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August 1, 2001 - August 2, 2001

Sorcerer tortures boy Thursday, August 2, 2001

A STAFF REPORTER, The Times of India News Service
VADODARA: A sorcerer allegedly tortured a 16-year-old boy in an attempt to rid the teenager of a 'ghost' at Nagarwada area here. The boy, Kalpesh Solanki, was inflicted blows by hot tongs to 'purify' his body. The boy was later shifted to K G P Children's' Hospital were his condition was reported to be serious.

Police said the sorcerer, identified as Gopal living in Nagarwada, did not listen to the boy's parents and continued with his 'hot tongs treatment'.

"The boy's parents had taken him to this 'bhuva' after the boy behaved strangely. However, once the sorcerer started his 'treatment', the parents could tolerate and urged him to stop," said a police official. By the time the 'purifying treatment' could be stopped, the boy had received severe burn injuries, and had turned unconscious.

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


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Worst-affected Ratnal town being rebuilt Wednesday, August 1, 2001

By ANIL PATHAK, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: Ratnal, one of the worst earthquake-devastated town near Anjar in Kutch district, has opted for relocation as it has suffered heavy loss of life and property for the second time on Republic Day. The place had faced the fury of nature in an earthquake in 1956 which shook Anjar and its surroundings.

As many as 167 people, including some children, lost their lives in house-collapse incidents and more than 1,800 houses were reduced to rubble on January 26 in the wake of the killer quake which shattered Kutch and Saurashtra claiming over 15,000 lives and left over 1,000 villages totally destroyed.

Now, six months after the devastation, reconstruction of the town has begun. Ratnal is the home town of Vasanbhai Ahir, the BJP MLA who represents Anjar in the State Assembly.

Among the many sufferers, Ahir too lost many of his close relatives in quake.

Talking to The Times of India of his experiences on Black Friday, with tears in his eyes, Ahir said, "I was busy performing 'puja' in a small temple in my house, and suddenly everything around me started shaking. Within seconds, I rushed out and also asked my neighbours to leave their houses."

Recollecting the scene of destruction, he said, "Just as we came out of our house, it came crashing like a pack of cards. There rose a cloud of dust, and the whole atmosphere was filled with sounds of children crying. People were shouting for help from under the debris of collapsed houses."

"I had shifted to a new house on August 15 (Independence Day), and it was reduced to a heap of rubble on January 26 (Republic Day)," he said.

Ahir said the most tragic scene was that of the schoolchildren who were crushed to death when a portion of building collapsed on them. The children had come out of their classes to participate in the flag hoisting ceremony in the school compound, he said.

To a pointed question whether he was satisfied with the rescue and rehabilitation in Ratnal, Ahir said, "The removal of debris has been delayed as the villagers were in a dilemma over whether to go ahead with relocation of the village to a new site, or re-construct the collapsed houses."

He added, "We have now conveyed to the district authorities that relocation was the best option, as the villagers did not wish to lose any more loved ones in earthquakes. Not after suffering once in 1956 and now in 2001."

Quoting elders whom he had heard, Ahir said there was no casualty reported in 1956, but several houses were badly damaged then.

The people in the town now plan to buy a 200-acre piece of land to construct new houses on the site to be allotted by the district authorities. He said the government had already made disbursement to the tune of over Rs 1.65 crore in Ratnal for construction of temporary houses. Over 300 families have moved in the new premises. Children were attending classes in pre-fabricated structures set up by the government with the help of UNICEF. A small hospital has started functioning from a similar structure, and thus normalcy was fast returning to the town.

A local committee of the town's leading citizens has decided to entrust the task of construction of over 2,000 new houses to select NGOs. Dialogue has been initiated with some including Swaminarayan temple of Mumbai which had come to help of the affected people within a few days after the quake.
Referring to the rehabilitation in Anjar constituency, he said it was one of the biggest constituency in the state, stretching from Surajbari (Jangi) to Ratnal.

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


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Worst-affected Ratnal town being rebuilt Wednesday, August 1, 2001

By ANIL PATHAK, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: Ratnal, one of the worst earthquake-devastated town near Anjar in Kutch district, has opted for relocation as it has suffered heavy loss of life and property for the second time on Republic Day. The place had faced the fury of nature in an earthquake in 1956 which shook Anjar and its surroundings.

As many as 167 people, including some children, lost their lives in house-collapse incidents and more than 1,800 houses were reduced to rubble on January 26 in the wake of the killer quake which shattered Kutch and Saurashtra claiming over 15,000 lives and left over 1,000 villages totally destroyed.

Now, six months after the devastation, reconstruction of the town has begun. Ratnal is the home town of Vasanbhai Ahir, the BJP MLA who represents Anjar in the State Assembly.

Among the many sufferers, Ahir too lost many of his close relatives in quake.

Talking to The Times of India of his experiences on Black Friday, with tears in his eyes, Ahir said, "I was busy performing 'puja' in a small temple in my house, and suddenly everything around me started shaking. Within seconds, I rushed out and also asked my neighbours to leave their houses."

Recollecting the scene of destruction, he said, "Just as we came out of our house, it came crashing like a pack of cards. There rose a cloud of dust, and the whole atmosphere was filled with sounds of children crying. People were shouting for help from under the debris of collapsed houses."

"I had shifted to a new house on August 15 (Independence Day), and it was reduced to a heap of rubble on January 26 (Republic Day)," he said.

