah Medical College is getting step-motherly treatment for the past few years thereby lowering its standards. What hits students more is the teaching staff shortage. Jamnagar medical college has produced many doctors who have made a mark at international level.

It has been observed that this medical college is being ignored. Its long pending demand of adequate teaching staff is one such area where no one seems bothered. For the past five years, the staff shortage has been leading to lowering of performance and students who enthusiastically take up this course feel dejected.

Since new medical colleges have been set up at Rajkot and Bhavnagar the teaching and administrative staff requisitioned from Jamnagar college had not been replaced.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]

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Bajrang Dal warns eve teasers Monday, September 3, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The Paldi unit of the Bajrang Dal has revived the old issue of eve teasing at Gujarat College. They have dashed off a letter to the state higher and technical education minister Bharat Barot alleging increasing hooliganism and eve teasing in the college. A copy has also been sent to Gujarat University vice chancellor Naresh Ved.

Bajrang Dal leader Anil Dave claims hooligans who are not even students at the college are often seen drunk on campus and teasing girl student. "Such head-strong elements will have to curb their activities or Bajrang Dal knows how to teach them a lesson," Dave says in the letter. "We even have the names of such persons."

Although Dal members refuse to give the names, they are making a direct attack on the Congress-supported NSUI which has a strong base on the campus. "Some of these hooligans were seen drinking on the campus itself," claims organising secretary of the Dal Jagmohan Chauhan. "Our people are going to keep an eye on them and try and stop them if they try to tease the girl students."

Both principals of the afternoon and evening colleges, Minakshi Oza and R Z Saiyad, refute the allegations saying they have not received any complaint from the students. The students also say that in the last few months there have been no violent incidents on the campus. Student leaders do get into the odd skirmish but no girl has been harassed as yet, they say.

Gujarat College's problems, however, are much larger than mere eve-teasing and one problem feeds the other. For starters, being a government college, it cant refuse the Gujarat University additional admissions even if it is way beyond University Grants Commission norms and their intake capacity.

With political pressure on the University to ensure that no student is left without admission and other colleges reluctant to admit students with less marks, it invariably dumps excess students on Gujarat College. The result is the evening Arts and Commerce College on the campus, which has a more notorious reputation, has 2,800 students, 2,200 of them in the commerce faculty who have been divided in 11 separate divisions. Against this monstrous number, the college has only eight permanent staff members with an army of visiting teachers filling in the gap.

The afternoon science faculty on the other hand has nearly 3,500 students, with nearly 225 students per division and 108 faculty members. Even students with three marksheets are given admission. With students overflowing and such few teachers to take classes, hooliganism is only a natural corollary, sources in the college say. Interestingly, there are only four guards for the 32-acre campus!

"This government should stop stuffing the college with students with three and four marksheets before making allegations against us," says NSUI leader Mihir Shah. "It is such students who are vitiating the atmosphere. We do not even have active members on the campus any more," he claims. "Such allegations simply mean that the state government, which the VHP supports, has failed in curbing violence on campuses."

The BJP Yuva Morcha had created a special anti-Romeo squad a few months back an
entire family had committed mass suicide, allegedly because an NSUI member was blackmailing their daughter. Since then however, the squad has been disbanded. Morcha leader Amit Thakkar says he would resurrect the squad when the need arises.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]

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Customs raids to stub out foreign cigarette sale Monday, September 3, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The Customs and Central Excise officials on Friday swooped up retailers of smuggled foreign cigarettes and raided about 200 premises in almost all major cities across the state.

The raiding team seized cigarettes of various cheap foreign brands from Bangladesh, Malaysia and other countries worth Rs 1 lakh. Also department sleuths seized smuggled items worth Rs 3.5 lakh.

The department raid, conducted under the guidance of commissioner S C Mathur, is a consequence to the nation-wide action against the sale of smuggled foreign cigarettes stated a few months back on complaints lodged by the ITC Ltd.

The tobacco giants complained before the finance ministry that in wake of a duty hike on tobacco, the cheap smuggled brands of cigarettes are finding easy market making it difficult for the players of the Indian market who are doing business and paying all the necessary duty.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]

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