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July 19, 2001 - July 19, 2001

Physically-challenged swindler arrested Thursday, July 19, 2001

By Crime Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: The Kagdapith police have arrested physically-challenged Ashok Chandulal Rathod who is alleged to have cheated several people to the tune of over Rs 15 lakh since he began his operations as a con man. Using physically-challenged persons as his victims, Rathod has also been charged of raping another disabled woman on the pretext of getting her an auto-tricycle, used by the disabled.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone V) R J Savani, Rathod had misused his disability and cheated people by taking money from them and promising them jobs or other benefits for the physically-challenged by posing as a representative of the social justice department.

His area of operations included Surendranagar, Rajula, Amreli, Aurangabad and even Shirdi. But it was from Kodinar where he extorted Rs 7,500 from someone in exchange of a job that he was caught along with the money.

His modus operandi was simple - he would contact a disabled person, promise him a job and collect his 'fee', and then send the person to photocopy their documents, and give them the slip. Rathod is known to have left people in the lurch at the Civil Hospital (on the pretext of getting a certificate from the Civil Surgeon), at the Regional Transport Office (on the pretext of getting a tricycle licence), as also on the railway station and ST bus stations on similar pretexts. Always ensuring that his 'fees' were realised first.

Rathod has reportedly confessed before the police that he had amassed Rs 1 lakh through this trick from Shirdi alone, and another Rs 50,000 from Aurangabad. "But how he managed this is really a mystery because Rathod claimed he could not speak a word of Hindi!" says Savani.

Police sources say, Rathod lured a physically-challenged married girl saying he would get her an auto-tricycle. He then took her to a hotel room at Sarkhej and raped her, and even stole her anklets! The lady, who has refused to lodge a complaint, reportedly surfaced before the police after Rathod's arrest.

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

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Con man claiming links with TOI held Thursday, July 19, 2001

By Crime Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: The Bapunagar police have arrested one Jose Paul on Tuesday following complaints about him cheating people posing to be associated with The Times of India as a 'Senior Executive'.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone V) R J Savani told TOI that the police had locked him up at the Bapunagar police station and booked him under section 109 of the Criminal Procedural Code which indicates a preventive detention.

According to Savani, Paul, who lived-in with one Rekha Vyas at Vallabhnagar Flats at Bapunagar, used to present himself as a TOI executive and claimed similar associations with another leading English daily. He used the TOI plank to seek jobs and favours.

His companion Rekha, who he claimed was his 'wife', is learnt to be a divorcee and reportedly used to run a racket of conducting courses for wannabe beauticians, claiming expertise in the field. This woman claimed she owned a Rs 36-lakh flat at Shahibaug.

She approached a 'mehndi' designer, Jayshree Pujara, saying she would give her publicity through her husband. Jayshree believed her at first and handed over some of her imitation jewellery "for a bridal make-up contest at Mumbai" which Rekha talked her into.

Rekha is learnt to have run beauticians' courses in Surat by collecting Rs 500 as fees from her clients, but did not award them any certificates, which had the women register a complaint with the local police. Rekha, who actually resides at Uttar Gujarat Housing Society at Asarwa, is yet to be apprehended.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that Paul is already married and has three children who live in his Bapunagar house. His was caught when he left behind a bag at one of his victim's place, and the suspicious victim saw a bio-data and gave it to the police. The document quoted Paul as having six years' experience at TOI. He used to at times claim to be a journalist, and at other times as a Response executive.

Paul will be produced before the local court on Wednesday.

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

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Bastee dwellers flay demolition of Adivasi homes Thursday, July 19, 2001

By Our Civic Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: Bastee dwellers near the Sabarmati railway colony are up in arms against the railway administration for demolishing shanties of some Adivasis which encroached on official land.

About 1000-odd Adivasis, who are left homeless, have united under the banner of Bandhkam Mazdoor Sangathan and threatened to resort to agitation if their demand for construction of homes under 'Renbasera' scheme of the state government are not met forthwith.

The organisation has claimed that railway officials as well as the railway protection force had been collecting bribes for letting the Adivasis occupy the railway land.

"Despite paying the 'unofficial charges' to allow us occupy this piece of land beside the Sabarmati railway tracks, we were evicted soon after the railway authorities received a letter to remove encroachment from their higher ups," they alleged.

