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March 17, 2001 - March 17, 2001

Police chief to seek help from Centre to fight crime in city Saturday, March 17, 2001

RAJKOT: Director-General of Police C P Singh on Thursday said that the state police would seek aid from the Centre to fight organised as well as cyber crime in the city. He also stressed the need for modernisation of the state police force.

Singh, the outgoing police chief, on a trip to Rajkot said special efforts had to be initiated for rehabilitation of police personnel and their families affected in the quake. He said 12 police chowkies and 12 police lines in Kutch were completely damaged.

The state government has sanctioned pre-fabricated structures to temporarily house police stations and work is in progress on setting up these temporary shelters. Damaged police stations in Maliya and Surendranagar would be housed in tents, Singh said. He said his counterpart in Andhra Pradesh had agreed to send 1,000 tents to facilitate setting up of temporary shelters.

Giving details regarding aid for the quake-affected police personnel and their families, Singh said Rs 15,000 worth of temporary relief has already been provided to personnel's families. Wherever necessary, the public works department's help has also been taken to repair policemen's houses. In Rajkot alone, about 200-odd houses have been damaged.

The Director-General cautioned the personnel saying the days ahead were going to be hard. He further warned that in event of people's hopes and aspirations not being fulfilled, there were bound to be law and order problems.

Singh claimed that in his three-year stint as the Director-General of Police he had been successful in containing the crime rate.

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NSUI unit serves ultimatum to ministers on water issue Saturday, March 17, 2001

RAJKOT: The Jetpur unit of the National Students' Union of India, has issued an ultimatum to ministers that if water situation in the town is not resolved by March 18, no minister would be allowed to enter the town.

NSUI leaders Himanshu Bavishi and Mahesh Bhalodiya also threatened to gherao local leglislator Jasuben Korat. The leaders said that though 30 bores had been drilled near Jetalsar and there was ample water in these bores, residents of Jetpur were being supplied water every fifth day. Women of Jetpur had to trek miles to fill their daily quota of drinking water.

Shortage of water had also hit the saree printing industry of Jetpur providing employment to many local workers.

In Upleta, people staged protests at the local nagarpalika office demanding water supply through tankers. In Kutiyana, with the expiry of the term of the local body and an administrator taking over, the water time-table has gone haywire. The residents are being supplied water every fourth day. Kutiyana residents say that the Kalindri dam has adequate stock of water and water from it can be supplied to them.

Seven hundred and ten villages in Rajkot are facing severe water crisis. Four hundred and fifty villages are presently being supplied water through tankers.

Meanwhile, Rajkot district collector P N Patel has asked the state government to immediately release Rs 100 crore as aid for the quake-affected. A survey of the damaged houses has been completed and money will have to be paid to those whose houses have been damaged. So far the government has paid Rs 26 crore as aid, which has been used for payment of cash doles and providing household items to the affected people.

He said that nearly 1.20 lakh people would have to be given aid. The additional collector has been assigned the work of opening bank accounts for all these people.

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2 person killed in collision Saturday, March 17, 2001

Two persons were killed in a matador-truck collision on Thursday night near Maliyasan village. Two others were hurt and have been admitted to a hospital in Rajkot. The youth from Viramgam were identified as Prahlad Devji Patel (35) and Bharat Babu Patel (41). The condition of one is stated to be serious.
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Surat textile industry facing its worst ever imbroglio Saturday, March 17, 2001

SURAT: Even after a fortnight, confusion continues to prevail among the various associations representing processors, weavers, traders and texturisers over the issue of imposition of ad valorem duty in the recently presented Union Budget, in place of chamberwise compounded levy system in the textile process houses.

The difference in opinion among the textile merchants have put a question mark to the basic survival of the recession-hit industry itself in the city, a fact endorsed by several in the industry.

The agitation over introduction of ad valorem duty helped the various associations in the textile city to come under one umbrella for the first time, but considering the fact that the whole industry is linked by a chain, right from the spinners to the traders, any break in the link for long would spell disaster for the industry as a whole. This is being reflected in the desperate moves on the part of some of the textile merchants to put an end to the deadlock, a textile unit owner says on condition of anonymity.

