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June 15, 2001 - June 17, 2001

GPCC seek’s NDA ouster, submits letter to Digvijay Sunday, June 17, 2001

AsianAge
Ahmedabad, June 15: Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president Amarsinh Chaudhary submitted a letter signed by 37 lakh people demanding resignation of Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee-led NDA government on Tehelka tape issue to AICC observer Digvijay Singh on Friday.

The Congressmen, as a part of their nationwide campaign, have decided to collect crores of signatures on the issue throughout the country. Addressing the Congressmen, Mr Singh said that after the Tehelka tape issue, the BJP-led NDA government is exposed and people have come to know the truth.

He asserted that they would remove this corrupt government by the signature campaign started by Congress president Mrs Sonia Gandhi. He criticised the state BJP government by saying that though whole world helped Gujarat after the quake but BJP government was not successful in properly distributing relief material to the quake affected people.

Mr Chaudhary said that the BJP led NDA government should resign after they have been caught red-handed in the `Tehelka’ issue. He also alleged that state BJP government is involved in corruption and it has become part of the administrative process.

“Six months after the quake, the government is not able to provide even temporary shelters to quake affected people.” Mr Chaudhary also alleged that the state BJP government has no moral right to stay in power as it has failed on every front. Former central minister Dr Urmilaben Patel also demanded resignation of the NDA government from the Centre.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]


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Rains trip telephone lines Sunday, June 17, 2001

AsianAge
Vadodara, June 15: The monsoon arrived in city bringing respite for citizens. But the rain has also exposed the vulnerability of various services. Even as it continued to rain on the second successive day on Wednesday, a few thousand telephone lines in various exchanges of city went down.

According to general manager of the Vadodara District Telecom, Rakesh Babu, the number of telephones dead are less than thousand. The lines will be restored in a couple of days, he said, adding that only some old cables have been affected.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]


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Caste dissensions 'Rann' deep in Kutch Friday, June 15, 2001

The Times of India
AHMEDABAD, June 15: In all likelihood, there will be attempts to dismiss the caste violence near Rapar on Wednesday, in which nine persons were killed, as an isolated incident over a piece of land which led to tension between two clans.

But grass-root organisations and various agencies of the government now engaged in earthquake relief in the district have encountered caste-based dissensions in the society which perhaps run deeper than what the government would like to admit.

Relief workers and rehabilitation workers have in fact grappled with caste-related problems in almost all towns and villages of the district where people belonging to different castes refused to stay in temporary shelters, like tents and tin sheds.

Said an activist of the St. Xaviers Social Welfare Society "we found that most of the relief material and resources were being cornered by the upper castes, the caste structure is quite stratified in Kutch".

Agencies working among the poorer sections of the society have in fact given a term 'DMK' to the underprivileged class - comprising Dalit, Mulsim and Koli.

Incidently, the latest incident of violence took place between two sections of OBCs - Gadhvis and Kolis - with the former having a slightly elevated position than the latter in the caste-ridden society. Several NGOs , which did not have prior experience of having worked in Kutch , were caught quite off guard because of the complexities of the caste structure.

Says Sushma Iyengar of Kutch Navnirman Abhiyan , a conglomeration of several NGOs which is rooted to the Kutch countryside, "often the gram sabha decisions in favour or against an NGO were dictated by the upper caste and affluent class even though the vast majority of people , who were really the genuinely affected earthquake victims, may not have been in favour of the decision". She said "the poor definitely needed NGO support while the rich thought they could handle rehabilitation on their own".

One of the main problems that planners who worked out the relocation sites and the lay-out for new villages faced was that the existing villages had clusters of houses belonging to a single caste while the relocation plans had no such physical divisions . Even the World Bank and Asian Development Bank , which have together pooled in about $ 1 billion for earthquake rehabilitation , had extensively probed the state government officials on how they propose to overcome these social and psychological barriers.

In the case of Dudhai , the village which has been built in record time by the NGO headed by former Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Verma and which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on June 3 , the caste divisions have become quite apparent. While the families belonging to the Koli, Bawa and Meghwar castes have already occupied the new houses and are quite happy with the deal they have got. But some 200 Patel families are refusing to move in saying that the new site is too far from their agricultural lands. The real reason , feel officials, is something entirely different - that they don't want to share their habitat with the other castes.

