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May 30, 2001 - May 30, 2001

Depositors of MMCB rally at clearing house, police takes control Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Ahmedabad, May 29: The city police prevented the Madhavpura Mercantile Cooperative Bank depositors from blocking the clearing operations of banks on Tuesday by making a heavy bandobast at the La Gajjar centre where the clearing house is located.

The MMCB depositors on Monday announced their plans to disrupt the clearing operations till the MMCB is not revived, as neither the state government nor the central government was serious about the revival of the bank.

However, on Tuesday, when they gathered near the Nehru Bridge the police approached them and warned them against taking law in their hands. President of the MMCB depositors association Mr Jitubhai Shah said that the police committed atrocity against them by not allowing them to gather near the Nehru bridge.

They threatened us that they will put all of them inside jail if they would continue with their porgramme. The depositors had also threatened to ghearo Union home minister L K Advani in his forthcoming visit to the state on May 31. However, it is learnt that the city police commissioner P C Pandey has warned the depositors against organising such programmes.

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

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Archaeology dept. foils bid to sell ancient idols and pillars Wednesday, May 30, 2001

By Hitarth Pandya
Nani Sherkhi (Vadodara), May 29: The state archaeology department officials foiled a bid to sell wood carvings and paintings of a 240-year-old temple for Rs 5 lakh on May 23. The Ravi Bhan Temple was built by the saint Bhan Saheb about 240 years ago in Nani Sherkhi village, about 20 km from Vadodara.

The temple has a great archaeological importance, as there are at least 15 idols of Hindu gods and goddesses and 13 wooden pillars dating back to the 10th to 15th century. The walls of temples don some excellent paintings also.

However, the trustees of Ravi Bhan temple scandalously decided to sell off the temple wood at a throwaway cost of Rs 5 lakh. They had decided to hold an auction on May 27 and an advertisement to this effect was inserted in a newspaper.

However, it caught the attention of the newly established state archaeology department, Vadodara office and the attempt was exposed just before the auction. The villagers said that after the earthquake the pillars and some portion of the temple had developed cracks.

The trustees decided to demolish the temple structure and construct a new temple at the same site. They had decided to sell off the wood used in old structure. According to the villagers, all those who belonged to Bhan Sahib’s community have migrated to Vadodara. They do not want the people from other communities to manage the temple.

Villagers also say that the trustees are also eyeing the acres of land, which belongs to temple trust. Even in past, temple officials have scandalously sold woodcarvings, old vessels and other material belonging to temple. The auction in the name of repairing work would have been a final blow to the sanctity and the archaeological importance of the temple, villagers opine.

Speaking to The Asian Age, superintendent archaeologist J.D. Trivedi of state department of archaeology, Vadodara circle, said that they were alarmed by the advertisement regarding the auction.

He said, “Anything which is more than 100 years old is archaeologically important object and no one can sell it off without the permission of the government department.” He added, “We went to the village posing ourselves as an interested party and obtained all the information about the temple and confirmed about the auction as well.

Later when we revealed our identity the trustees were shocked and they promptly denied the fact that the temple is 200 year old claiming that it was a printing mistake made by the newspaper. However, being in this field for long time I could easily make out that the temple was more than 200 years old.”

Mr Trivedi immediately served a notice to the trustees cancelling the auction. Mr Trivedi said, “We have told them that they can continue with the process but they will not be able to sell the pillars and idols. The other option we have offered to the trust is they will have to remove the pillars before breaking down the temple and re-locate them in the new structure.”

However, trust president Thakore Thakkar said that they would follow the instructions given by the state archaeology department officials. He said, “We were planning to sell the pillars but when the government officials informed about the law we stopped the auction.”

In the mean time Mr Trivedi has decided to visit place again and get the exact details about the temple. He said, “The molehill on which the temple is constructed is of a soft soil and probably it would collapse during the monsoon. We would not be able to protect the temple but we would convince the villagers to take care of the temple as it has a great importance in the archaeology.”

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

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Salt manufacturers’ plea to Najma Heptullah Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Ahmedabad, May 29
In order to grant relief and strong doze of fiscal and financial incentives for rapid revival of earthquake affected areas of Morbi, the representatives of Salt Manufacturers Association have given a memorandum to Ms Najma Heptullah, deputy chairman, Rajya Sabha.

Mr Udaysinh Jadeja, president of the association said in an official press release said that all members of the association are happy regarding Ms Heptullah’s visit to quake affected Morbi and Maliya (Miyana) talukas situated near Rajkot.

Mr Jadeja via the memorandum has requested Ms Heptullah to include Morbi city, Morbi taluka, Maliya taluka in earthquake zone five instead of zone four. He said that as these areas are very near to the quake epicenter they should be included under earthquake zone five.

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

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Red alert in Kutch to nab Lashkar militant's aides Wednesday, May 30, 2001

GANDHINAGAR: A red alert has been sounded in Kutch and a vigorous combing operation launched in Lakhpat and Khavda by security forces to nab two runaway accomplices of a Laskhar-E-Taiba militant, who was arrested on Sunday in the district, barely a week ahead of Prime Minister A B Vajpayee's visit to quake-ravaged Bhuj on June 3.

Gujarat minister of state for home Haren Pandya said here that an AK-47 rifle and 29 live cartridges were recovered from the possession of mujabir Hussain Abdul Gafoor Gujjar, the LET militant, who was taken into custody from near a religious place along the international border by the security forces.

However, his two local accomplices managed to escape.

State director general of police K Chakravarti has rushed to Kutch district from here to supervise the combing operation to nab the two accomplices of the militant.

The militant is being interrogated at the Joint Interrogation Centre (JIC) in Bhuj by security forces to ferret out the real purpose of his incursion into the district bordering Pakistan just before the Prime Minister's visit, police said here. (PTI)

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

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Gujarat cyclone strikes, floods low lying areas of Bhuj Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Bhuj, May 29: The much-feared cyclone, which had been hovering menacingly off the coast of Gujarat, for the past few days, finally hit today. However, it hit with the force of a relatively mild tropical storm. Though the damage was much less than had been feared there was considerable hardship for those people who had been forced into temporary shelters by the earthquake.

Strong winds and heavy rains lashed the area in the morning and flooded the low-lying areas of the town. Traffic and life in general was affected but relief came soon when the water receded and a semblance of normalcy returned. According to Raju, a resident of the area, "It feels much better now. Earlier we had the earthquake and now the cyclone. We were really tense but these rains have brought down the heat which feels good."

Several temporary shelter camps set up for those without a permanent roof over their heads are the ones worst hit by today's rains. The water flooded their so-called homes and forced them to move out with their little ones and all belongings.

Those staying in temporary shelters say that even though the administration knew that it is a low lying area they were asked to stay here. "It rained in this very area after the earthquake as well. Even at that time, we had approached the government but nothing had been done. It has been four months, but little has changed," complained a resident.

One after effect of the cyclone is that the monsoon is now expected early as well and with the threat of more rain in the coming days residents are hoping for some kind of permanent rehabilitation soon.
Source - NDTV

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