But, with no solution in sight to the ongoing agitation, patience appears to be giving way to desperation among the industrialists in this city and it would be worst if that filters down to the level of workers who have been left with no job for the last two weeks.

Circumstances may force the lakhs of workers, most of them migrants, to go back to their native places or other parts of the country in search of livelihood and the industry would have the worst kind of labour crisis, opines a labour contractor.

Further, the clashes among sections of weavers and traders initially appeared to be an aberration but incidents of fights near Mahavir Market on Monday and then on Wednesday near the textile market, in which the city police were accused by a section of agitators of acting on behest of some politically motivated designs, are being viewed as a disturbing trend bend upon to put brakes in the cohesive functional cycle of the industry, says a textile expert.

Right from the spinners who manufacture synthetic yarns to texturisers to weavers to printers to traders, the steps of production of finished dress materials from polyester chips are not only interwoven but interdependent as well. Hence, demands of payments for the delivered goods by the weavers not being fulfilled by the traders in the ongoing agitation have resulted in widening of the gulf between weavers and traders in the city.

Though the Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FSTTA), which appears to be heading the ongoing strike, and the Federation of Gujarat Weavers Association (FGWA) on Tuesday arrived at some sort of arrangement to clear the payments to the weaving units, call for complete closure of shops in all the textile markets in the city from Friday onwards would leave the weavers in lurch.

Sensing the worst, several of the weaving unit owners announced on Friday that if outstanding payments were not released to them immediately, the weavers would discontinue to give grey cloth to the traders of the city and would look for other markets outside the city.

On the other hand, the industry delegation, after returning from Delhi on Thursday, told the various associations in an open meeting that the Union home and finance ministries had assured them of considering the issue.

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Police complaint registered against Bhavan's teachers Saturday, March 17, 2001

VADODARA: The Bhavan's school incidence has become murkier with a parent now lodging a complaint with the Makarpura police on Thursday evening following the school authorities' inaction in the matter.

The parent, Yogesh Patel, has demanded immediate arrest of the teachers who were involved in beating up students on Wednesday night.

In his complaint, Patel, a local guardian of one of the student who stays in Munshi Hall Hostel, alleged that despite several complaints to the school authorities they have failed to take action against the guilty -- warden BK Bakshi and house-master Vijay Kumar. One of the students who was attacked, Nitin Abhishek of standard 10 fractured his left shoulder and was taken to the Sir Sayaji General Hospital.

"Bhavan's School authorities, on the one hand, claim that they lay emphasis on discipline and value-based education for students and on the other they protect teachers who abuse and beat up students without any reason," complains Patel. He says that Bakshi often used to physically assault students and used vulgar and abusive language.

"Some teachers are setting a bad example for the students. They smoke and drink in front of hostilities," says Patel.

According to Patel, the school discipline had deteriorated in last one year and two incidents of violence were also reported on the campus. "Two months ago, Bakshi had instigated the students to start a fight with the Basil School football team that came to play on their grounds. And in December nearly 15 students of the hostel were suspended when they went on a fast against the unfair suspension of a batch mate," says Patel. He alleges that the school authorities often try to silence the voice of the students by insulting and punishing them in front of other students.

"In December, I had written a letter to the principal HL Chopra informing him about lack of discipline and violence in the school campus. He promised to take immediate action against the guilty, but till date nothing has been done in this regard. On the contrary, now the teachers trouble my son who is a standard XI student in the school. They don't leave an opportunity to tease and punish him," says Patel.

When contacted, the Makarpura police agreed that a FIR was lodged against Bakshi and Kumar and that investigation were on. " So far we have not arrested anyone. We intend to take action only after investigating the matter," said Makarpura PI VD Rathod. However, he clarified that the allegations made by Bakshi that the students had broken the windowpanes were false. "Students did break some tubelights, but there is no truth in the allegations that they broke window panes. To some extent even the school authorities are at fault," added Rathod.
Related News
1)'I feel no longer safe in hostel'

2)Munshi Hall Hostel warden, Bakshi, sacked

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