Kutch district collectgor H N Chibber , on being asked whether the gram sabhas are dominated by the upper castes , said "it happens everywhere , the strongest group prevails and the village goes along with the decision" . He , however , said it would be wrong to generalise the caste problem in Kutch. "I have come across many examples where people are living in complete harmony in one village near Abdasa which has 80 per cent Muslim population , they have elected a Hindu sarpanch".
Related News - 7 killed in caste clash
p>News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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Caste dissensions 'Rann' deep in Kutch Friday, June 15, 2001

The Times of India
AHMEDABAD, June 15: In all likelihood, there will be attempts to dismiss the caste violence near Rapar on Wednesday, in which nine persons were killed, as an isolated incident over a piece of land which led to tension between two clans.

But grass-root organisations and various agencies of the government now engaged in earthquake relief in the district have encountered caste-based dissensions in the society which perhaps run deeper than what the government would like to admit.

Relief workers and rehabilitation workers have in fact grappled with caste-related problems in almost all towns and villages of the district where people belonging to different castes refused to stay in temporary shelters, like tents and tin sheds.

Said an activist of the St. Xaviers Social Welfare Society "we found that most of the relief material and resources were being cornered by the upper castes, the caste structure is quite stratified in Kutch".

Agencies working among the poorer sections of the society have in fact given a term 'DMK' to the underprivileged class - comprising Dalit, Mulsim and Koli.

Incidently, the latest incident of violence took place between two sections of OBCs - Gadhvis and Kolis - with the former having a slightly elevated position than the latter in the caste-ridden society. Several NGOs , which did not have prior experience of having worked in Kutch , were caught quite off guard because of the complexities of the caste structure.

Says Sushma Iyengar of Kutch Navnirman Abhiyan , a conglomeration of several NGOs which is rooted to the Kutch countryside, "often the gram sabha decisions in favour or against an NGO were dictated by the upper caste and affluent class even though the vast majority of people , who were really the genuinely affected earthquake victims, may not have been in favour of the decision". She said "the poor definitely needed NGO support while the rich thought they could handle rehabilitation on their own".

One of the main problems that planners who worked out the relocation sites and the lay-out for new villages faced was that the existing villages had clusters of houses belonging to a single caste while the relocation plans had no such physical divisions . Even the World Bank and Asian Development Bank , which have together pooled in about $ 1 billion for earthquake rehabilitation , had extensively probed the state government officials on how they propose to overcome these social and psychological barriers.

In the case of Dudhai , the village which has been built in record time by the NGO headed by former Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Verma and which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on June 3 , the caste divisions have become quite apparent. While the families belonging to the Koli, Bawa and Meghwar castes have already occupied the new houses and are quite happy with the deal they have got. But some 200 Patel families are refusing to move in saying that the new site is too far from their agricultural lands. The real reason , feel officials, is something entirely different - that they don't want to share their habitat with the other castes.

Kutch district collectgor H N Chibber , on being asked whether the gram sabhas are dominated by the upper castes , said "it happens everywhere , the strongest group prevails and the village goes along with the decision" . He , however , said it would be wrong to generalise the caste problem in Kutch. "I have come across many examples where people are living in complete harmony in one village near Abdasa which has 80 per cent Muslim population , they have elected a Hindu sarpanch".
Related News - 7 killed in caste clash
p>News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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7 killed in caste clash Friday, June 15, 2001

The Times of India
AHMEDABAD: Seven persons were killed in a caste clash at Surba Vandh village in Kutch district on Wednesday afternoon, reports reaching here said. The clash took place at around 1 pm over a disputed piece of land.

Fifteen persons were injured in the incident at the village , located about 30 km from the town of Rapar which was devastated in the January 26 earthquake. Home secretary S Nityanandam said "we are trying to get more details on the incident, we have just received the first report so far which is quite sketchy".

Officials in Kutch said the clash was between two castes- Kolis and Gadhvis - over a piece of land . The village is located close to the Hindu pilgrim centre of Ravechi. The injured have been admitted to the Rapar referral hospital. Further details are awaited.
p>News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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