Times of India | 1 month ago | 30-06-2022 | 10:12 am
AHMEDABAD: Cloudy weather kept citizen’s hopes up all day on Wednesday, but rain eluded the city yet again. The maximum temperature rose to 39.4°C while the minimum was 27.5°C, both higher than normal. According to the IMD, light to moderate rain or thundershowers are expected in all parts of the state for the next four days with monsoon covering entire Gujarat.
Police have started an investigation after a cell phone was found in possession of an alleged gangster in the high security zone of Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad.According to the police, an inspection squad was on a surprise midnight inspection on August 13 in the barracks when the accused, Azharuddin Shaikh alias Azhar Kitli, allegedly tried to dispose of the cell phone in a commode. “The inspection team retrieved a Samsung phone from the sewage system of the particular barrack. There was no battery or SIM card with the cellphone,” said Jayanti Prajapati, Jailer, Group 2, Sabarmati Central Jail, in a police complaint. Taking cognisance, an FIR has been lodged against Kitli under IPC 188 for disobedience to order given by a public servant and sections of the Prisoners Act at Ranip police station.An Ahmedabad resident, Kitli, who was arrested in May last year by a team of Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) from Bharuch, has been an accused in over 25 cases of extortion, attempt to murder and Arms Act at different police stations of the city.
Following the footsteps of the BJP, the Gujarat Congress has instructed its workers to form page commandos to prepare voters’ lists, identify the party’s voters and ensure they reach the polling stations. With Assembly elections around the corner, the instruction came at the party’s ‘maru booth maru gaurav’ (my booth, my pride) event in Surat Tuesday. Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot who was to visit Surat and Rajkot on Tuesday to meet Congress leaders for the first time after being appointed senior observer, could not come. The special plane he was flying in, from Jaipur, was reportedly not allowed to land in Surat due to bad weather. He has now rescheduled his visit for Wednesday when he will only go to Vadodara and Ahmedabad. Gehlot will land in Vadodara Wednesday morning and meet Central Gujarat leaders and then head to Ahmedabad to meet north Gujarat leaders and is then expected to address a press conference.“Today, we have come up with matdar yadi (voters’ list) of 35 assembly seats of South Gujarat and handed them over to the district heads. A single page of matdar yadi (voting member list) consists of 30 voters. The page commandos should identify at least 19 Congress voters from the list and take them to polling stations for voting and also see who are left over and repeat it. It is the duty of page commandos to see nobody is left from the voting list. Generally, the average voting turnout of the assembly seat is between 65 to 70 per cent. We have to target those who had not voted and take them to polling stations as they are the voters of the Congress. If the voters’ turnout increases by 20 per cent, then we are sure to win 125 seats in the Gujarat assembly elections,” said state Congress President Jagdish Thakor. He added that in the Udaipur meeting, it was decided to form a new structure of organisation. In the city area, the ward committee will be treated as mandals and the polling booth committee will be treated as sector, while in the rural Talukas, panchayat seats will be treated as mandals and district panchayat seats as sectors.He also alleged that Rajasthan Chief Minister and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot, who was to begin his three-day state visit and attend the event in South Gujarat, was denied landing permission at Surat airport Tuesday citing poor weather conditions. “I am afraid they will not allow us to organise a rally here like they did not allow the landing of Gehlot’s aircraft at the Surat airport today. He has been ready since 9.30 am in the morning to attend the first political meeting in Surat, but his aircraft was denied landing. Today, we have come to know what will happen if an airport is sold or privatised. The decision to give permission for flying and landing of aircraft lies with the airport authority,” he said.Thakor also announced various steps to begin the election campaign in the state from August 20. He urged workers to make elaborate arrangements for the rallies of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. “Around one lakh people should participate in the rally with 25,000 bikes and 10,000 cars,” he said.In a veiled reference to Gujarat BJP President CR Paatil, Thakor further said, “The Surat man is moving around the state and talking about the page committee and page president but it is all false. Their internal party survey says that the party will not cross 70 seats in the elections.”Gujarat, earlier known after leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel and for its cooperative movement, has now become a hub of drugs, said All India Congress Committee (AICC) Secretary BM Sandeep. “In the past four to five months, drugs worth over Rs 40,000 crore were seized from Gujarat ports. Through media reports and sources, we have come to know that drugs worth over Rs 2 lakh crore landed at Gujarat ports and were supplied to different parts of the country.”He added that the party has toured across the 35 assembly seats of South Gujarat. “During the last assembly elections, we (Congress) could not form the government due to the poor performance in South Gujarat. A majority of the area in the region are tribal and they face great problems such as land acquisitions for different development projects like the bullet train, Vedanta project, leopard park, Par-Tapi-Narmada river-linking project, Express highway project, etc,” he said, emphasising the need to organise meetings with the tribal communities in different parts of South Gujarat.Dr. Raghu Sharma, Gujarat Congress incharge, said his party had already discussed the announcements made by AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal in the state. “Kejriwal should go to Rajasthan and see how the health infrastructure is. Insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh is given to the citizens. During the covid pandemic, the work done by the Rajasthan government was excellent and the work was appreciated by PM Narendra Modi,” he said.
