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August 25, 2001 - August 25, 2001

Dr. RA Mashelkar is search body head Saturday, August 25, 2001

VADODARA: MS University Chancellor Mrunalini Devi Puar has appointed CSIR's Dr RA Mashelkar as one of the nominees to the Search Committee, which will elect the university's new vice-chancellor. Dr Mashelkar will be the chairman of the committee.

The other two members of the committee comprise syndicate nominee Dr Madan Mohan Gupta and the state's nominee Dr Mavani, who is also the vice-chancellor of the Saurashtra University.

Though no details as to when the Search Committee will meet to discuss the choice of the new vice-chancellor was available, MSU sources hinted at a delay in the process. Kane's term ends on September 7, while the normal procedure for electing a V-C involves two or more meetings between members of the Search Committee before arriving at a decision.

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

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Special trains between Ahmedabad and Mumbai Saturday, August 25, 2001

VADODARA: Western Railway will run a special train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai Central to ease the extra rush on the route.

A release here stated that special train number 971A will leave Mumbai Central on Friday and August 31 at 11 pm and reach Ahmedabad 6.50 am. Special train 972B will leave Ahmedabad at 9 pm on Saturday and September 2. It will reach Mumbai Central at 5 a.m. BMA seminar

Baroda Management Association will organise a programme on 'Managerial Competencies for Personal Assistants and Secretaries' on Tuesday. Also, a communiqu‚ here stated that a workshop on 'Labour Legislation with Special Reference to Industrial Disputes and Adjudication' was scheduled for September 12.

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

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Tension in Walled City area during bandh Saturday, August 25, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Tension prevailed in the Walled City areas on Friday as riots broke out in the morning with mobs resorting to violence and arson, forcing shopkeepers to down their shutters. Shops and vehicles were set ablaze and attempts were also reportedly made to desecrate a mosque and a temple in the Mirzapur and Gheekanta areas.
The incidents occurred during a bandh called by the Ahmedabad Muslim Association in protest against Tuesday's attack on squatters at Cadila bridge in Vatva. The Muslim Youth Association (MYA), which also claimed to be behind the bandh, said in a release, "This is for the awakening of the Muslim community."

The police took control of the situation and lobbed at least 40 teargas shells to disperse the mob pelting stones at each other in Mirzapur, Revdi Bazaar, Kalupur and surrounding areas in the city.

Police commissioner PC Pande said, "There will certainly be preventive arrests as soon as the miscreants are identified."

No one is reported to have been injured in the stone-throwing that continued in spurts throughout the day. Certain BJP corporators rushed to 'assess' the situation at Revdi Bazaar. Women and children stayed indoors, while men assembled in groups outside their mohallas.

At least two shops and four vehicles were burnt and several others damaged. In the Panchkuva Sindhi market, arsonists threw a burning stove into a shop in front of the fire brigade station, setting it ablaze along with three motorbikes. Several vehicles parked in the market were also damaged when riots broke out around noon. The police, however, could not confirm the mosque or temple desecration incident which is said to have occurred in the evening when fresh riots broke out.

Constant patrolling was on by the Rapid Action Force and the SRP in the sensitive areas of Kalupur and Mirzapur. A riot-control vehicle was rushed to Panchkuva when trouble broke out around 10.30 am.

Intelligence reports have attributed the bandh to political forces who may have been trying to make an impact ahead of the by-elections. Associations patronised by minorities in Juhapura, Lal Darwaja and other areas have already sent feelers to the police demanding the arrest of the miscreants. Additional hand-outs had been distributed. MYA convenor Altaf Shaikh accused the police of "shielding" Bajrang Dal activists, who they claimed were behind the attacks in Vatva.

Eye-witnesses told this newspaper that mobs barged into Revdi Bazaar in Kalupur and forced traders to close their shops in response to the bandh call. They were protesting against the police inaction in the Vatva episode.

While the Ahmedabad Muslim Vepari Mandal had on Thursday denied having declared any bandh, Astodia, Mirzapur, Dariapur, Shahpur, Kalupur and some parts of Relief Road and Dani Limda remained closed. Heavy security was deployed at the Relief cinema house, where the film, 'Gadar', was being screened.

Security was beefed up around mosques for fear of attacks, while the police patrolled the Cadila bridge area in Vatva.

Police staged a march in the Revdi Bazaar and Mirzapur areas to avoid further violence, while traders kept their shops closed.

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

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State Congress passes resolution to the effect Sonia to appoint CLP leader Saturday, August 25, 2001

GANDHINAGAR: The Congress Legislature Party passed a one-line resolution on Friday authorising Congress President Sonia Gandhi to appoint a new CLP leader in the place of Amarsinh Chaudhary, now state Congress chief.

