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August 25, 2001 - August 25, 2001

'Missing' RDX prompts Hazira units to beef up security Saturday, August 25, 2001

SURAT: With a breakthrough still elusive in the 'missing' RDX case, all industrial units in Hazira, apprehending a threat to their installations, have beefed up security around their plants.

Police are still groping in the dark about the RDX transaction carried out between the Chhota Shakeel and Mehboob Ali Pathan gangs in the city in April.

Officials of various industries, like Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), L&T, KRIBHCO and Essar Steels Ltd, located in Hazira held a meeting recently to chalk out a plan for beefing up security in the industrial belt.

According to RIL officials, all precautionary measures have been initiated to avoid any untoward incident. As part of the plan, a closed-circuit TV has been installed inside the plant and entry of vehicles has been banned beyond a certain point in the vicinity, sources in RIL said. Underground storage tanks in RIL are also being constantly monitored, sources added.

Two officials from KRIBHCO have been deputed on a 15-days training at CISF in Hyderabad to acquire the basic knowledge of RDX with regard to their physical features and range of damage, sources in the company confirmed.

At L&T, storage of liquefied natural gas has been stopped and, instead, the plant is being supplied with gas through regulated supply through pipelines. All vital installations in the plant have been put under maximum security cover, company administrative officials said.

Commissioner of police Vineet Kumar Gupta told TNN that industrial units in the Hazira complex have been specifically instructed to take all measures for beefing up security around their plants.
Police are taking extra initiatives as far as external security is concerned in the industrial area, he said, adding that several measures are being initiated under his direct supervision in this regard.

It may be recalled that, in April, Mehboob Ali alias Montu had received a consignment of RDX and had in turn handed it over to an unidentified man on May 10, on the instructions of the underworld mafia from Mumbai and Dubai. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) had then informed the city police about the possibilities of blasts around that time in the city and other parts of the state.

However, the city police have still not been able to trace the RDX, despite sustained interrogations of Mehboob and his associates, who are now in custody. It is also feared that the consignment was probably meant for blowing up the crime branch of the Mumbai police.

Meanwhile, the proposal to have all the industrial units linked directly with the district administration through hotline and the internet has been approved and measures will soon be initiated in this regard, said sources in the district collectorate.

This will help not only in strengthening communication among the industries and the district authorities during disasters but also help to warn officials concerned in times of crisis. An action plan for all the units in Hazira is being chalked out at the initiative of the district administration in co-ordination with several agencies, both in public and private sectors.

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

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School teachers begin indefinite fast Saturday, August 25, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Five members of the Gujarat State Educational Union Federation (GSEUF) went on an indefinite fast from Thursday to protest against the government's inaction to fulfil long-pending demands of principals, teachers and other staff of the secondary and higher secondary schools. The federation has also threatened to go on an indefinite strike from August 29.

The indefinite fasting is an extension of the long-time fight being put up by the federation to press for their demands. Last month, the federation had called for a state-wide school bandh that had met with near-total response what with almost all of 5,500 schools remaining closed in protest. This was followed by a recent programme of teachers shaving their moustaches in protest of government inaction.

Federation spokesman Ashok Shah conceded that the secondary and higher secondary staff has decided to fight it out until the government finally decides to fulfil the long-pending demands. The federation members will take out a rally to the state legislative assembly on August 28. "This is to be followed by indefinite strike in secondary and higher secondary schools across the state from August 29", informed Shah, adding that a meeting was held on Tuesday in this regard to ensure 100 per cent success of the strike call.

Shah, however, said a federation meeting will be held on Saturday to finalise the course of action to be pursued. "By then, if the state government has not made any moves to find solution to our problems, the federation will be forced to go ahead with its decision to announce indefinite strike in more than 5,500 schools across the state", Shah warned.

The teachers are protesting against government inaction to fulfil their long-pending demands, prominent amongst which is that government make 100 per cent recruitment in all the grant-in-aid schools.

"There are almost 6,000 posts of teachers lying vacant which should be filled at the earliest in the interest of the students", said former federation president Narayanbhai Patel.

The teachers have also demanded that they be given vehicle allowance and also that the teachers be given the Fifth Pay Commission arrears as accorded by the Centre.

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

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Stir threatened over use of ST depot by private buses Saturday, August 25, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Irked by the use of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation depot premises by private operator to carry out their business, the GSRTC workers, affiliated to the Indian Trade Union Congress, have threatened to go on a stir if immediate steps are not taken to check the practice.

According to INTUC general secretary Dahyabhai Pilwaikar, as per a notification these private operators have been restricted to operate at least one kilometre away from the STC depots. The step is to protect the interest of the state transport corporation, which, because of this, has been loosing as much as 25 lakh very day, from various locations in the state.

But despite the notification its implementation has still not come through and private operator continue to operate from within five metres of the ST depots.

The union has warned that if no steps are taken within 15 days the workers will resort to agitation before the office of the state transport minister and the home minister.

The GSRTC, which is struggling under financial crunch, is still unable to pay the arrears of employees. With cumulative losses adding up to Rs 1500, mismanagement and practices like this, which affect revenue earnings of the department, continue, the union laments.

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

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Sonia to address farmers' rally on Sept 1 Saturday, August 25, 2001

SURAT: All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi will address the annual 'Khedut Stayagrah' rally at Dharampur, about 100 km from Surat, on September 1.

According to veteran freedom fighter Hakumat Desai, who will preside over the meeting, the rally gains significance in view of the Pardi Annakhed Satyagrah's significant role in the freedom struggle, which was on par with the Bardoli Satyagrah.

He said very few people, today, were aware of the movement's contribution to the freedom struggle.

Gujarat Pradesh Committee president Amarsinh Chaudhary, too, confirmed Sonia Gandhi's visit to Dharampur.

This will be Sonia's third visit to the region, the last being in January 1999 following the communal upheaval in the Dangs.

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Six-year-old girl raped, murdered Saturday, August 25, 2001

SURAT: A six-year-old girl was raped and murdered by an unidentified person near Sachin on Wednesday. The girl had been missing since Tuesday evening; she was found dead in an isolated area near Sachin GIDC.

Police said the girl lived with her widowed mother, and had gone out to play on Tuesday evening. She had been missing since then.

A case has been registered and investigations are on, police said.

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

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