The death of former MLC and Shiv Sangram Party founder Vinayak Mete in an accident on Sunday brought to the fore the issue of safety of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The 95-kilometre stretch is one of the busiest expressways of the state and handles about 60,000 vehicles per day. Since 2018, it has seen 337 fatal accidents in which 400 people lost their lives.In order to make the expressway safer for commuters, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) decided, back in 2018, to set up an Intelligent Traffic Management System (ITMS) that would reduce accidents and ensure effective management and regulation of traffic, deterring high-speed and dangerous driving. In 2019, the MSRDC floated the tender for selection of a bidder for implementing the ITMS.While the project didn’t move then, it got a fresh lease of life last year. “The tender got delayed due to a few issues, such as Covid and lockdown; however the process was expedited last year. The agency is now finalised and the work order has also been issued. It will take around 9-10 months for installation, and then for the system to go live after all the tests,” said an MSRDC official.The work has been issued to Mumbai based Proc-tech Solutions Private Limited which will install the system and maintain it for the next ten years. The official cited above said the estimated cost of the project is Rs 340 crore and it will be a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.The ITMS will have an average speed detection system at 39 locations, and lane discipline violation detection system at 34 locations. It will also have a weather monitoring system at 11 locations. The stretch will be under complete CCTV surveillance and there will be automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras to track the vehicles, along with high-tech mobile surveillance vans equipped with cameras, speed guns, and e-challan machines for penalising and displays.“A Command and Control Center (CCC) will be at Lonavala apart from other centres for live monitoring the situation at the expressway which will enable it to send medical assistance in case of accidents,” an official said.Incidentally, the driver of Vinayak Mete’s car had claimed that they had to wait for over an hour for medical help to arrive after the accident.
Air India has announced the launch of its direct flight between Ahmedabad and Pune with effect from August 20, 2022. The addition of this new route will cater to the growing demand for air connectivity between the two smart cities and growing commercial and education hubs.Air India flight 0481 will depart from Ahmedabad Airport at 10.45 am and arrive at Pune Airport at 12.10 pm. Flight AI 0482 will depart from Pune Airport at 12.40 pm and arrive at Ahmedabad Airport at 2.15 am. The estimated travel time between the two cities will be 85-95 minutes.Introduction of the new route between Ahmedabad and Pune has been made possible by the restoration of Air India’s aircraft that had been grounded for prolonged periods due to the Covid-19 pandemic and other reasons.“We are excited to launch flight between Ahmedabad and Pune, which are key growth centres in Gujarat and Maharashtra, respectively,” Campbell Wilson, MD and CEO of Air India, said in a press statement.“This new addition is set to improve Air India’s domestic connectivity and empower our customers with more travel options. We look forward to further augmenting our domestic connectivity and introducing new routes over the coming months as more aircraft return to service,” he said.
Relatives celebrating with the 11 men after their release, upon remission by Gujarat government.Ahmedabad: A day after 11 convicts sentenced to life imprisonment for Bilkis Bano's gangrape and the murder of seven of her family members in the 2002 Gujarat riots walked free, visuals have emerged of relatives greeting them with sweets and charan-sparsh, touching their feet for blessings, outside the Godhra jail.The Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy, and the 11 men got out on Monday, having served 15 years. This is, in principle, different from recent guidelines of the Centre that such special remission not be given to rapists."I feel glad to be out," Radheshyam Shah, the convict whose plea paved the way for the release, told news agency PTI, "I will be able to meet my family members and begin a new life."Bilkis Bano's husband Yakub Rasul said the family did not want to comment on the release yet. "We were not told about this... All we want to do is pray for peace of the souls of our near and dear ones who lost their lives in the riots. Every day, we remember those who were killed in the incident, including our daughter," he said.Mr Rasul said he, his wife Bilkis, and their five sons, the eldest now 20, continue to live without a fixed address. Bilkis Bano was 21 years old, and five months pregnant, when she was raped and her toddler daughter killed along with six others from the family on March 3, 2002. They were hiding in fields near Ahmedabad, hoping to escape the violence that erupted following the burning of a Sabarmati Express coach that killed 59 'kar sevaks' just days earlier.Human rights lawyer Shamshad Pathan said on Monday night that a large number of convicts who have committed less heinous crimes continue to be in jails without any remission.These 11 men were sentenced in 2008 by a special court in Mumbai, and the conviction was later upheld by the Bombay High Court.After one of them approached the Supreme Court, it directed the Gujarat government to look into the issue as that's where the crime was committed. The government formed a committee which took a unanimous decision in favour of remission.Rights lawyer Pathan has said that when a government takes such a decision, "the hope of the victim in the system diminishes".The case in 2002 had led to outrage, after which the Supreme Court ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The accused were arrested in 2004. Trial began in Ahmedabad but was transferred to Mumbai after Bilkis Bano said witnesses could be harmedThe special CBI court in Mumbai on January 21, 2008, convicted 11 men on charges of conspiring to rape a pregnant woman, murder and unlawful assembly under the Indian Penal Code. Seven other accused were acquitted for want of evidence; one died during the trial.In its 2018 order upholding the conviction of the accused persons, the High Court set aside the acquittal of those seven persons too.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comFurther, the Supreme Court in 2019 directed the Gujarat government to give Rs 50 lakh as compensation, a job, and a house to Bilkis Bano.The 11 convicts granted premature release include Jaswantbhai Nai, Govindbhai Nai, Shailesh Bhatt, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Kesarbhai Vohania, Pradeep Mordhiya, Bakabhai Vohania, Rajubhai Soni, Mitesh Bhatt, and Ramesh Chandana, besides Radheshyam Shah.