Two Congress high command observers -- All-India Congress Committee secretary Shailaja and Congress Parliamentary Party general-secretary Suresh Pachauri -- who attended the CLP meet here, told newspersons later, "Sonia Gandhi has been empowered on all issues related to CLP leader, including whether to elect a new leader; if yes then whom and when."

Insisting that "no date has been fixed for selecting the new CLP leader", Pachauri said, "Political decisions cannot be bound by time." He added, "The issue whether Chaudhary, who was selected state Congress president, will continue to be the CLP leader will also be decided by Sonia Gandhi."

A new CLP leader will hold charge till 2002-end, when the current Assembly term ends. He added, "No names were discussed during the CLP meeting".

At least two Congress MLAs' groups represented later to the central Congress observers. One group, of Backward Class MLAs and their supporters, led by CLP secretary Udayisnh Baria and senior Saurashtra MLA Jassu Barad, told the high command representatives that "imposing someone from the top without knowing who backed who would not help". The other group, of tribal MLAs, told the central observers that the current dispensation under Chaudhary might as well continue as Assembly polls were not far off.
Claiming lack of discussion on names was "perfectly democratic", Pachauri said, "What can we do if the Congress MLAs decide on something unanimous? We had come here to take their view."

The meeting opened with a brief statement by Chaudhary, followed by CLP deputy leader Udaysinh Baria, belonging to the rebel Madhavsinh Solanki group, coming up with a proposal to empower Sonia Gandhi to take the final decision. "Baria's proposal was supported by all MLAs by raising hand," Panchauri added.

Three MLAs in the race are: CLP chief whip Naresh Rawal, who is strongly supported by close Sonia Gandhi confidant and Rajya Sabha member Ahmed Patel; and CLP secretary Udaysinh Baria, backed by the Solanki faction and a strong group of Backward Class MLAs.

This apart, there is some support for three others -- Siddharth Patel, who represents the former Janata Dal (G) group; senior MLA from Central Gujarat Subhash Shelat; and Jassu Barad, of the OBC group belonging to Saurashtra.

Despite being an associate of the rebel Solanki faction, Baria has mellowed down. If a week ago he insisted that there should be an election procedure for CLP leader and one-line resolution leaving things to Sonia Gandhi would not work, on Friday he moved the resolution, leaving things to the Congress president.

Four of the five aspirants TNN spoke to said the decision by Sonia Gandhi would be "acceptable" to them, but Siddharth Patel emphasised he was "not in the race".

AICC secretary Shailaja told TNN that she must have met at least three dozen Congress MLAs, either separately or together, and heard their views on the crucial matter.
Though some MLAs were seen carrying out a signature campaign, she claimed that she had received none of the signed papers, except the one-line resolution. Pachauri denied that there was any split in the party. He even said that he was not aware of the parallel meetings held by different factions in the recent past.

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

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Ketan Parekh gets bail on condition to pay back MMCB depositors Saturday, August 25, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Conditional bail was granted to prime accused Ketan Parekh in the Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank scam on Friday on an undertaking that the accused would deposit Rs 16.41 crore within the next three to six months to revive the accounts of over 1 lakh small depositors of the bank.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Smitaben Shah allowing bail to Parekh on a security of Rs 2 lakh and solvent security of Rs 10 lakh directed the accused to deposit the amount of Rs 16.41 crore in the Mandvi (Mumbai) branch of MMCB towards the revival of 1,09,794 accounts of people who had deposits less than Rs 5,000.

Parekh also had to take an undertaking before the CMM that he would deposit Rs 392 crore to clear off the dues of public with deposits up to Rs 1 lakh within three years. The total number of depositors of MMCB is 2,96,319 out of which almost one-third have deposits of up to Rs 5000.

Parekh will have to produce the receipt of the amounts deposited before the court within seven days of the specified time of deposits. The bail is liable to be cancelled if the conditions are not adhered to.

Parekh was arrested on August 10 in Mumbai following which he was remanded in CBI custody. His custody was extended till August 24 as the CBI sought to establish the fate of the MMCB depositors' money, Parekh's Swiss account and his links with the Mauritius-based Overseas Corporate Bodies, through which he had allegedly siphoned out money illegally.

The CMM directed Parekh to be present before the investigating agency on every Monday for the next six months and thereafter on the first Monday of every month.

Opposing the bail application, CBI counsel Nishit Mehta said the investigations were not yet complete and considering the sensitivity of the issue the accused should not be allowed bail and be sent in judicial custody. He said if he is granted bail, then conditions be placed on him adequately to protect the interest of depositors.

The CMM directed Parekh to submit his passport. The order said the amount to be deposited by him within six months would strictly be used for the revival of the accounts of the depositors with a balance less than Rs 5000. In case the government provides any dole, the amount would then be distributed so as to benefit depositors of the Rs 1 lakh and above category.

Parekh's case was presented his counsel Ashok Shah, assisted by Kiran Brahmbhatt.

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

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