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August 2, 2001 - August 2, 2001

Surat RDX transaction: police file separate case Thursday, August 2, 2001

SURAT: The mysterious transaction of RDX between accomplices of Chhota Shakeel and the local gangster Mehboob Ali Pathan alias Montu in April still baffles the city police despite confession by Montu and his six associates.

However, a separate case was registered on Tuesday under sections pertaining to attempts to destabilise the state through activities like bomb blasts. Mehboob, his six local associates, underworld mafia dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel have been associated with the transaction, according to additional police commissioner Mohan Jha.

Mehbool Ali had received the consignments in April last week and had handed it over to someone unknown to him on May 10 on the instructions of the underworld mafia from Mumbai and Dubai. Acting on a tip-off, the city police had nabbed Mehboob Ali and his local associates last month from the Textile Market where they had planned to rob a businessman.

Interrogation had revealed that Mehboob had come into contact with Mumbai-based Alamkhan, an associate of Dawood Ibrahim. Mehboob was lured into underworld activities with promises of big money and he was given certain tasks to ascertain his ability to be part of the gang.

The attack on former BJP corporator Haribadan Banawala on May 22 this year near Kamela Darwaja was the first of the series of the crimes he had been assigned. Banawala had sustained bullet injuries in the incident.

Mehboob and his associates have been remanded to police custody for four more days following registration of the separate case. The filing of the case became necessary looking to the fact they had been involved in transaction of RDX. They had been arrested under attempt to murder former BJP corporator and had been remanded to police custody by the city court.

Since interrogation had revealed only the transaction but not its whereabouts, it became all the more essential to book them under a separate case so as not to lose focus on the seriousness of intended offences, he asserted.

Alamkhan, an associate of Dubai ganglords, was still absconding and the mystery about the RDX remained unfolded.

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

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Dharna against payments seats Thursday, August 2, 2001

VADODARA: The All India Democratic Students' Organisation (AIDSO), Vadodara district committee, is continuing with its on-going agitation against the MSU decision to offer payment seats in the faculty of commerce.

AIDSO president Bharati Parmar said they have organised a week-long dharna against the MSU's payment scheme at Sayajigunj opposite the MSU main building. They term the scheme unfair on under-privileged students.

Train timings: The Vadodara division of Western Railway has revised timings of 249 down Valsad-Ahmedabad passenger, between Vadodara and Nadiad, with effect from August 4. The train will now reach Vadodara at 12.15 pm and depart at 1.40 pm. The train will arrive at
Vadodara yard at 1.47 pm and leave at 1.48 pm. It will arrive at Bajwa at 1.55 pm and will reach Karachiya at 2 pm. Its revised arrival at Nadiad is 3.35 pm and departure is 3.45 pm.

Ticket checking drives: The Vadodara division has launched an intensive ticket checking drive on the Ahmedabad-Vadodara-Surat section. As a result fines amounting to Rs 1.49 lakh were collected and 16,571 cases of irregular travel detected. The railway authorities plan to continue the drives especially on trains where monthly season ticket cardholders are not allowed.

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

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JUNAGADH:::: Cousins drown in check dam Thursday, August 2, 2001

JUNAGADH: Nikunj (12), and his cousin Piyush (10), drowned in the check dam at Chanaka village near Bhesan, on Tuesday. They had entered it for a bath. When their cattle came home without them, the family members went on the look-out. As their shoes and sticks were found near the check dam, they checked in the dam. After some time, they spotted the bodies.

Liquor haul
When a taxi skidded near the bridge of Ozat river, near Vanthali town, 20 km from here), none could guess it had 1,876 bottles of 'Green Label Whisky'. The police said that when they reached the spot, the bottles were being put in another taxi. PSI MV Parmar and the staff reached there and took possession of the wine bottles, but the culprits vanished.

Murder case
Priest of Langadiya Hanuman at Jhalansar village on the outskirts of Junagadh was murdered by Dharshee Chaku and his gang on June 21, 1998. The chief accused in this case been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Junagadh court.
Mahant Balakdas and his disciple, Sukhdevguru Balakdas, were awakened from their sleep and Rs 9,000 taken from them by the culprits who absconded after stabbing them. Sukhdev died as he was severely injured.

Power theft
GEB officials detected power theft to the tune of Rs 2.88 lakh at Ambikanagar-1, near ST Bus Station here. On the basis of complaints, deputy engineer Vinod Raja and his staff checked the well and observed 'direct connection from the electric pole'. He complained to B Division police station, against society president Bharatsingh Zala.