Following demolition of the shanties, a delegation led by the Sangathan secretary, Varsha Patel, met the inspector of works (western railways, Ahmedabad). Telegrams have also been shot to the divisional manager, divisional engineer (railways) and the local MP Rajubhai Parmar requesting an immediate inquiry into this issue. The agitationists have also said that they should not be evicted from the present site of their homes and that they be given houses under the 'Renbasera' scheme.

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

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JAMNAGAR::: Development works in Jamnagar sanctioned Thursday, July 19, 2001

The Times of India News Service
JAMNAGAR: Development works worth Rs.5.50 crore were sanctioned by the civic body standing committee that met under the chairmanship of Jashraj Parmar on Monday.

The works include renovation of city roads (Rs. 1 crore) allocated to five contractors at equal share as per their bid offered at Rs. 162.73 under and open drainage works in zone A2-B.

The proposal to provide Rs. 4 crore more for underground project was also passed as only Rs. 1 crore has been provided in the budget and Rs. 8 lakh had been sanctioned for covering rain water trenches.

It was decided that the proposal on allotment of stalls at Janmashtami fair and the rent thereof will be sent to the general body.

Van Mahotsav: Jamnagar took a lead in celebrating Van Mahotsava which was to be celebrated as Narmada Van Mahotsava-2001 in the state.

Mulubhai Bera minister along with minister of PWD Chiman Saparia and MP Chandresh Patel inaugurated Van Mahotsava at Dudhya village of Kalyanpur taluka on Monday at the Shiv Shakti Ashram. Villagers also joined in the planting drive.

The ministers distributed food grains to beneficiaries under Antyoday Scheme and gave new ration cards, too.

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

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Murder probe exposes chinks in police department Thursday, July 19, 2001

By Crime Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: The arrest of three persons by the Criminal Investigation Department of the state police department, in connection with the controversial double-murder of August 2000 in Tagdi village of Dhandhuka, could expose several loopholes in the investigations by the local police.

The case assumed major political dimensions after local legislator Bharat Pandya took interest and the inquiry was transferred from the Ahmedabad district police to the CID after allegations by the local Patel community that the detection was 'unsatisfactory'.

The victims in this case were a retired primary school principal Anantrai Keshavlal Patel and his wife Shantuben who were brutally murdered on the night of August 12 in their house at Tagdi village by some miscreants who stole the woman's gold earrings and reportedly escaped after the neighbourhood was roused.

While the case was under investigation by the local police of the Barvala police station, there was another murder on November 13 at Khamda village in Barvala taluka and three persons were caught. "Since the modus operandi was the same and three weapons were also recovered by the police, they were assumed to be involved in the double-murder at Tagdi village and presented before the court as the accused," says a senior official from the CID (crime).

These accused were arrested on November 20 and chargesheeted on December 20, barely two weeks after the case was handed over to the CID for investigations, "which is what aroused suspicion that something was fishy," remarked the senior CID official.

However, Pandya is learnt to have taken interest in the case and made representations before the state government, besides the Patel Pragati Mandal which conducted rallies and pressurised the government to initiate a fresh inquiry into the incident.

According to investigating officer Y A Shaikh, "The CID (Crime) began the investigations in June first week after directives from the court, and caught Pratap alias 'Pata' Bhikhabhai Dhanji (35), Govind alias 'Tino' Bhikhabhai Dhanji and Ajubhai Ramubhai", all of who are Chunwalia Kolis by caste and reportedly have age-old differences with the Patels. Pratap was arrested on July 13 while the rest were arrested on July 15. Incidentally, Bhikha Dhanji who is said to have masterminded the operation died some 20 days ago.

Circle police inspector Y A Shaikh from the CID crime branch told TOI that they camped at the village posing as commoners, and found that Pratap, who had returned to the scene of crime to recover the weapon, was noticed by some villagers.

Shaikh and his team nailed Pratap and detained him for interrogation, after which he confessed to his brother's involvement in the crime. The accused were caught after sustained interrogation. The knife used in the murders and the two gold earrings were also recovered from the house where they were buried in the mud floor, said Shaikh.

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

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