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June 28, 2001 - June 29, 2001

Three get life sentence in two cases of murder Friday, June 29, 2001

The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD, June 28: Three persons have been sentenced to life imprisonment in the last two days by the city sessions court in connection with two incidents of murder.

In the first case, city sessions court convicted two person to life imprisonment for murdering a 35-year-old-man who objected to extortion by local criminals at Gomtipur. Additional city sessions judge P B Desai convicted accused Kaluji alias Kalio Bagji Marwari (19) and Somabhai Marwari (21) for murdering Naresh Sunderlal Jain on April 20, 2000. According to the complainant Sunderlal Jain, father of the victim, his son was attacked by the two accused with knifes near a pan shop.

The prosecution said the accused had demanded Rs 50 from one of the vendors, Bhanumati, as protection money, but the victim who was present at the spot, came to the help of the vendor who protested against paying the amount. Soon the altercation turned into a bout, and ended in Jain lying in a pool of blood.

The victim, however, died a month later but the statement made before the magistrate and other evidences gathered from the scene of crime supported by 10 prosecution witness brought home the guilt of the accused beyond doubt.

In the other case, principle judge C S Oza convicted accused Ashok R Jadav (18) for murdering a groundnut vendor in the Amraiwadi area of the city.

According to the prosecution the the on December 2 1999, around 10:30 pm the accused Ram Singh Pandit and his associate Jitendra Jain. While Pandit succumbed to the knife injuries he received on the chest, Jain survived and became a key witness in the case.

The complaint was lodged by Navin Solanki a resident of Bhadroni Chali, Amraiwadi. Solanki had an Omlette shop at Hatkeshwar circle near Sonal complex where the incident took place. The accused was known to Solanki as he had employed Jadav in his shop. Jadav was however thrown out due to his aggressive behaviour the complainant said.

Although no specific reason was sighted for the motive behind the murder the prosecution submitted that the accused was in the habit of exercising and showing his muscle power and this was also one such occassion.

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


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Rumour of Cabinet expansion at Secretariat Friday, June 29, 2001

The Times of India News Service
GANDHINAGAR, June 29: Rumour again did the rounds in the Secretariat on Wednesday about a possible Cabinet expansion after the ministerial cabins belonging to two senior ex-ministers, Ashok Bhatt and Jaynarayan Vyas, were thoroughly cleaned up.

On the sixth and eighth floor of block No 1 of the Secretariat, the "cabins were not cleaned for several months, in fact ever since the two ministers resigned from the Cabinet for different reasons," said Secretariat staff.

While terming the cleaning operation, running for two days, as a "routine exercise", the staff said it was done to "ensure that everything was all right in the ministerial chambers... After all, a non-poisonous snake was found from the chamber of Suresh Mehta a few days ago. We have to make sure no such surprises remain present in the empty chambers."

The rumour picked up on Wednesday morning after it became known that state party president Rajendrasinh Rana had favoured a Cabinet expansion as a sure way to implement recommendations of the Bharat Barot committee report on the BJP's defeat in the local body polls part. Rana had suggested to newsperson on Tuesday that while the state BJP leadership had done its bit by implementing the recommendations, making necessary organisational changes, the government is yet to follow suit.

Reacting to Rana's statement, Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel said, "I have been getting a number of suggestions on this count. I would take necessary action at an appropriate time." He specified, "There is no plan about an expansion at present, though it may take place before or after the state assembly session. Currently, however, it is not under consideration."

Ministerial sources said the CM was keeping everyone guessing, though pressure from the BJP organisational wing was increasing. "The CM is considerably more powerful than those who control the organisation," a top ministerial source said. "He has the capacity to change even the party president, how can he listen to Rana?" the source underlined, adding, ""At a recent meeting, when one of the CM's top supporters urged Keshubhai to go in for Cabinet expansion within a week, the CM shot back that he knew what to do best. There was little point in pestering him."

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


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'Govt aid went to upper castes; NGOs' to Dalits, minorities' Thursday, June 28, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD, June 28: A survey conducted by two non-governmental organisations has shown that the upper castes were the bigger beneficiaries of the relief and aid provided by the state government to the earthquake-affected in Kutch, while places like Anjar and Rapar which are dominated by minorities and scheduled categories were ignored.

Based on the 'perceptions on relief' of 613 households from 30 villages of Bhuj, Bhachau, Rapar and Anjar talukas who were interviewed, the Behavioural Science Centre (BSE) and Delhi-based Indian Social Institute (ISI) have concluded that "the government neglected the taluka of Rapar almost entirely. While in Anjar, only 2 per cent of the respondents received anything substantial from the government."

Addressing newspersons, Anita Dixit from the BSE said the survey had shown that Rapar had the highest number of SC and ST population (27.5 %) while they comprised 19 percentage of Anjar.

The NGOs have in their recommendations to the government stressed that relocation should not be the priority since most of the villagers were not interested in moving out of their original home ground.

