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August 27, 2001 - August 27, 2001

'We demand judicial probe against SMC officials' - Tarachand Kasat Monday, August 27, 2001

Tarachand Kasat, President of Federation of Surat Textile Traders', informed in an exclusive interview that the Federation is not satisfied with the clarifications given by SMC Commissioner Guruprasad Mohapatra, regarding the exact death cause of Jeevanlal Arora, who had succumbed to a severe heart attack on Thursday. Arora's office at Textile market was raided by Octroi officials on Thursday and allegedly unable to bear the torture by these three officials he had a heart attack which claimed his life and left his family members bereaved of the 'Karta'. Kasat demanded of a detailed inquiry by a senior official into this case at the earliest. Kasat categorically refused to digest the clarification by Mohapatra and stated that such statements by him are totally baseless. He added that the statements should have been made after considerable deliberations with the market traders who were on the spot when the incident occurred. Instead the Commissioner had briefed what the officials had informed him and had ruled out the statements of eyewitnesses, and this had enraged the Federation members and had forced them for a token strike. If immediate actions are not taken against the culprits than the Federation will resort to indefinite strike, he added. Kasat condemned the clarifications made without proper inquiry into this case and demanded an official inquiry by an IAS ranked officer over matters like 'was Arora tortured by the officials?'; 'what was the exact reason for the heart attack?'; 'problems faced by traders at the octroi points?' etc. He added that it was being talked amongst the traders that the raid by Octroi officials at Arora's shop and their torturous behaviour to him was the exact reason for his heart attack, which also should be probed at the earliest. Kasat criticised the facilities at Octroi points and stated that the trucks are required to queue for 6-8 long hours at these points and thus many times the delivery has to be taken on the next day as the traffic officials restrict their entry on busy hours. The Octroi officials regular find faults in the challan and thus harass the truck drivers & the traders inspite of advance payment of Rs. 1000 per day for Octroi. This also should be strictly inquired and the guilty officials be punished at the earliest so that the traders are relieved of the harassment by such officials. He assured of appropriate help by Federation if SMC requested for the same. He added that the Federation had repeatedly represented the problems faced by city traders before the State & the Central governments but both had failed to resolve them. While he was proud over the position of Surat textile market in the global scenario he simultaneously condemned over the non-availability of efficient facilities of electricity, water, tax structures, octroi duties, etc. He concluded that if these services are regularly provided at cheap rates then Surat will not only retain the position but will be able to dictate global market.

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Bharuch :: 20 Kg ganja seized Monday, August 27, 2001

Bharuch police have arrested four persons, including a Kashmiri couple and seized 20 kilos of 'ganja' from them. Bharuch police received information about delivery of ganja in the city, following which a watch was organised in Ankleshwar Station Road area. A Kashmiri couple, for possession of 10 kilos of ganja, was arrested and based on information provided by them 2 more persons were arrested while 10 more kilos of ganja was seized. As per information received, Bharuch police received information about a cache of ganja being smuggled in the city in a fiat car. A watch was organised near Sardar Patel Rotary General Hospital in Ankleshwar Station Road area by a police team. A fiat car was intercepted for routine check, during which police found 4 kilos of ganja from the car. During interrogation the couple revealed addresses of two people to whom they had sold 6 kilos of ganja. Police reached Mita Apt. in Chikuwadi area and seized 2 kilos of ganja from Abdul Khalif, a Mumbai based drug trafficker. Police reached the second address, that of Gafur Lighterwala, at Indira Awaas slums and recovered 4 more kilos of ganja from him. The couple during further interrogation confessed to having sold 20 kgs of ganja in Bharuch district. Police team, following this raided at the shopping centre below President Hotel and seized 2 kilos of ganja from Afzal, owner of Sheetal Sweet Mart. 8 more kilos of ganja was seized late in the night after further investigations. Police is carrying out further investigations in the matter and reliable sources inform that 2 more persons have been arrested. However this is yet to be confirmed by police department.