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Jaspal lone anti-Samata voice in BJP Thursday, August 2, 2001

VADODARA: If Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee thinks that an attack against the PMO on the floor of the House by an NDA ally is reason enough for him to tender his resignation, he should look towards Vadodara for some inspiration. The BJP in this Banyan City is sitting cosy even after its coalition partner in the Vadodara Municipal Corporation, the Samata Party, nearly toppled the civic body recently by voting in favour of a no-confidence motion.

While the voting on the motion on July 19 resulted in a tie, it took the mayor's vote to tilt the balance in favour of the BJP which is still thanking its stars that two Congress corporators were absent during the debate. Three independent members came to the rescue of the BJP and it has been alleged that this was for a hefty price. And all this fuss, just because the Samata Party, which also holds the post of deputy mayor, felt agitated that VMC was not doing enough to contain a cholera epidemic!

But, surprisingly, the BJP seems to have learnt to withstand the rigours of coalition politics and is happy to keep its coalition with the Samata going. Except that the jails minister Jaspal Singh, an MLA from Sayajiganj in the city, has now written to the chief minister and the Gujarat BJP president saying they should snap the relations with the Samata instead of tolerating such humiliation. He has gone to the extent of saying that the elected board be superseded and an administrator appointed, something which most people in the BJP do not agree with in spite of the resounding snub from Samata.

The Samata, despite causing the embarrassment to the BJP by voting in favour of the no-confidence motion, knows the BJP cannot do without it. It, in fact, claims that it was feeling the BJP's "big brother attitude" was too bitter a pill to swallow.

"We held a pre-monsoon meeting to thrash out issues, cholera could have been discussed in the meeting rather than taking such action," says city Mayor Bharati Vyas, with an obvious reference to deputy mayor Shailesh Mehta alias Sotta, who is also the Samata Party convenor in Vadodara. She says she was in Honolulu on a study tour in May and Sotta was the acting mayor during the period. He could have taken steps in view of the ensuing monsoons while he enjoyed the powers of the mayor.

But, the Samata Party isn't convinced. "Our intention was not to precipitate a political crisis. We had asked the BJP to issue a warning to the administrative officials who failed in their duty to contain diseases when the monsoons struck. It was the welfare of the people that we were concerned about. If the BJP had warned its officers, we would not have gone that far," said Mehta.

"The BJP acted like a big brother and refused to pay heed to our request to pull up the erring officials in the VMC. We then decided that enough is enough and we would not put up with their bullying tactics anymore," adds Mehta.

But, like Jaspal Singh, many in the BJP rank-and-file feel that party's city unit has been pandering to "the whims and arm-twisting tactics" of the Samata Party to hold on to power. Singh has indicated that "the BJP has compromised principles by joining hands with anti-social elements."

"We are not going to put up to their whims any more," says city BJP chief Shabdsharan Brahmbhatt. "We have shown during the motion that we can manage without the support of the Samata Party," says Brahmbhatt.

Jaspal ,however, is not impressed. "We can't run a coalition just to stay in power, we were a party claiming to be different, people are laughing at us because of the way we are trying to accommodate these hoodlums from the Samata Party", he says.

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

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JAMNAGAR:::: Jamnagar anti-encroachment drive soon Thursday, August 2, 2001

JAMNAGAR: An anti-encroachment drive will be undertaken on common plots allotted to some vested interests by some conniving civic officials. Commissioner Pradeep Sharma has warned of action against those who allotted the plots.

Under the TP scheme No. 1 and No. 2, over 150 common plots were being encroached. The cost of land is in crores. Sharma was surprised when he was informed of it and he decided to clear these encroachments.

Minister pats officialdom: Minister Mulubhai Bera has complimented the district officials who have helped to tackle scarcity in the district. The district faced two successive droughts besides the dreaded earthquake. The administration had to spend a lot on relief and rescue operations, too.

Phone connections: Over 30,000 telephone connections have been given by district telecom department in the past three years. According to department spokesman, 9,807 new connections were given in 1998-99, 10,651 in 1999-2000 and 16,598 in 2000-2001. The target for the current year is 21,300. During this period new exchanges had been sanctioned in 36 villages.

Ration cards: Jamnagar district will be the first in the state to distribute new ration cards. While distributing such cards at Haripar of Lalpur taluka last Monday, minister Mulubhai Bera said over 19,000 families in Lalpur taluka will be provided new ration cards. Bera and minister Chiman Soparia and MP Chandrak Patel distributed new ration cards to 547 families in the village. Bera also distributed cheques worth Rs. 31.69 lakh to 41 schools in Lalpur taluka which had collapsed in the earthquake or suffered heavy damages.

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

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