The survey conducted in April has also shown that most of the government action in relief was seen in Bhuj and some of it in Bhachau.

Dixit said they felt that the gram sabhas alone should not be the agency to implement these policies. Babubhai from Adhoi, who was one of the investigators, told reporters that their village where 20 per cent of the population had perished in the quake was relocated and adopted by Maharashtra allegedly "against the wishes of most of the villagers".

BSE and ISI alleged that while the upper castes were already feeling settled and their livelihood restored two months after the quake, while the rest of the "marginalised sections" had yet to find jobs.

They also alleged that there was no package for the daily wagers which had increased by 10 per cent since the quake among the SC and ST communities. Further, they said that in Rapar and Anjar at least 90 per cent of the respondents had got no support for rebuilding their livelihoods.

The agencies have recommended that the relocation of affected villages should not be on the extent of damage suffered, but on the basis of micro-zoning where villages which are on the fault line should be moved. According to them, the government should provide cash doles to all households below the poverty line, unemployed and under employed, all those who have lost their employment from other communities especially the SC and ST, for six months.

They pressed that all those affected should be given ration cards within two months, and that a special officer be deputed to the taluka levels to supervise, monitor relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction operations, and the monthly target achievement report should be made public.

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


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'Govt aid went to upper castes; NGOs' to Dalits, minorities' Thursday, June 28, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD, June 28: A survey conducted by two non-governmental organisations has shown that the upper castes were the bigger beneficiaries of the relief and aid provided by the state government to the earthquake-affected in Kutch, while places like Anjar and Rapar which are dominated by minorities and scheduled categories were ignored.

Based on the 'perceptions on relief' of 613 households from 30 villages of Bhuj, Bhachau, Rapar and Anjar talukas who were interviewed, the Behavioural Science Centre (BSE) and Delhi-based Indian Social Institute (ISI) have concluded that "the government neglected the taluka of Rapar almost entirely. While in Anjar, only 2 per cent of the respondents received anything substantial from the government."

Addressing newspersons, Anita Dixit from the BSE said the survey had shown that Rapar had the highest number of SC and ST population (27.5 %) while they comprised 19 percentage of Anjar.

The NGOs have in their recommendations to the government stressed that relocation should not be the priority since most of the villagers were not interested in moving out of their original home ground.

The survey conducted in April has also shown that most of the government action in relief was seen in Bhuj and some of it in Bhachau.

Dixit said they felt that the gram sabhas alone should not be the agency to implement these policies. Babubhai from Adhoi, who was one of the investigators, told reporters that their village where 20 per cent of the population had perished in the quake was relocated and adopted by Maharashtra allegedly "against the wishes of most of the villagers".

BSE and ISI alleged that while the upper castes were already feeling settled and their livelihood restored two months after the quake, while the rest of the "marginalised sections" had yet to find jobs.

They also alleged that there was no package for the daily wagers which had increased by 10 per cent since the quake among the SC and ST communities. Further, they said that in Rapar and Anjar at least 90 per cent of the respondents had got no support for rebuilding their livelihoods.

The agencies have recommended that the relocation of affected villages should not be on the extent of damage suffered, but on the basis of micro-zoning where villages which are on the fault line should be moved. According to them, the government should provide cash doles to all households below the poverty line, unemployed and under employed, all those who have lost their employment from other communities especially the SC and ST, for six months.

They pressed that all those affected should be given ration cards within two months, and that a special officer be deputed to the taluka levels to supervise, monitor relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction operations, and the monthly target achievement report should be made public.

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


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Hall attacked by anti-'Gadar' mob resumes screening Thursday, June 28, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD, June 27: Sangam Cinema, which was attacked by a mob during the screening of the film Gadar on Sunday night, resumed screening of all four shows from Tuesday. "The show must go on," said Balu V. Shah of Sangan Cinema.

The hall is running the show with the assistance of two police constables and private securitymen during the day. "In the evening more policemen are deployed," Shah said.

Although Shah admitted that there was a decline in the turn-out following Sunday's incidence, the six other halls in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar said there was no change in public turnout and all four shows were doing well, amidst announcement by home ministry to provide police assistance to all theatres running Gadar.

"Security is present, but we are not expecting any unpleasant incident at out theatre as the class that indulges in vandalism and hooliganism never visits our theatre," said Varsha Dave of City Gold.

Relief Cinema's manager C.M. Thakore said that shows were going on well with the night shows doing extremely well. "Security is there but there is no question of any unpleasant situation at our theatre," he said.

Hasmukhbhai Dave of Kamal theatre Sabarmati had a similar opinion.

Rajshree group's Prikshit Chudashma sounded disappointed over the whole issue. "We had to hire policemen 10 days ago for security arrangements," he said. "The idea of paying for police bandobast is really weird as we were seeking arrangements for the safety of public as well," he added

Even at Rajshree's R-World private security was beefed up but there was no droop in public turn-out, theatre officials said.

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


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