Ahir said the most tragic scene was that of the schoolchildren who were crushed to death when a portion of building collapsed on them. The children had come out of their classes to participate in the flag hoisting ceremony in the school compound, he said.

To a pointed question whether he was satisfied with the rescue and rehabilitation in Ratnal, Ahir said, "The removal of debris has been delayed as the villagers were in a dilemma over whether to go ahead with relocation of the village to a new site, or re-construct the collapsed houses."

He added, "We have now conveyed to the district authorities that relocation was the best option, as the villagers did not wish to lose any more loved ones in earthquakes. Not after suffering once in 1956 and now in 2001."

Quoting elders whom he had heard, Ahir said there was no casualty reported in 1956, but several houses were badly damaged then.

The people in the town now plan to buy a 200-acre piece of land to construct new houses on the site to be allotted by the district authorities. He said the government had already made disbursement to the tune of over Rs 1.65 crore in Ratnal for construction of temporary houses. Over 300 families have moved in the new premises. Children were attending classes in pre-fabricated structures set up by the government with the help of UNICEF. A small hospital has started functioning from a similar structure, and thus normalcy was fast returning to the town.

A local committee of the town's leading citizens has decided to entrust the task of construction of over 2,000 new houses to select NGOs. Dialogue has been initiated with some including Swaminarayan temple of Mumbai which had come to help of the affected people within a few days after the quake.
Referring to the rehabilitation in Anjar constituency, he said it was one of the biggest constituency in the state, stretching from Surajbari (Jangi) to Ratnal.

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


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Worst-affected Ratnal town being rebuilt Wednesday, August 1, 2001

By ANIL PATHAK, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: Ratnal, one of the worst earthquake-devastated town near Anjar in Kutch district, has opted for relocation as it has suffered heavy loss of life and property for the second time on Republic Day. The place had faced the fury of nature in an earthquake in 1956 which shook Anjar and its surroundings.

As many as 167 people, including some children, lost their lives in house-collapse incidents and more than 1,800 houses were reduced to rubble on January 26 in the wake of the killer quake which shattered Kutch and Saurashtra claiming over 15,000 lives and left over 1,000 villages totally destroyed.

Now, six months after the devastation, reconstruction of the town has begun. Ratnal is the home town of Vasanbhai Ahir, the BJP MLA who represents Anjar in the State Assembly.

Among the many sufferers, Ahir too lost many of his close relatives in quake.

Talking to The Times of India of his experiences on Black Friday, with tears in his eyes, Ahir said, "I was busy performing 'puja' in a small temple in my house, and suddenly everything around me started shaking. Within seconds, I rushed out and also asked my neighbours to leave their houses."

Recollecting the scene of destruction, he said, "Just as we came out of our house, it came crashing like a pack of cards. There rose a cloud of dust, and the whole atmosphere was filled with sounds of children crying. People were shouting for help from under the debris of collapsed houses."

"I had shifted to a new house on August 15 (Independence Day), and it was reduced to a heap of rubble on January 26 (Republic Day)," he said.

Ahir said the most tragic scene was that of the schoolchildren who were crushed to death when a portion of building collapsed on them. The children had come out of their classes to participate in the flag hoisting ceremony in the school compound, he said.

To a pointed question whether he was satisfied with the rescue and rehabilitation in Ratnal, Ahir said, "The removal of debris has been delayed as the villagers were in a dilemma over whether to go ahead with relocation of the village to a new site, or re-construct the collapsed houses."

He added, "We have now conveyed to the district authorities that relocation was the best option, as the villagers did not wish to lose any more loved ones in earthquakes. Not after suffering once in 1956 and now in 2001."

Quoting elders whom he had heard, Ahir said there was no casualty reported in 1956, but several houses were badly damaged then.

The people in the town now plan to buy a 200-acre piece of land to construct new houses on the site to be allotted by the district authorities. He said the government had already made disbursement to the tune of over Rs 1.65 crore in Ratnal for construction of temporary houses. Over 300 families have moved in the new premises. Children were attending classes in pre-fabricated structures set up by the government with the help of UNICEF. A small hospital has started functioning from a similar structure, and thus normalcy was fast returning to the town.

A local committee of the town's leading citizens has decided to entrust the task of construction of over 2,000 new houses to select NGOs. Dialogue has been initiated with some including Swaminarayan temple of Mumbai which had come to help of the affected people within a few days after the quake.
Referring to the rehabilitation in Anjar constituency, he said it was one of the biggest constituency in the state, stretching from Surajbari (Jangi) to Ratnal.

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


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JUNAGADH:::: Lok adalat to take up women's cases Wednesday, August 1, 2001

THE TIMES OF INDIA NEWS SERVICE
JUNAGADH: Women's family 'Lok Adalat' will be held here on August 26 from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. by the legal service group of Junagadh to settle cases of widows, deserted ladies and children.

Those wanting to be heard may write to district women's group, Kadri Manzil, Delo (Gate), Near Collector Office and send papers before August 5 to the permanent settlement committee.

Murder mystery: Veeram Oghad, a history sheeter from Porbandar, who stayed near Veraval, was murdered on July 25. The police are yet to solve the mystery and have sought the help of forensic experts. Police inspector Kuldeepsingh Dhillon under the guidance of DySP S U Jadeja has gone to Madhavpur (Ghed) to investigate the case. Veeram's body was handed over to his family. The body was found at a desolate spot where barring some farmers, no one stays. Veeram had links with some offences and so lived in isolation.

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


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