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School bus stolen Monday, August 27, 2001

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It was a case that shocked the city police. They had seldom known such a theft. It was like stealing an elephant from a zoo.
When Hasmukh Kachhia walked into the Raopura police station to lodge a complaint, the police station officer (PSO) did not notice him. Once the complaint was registered, he had to raise his eyebrows and could not help blurting out a 'What'.
Kachhia complained that luxury bus GJ6V-9828 had been stolen from Maharani Shantadevi Girls High School near Sursagar. The bus ferried school students. For the past three years Kacchia was parking it near the school every night.
On Thursday night he did likewise. And he was stunned the next morning when the jumbo size bus was not there. He asked the bus conductor, school authorities and then went to the police.
The police were surprised, for it was the second such case in the city.
Police commissioner J Mahapatra informed DCP R V Jotangiya to supervise the investigation. And the latter had to stay put at the Raopura police station for most part of Friday.
"The motive might be to steal some material in the bus or sell some spare parts and abandon it. It is very unusual that someone would steal a bus and sell it", Jotangiya said.
Friday evening a driver had reportedly seen the bus going towards highway from Fatehgunj circle. This clue might help locate the bus.

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Situation peaceful in trouble-torn Dariapur Monday, August 27, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The situation in curfew-bound Dariapur area, that witnessed violence last week, remained peaceful since Sunday night, except for a few stray incidents, police said.

A kiosk was set afire by some miscreants during the curfew while minor incidents of violence were reported from Kalupur and Srangpur localities, police said, adding the situation was, however, under control.

An indefinite curfew, imposed in Dariapur on Saturday afternoon following rioting and police firing, that led to the death of two persons, was relaxed for two hours on Sunday evening exclusively for women and children.

Police have arrested over 30 people in connection with the riots while the state government has ordered an inquiry by the intelligence bureau of Gujarat police into the incidents.

Meanwhile, a hawker, injured in an attack by anti-social elements a few days ago, over which an unknown organisation had given a bandh call on Friday triggering riots, has succumbed to injuries.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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Riots engineered by fundamentalists: Khurana Monday, August 27, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Bharatiya Janata Party national vice-president Madanlal Khurana, who is in charge of Gujarat affairs, alleged on Sunday that the riots in the city were engineered by Islamic fundamentalists. Hence, Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel had agreed to a high-level inquiry by state intelligence bureau.

Khurana, who was in city to draw up a strategy for the upcoming by-elections to the Sabarkantha Lok Sabha and Sabarmati Assembly seats, met Keshubhai and home minister Haren Pandya, besides state BJP chief Rajendrasinh Jadeja, and requested that peace and order be restored.

He said the CM had assured him that the government would order an inquiry into the circumstances that led to arson and looting in Dariapur, where one person was killed in police-firing.

However, Khurana did not name the group involved in the riots. He brought out leaflets that had been circulated by those who had given the bandh call.

The bandh call followed an incident at Cadila bridge last week in which a group of hawkers were attacked. The senior BJP leader denied that Bajrang Dal activists were involved in the attack. He said collection of 'haftas' from hawkers was the main reason for the clash.

Hinting at the presence of a surreptitious hand in the recent disturbances, Khurana said while the law and order situation had worsened in the wake of the bandh call given by "Muslim businessmen", the Ahmedabad Muslim Vepari Mandal had clarified that they had nothing to do with the bandh. This proved that local Muslims had disassociated themselves from the incident.

While referring to the by-election, the BJP leader said the central election committee would finalise candidates for both the constituencies by the month-end. The state election committee had discussed some proposals received from various quarters for Sabarmati, while Sabarkantha candidates and the BJP by-election strategy would be approved in the next PEC meeting on August 29.

"We will retain Sabarmati and wrest Sabarkantha from the Congress. The BJP has successfully implemented the economic policies and other programmes; therefore, the electorate will prefer them to the Congress," he said.

He accused the Congress of adopting double-standards on the Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank issue. On the one hand the Congress men were staging 'dharnas' against BJP inaction, while, on the other, the party was trying to stall the MMCB revival package, which had been cleared by the Centre, he concluded.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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