Gujarat Anand News

Gujarat: Cows as telecom subscribers? Digital belts to track their fitness
Times of India | 1 day ago
Times of India
1 day ago

VADODARA/ANAND: Kamlesh Pandya, a dairy farmer in Shili village of Anand's Umreth taluka, knows a day or two in advance when one of his cows will fall sick. An Israeli technology is helping dairy farmers in India's milk cradle Anand track the health of their animals in advance. Like fitness bands or trackers that are rage amongst health freaks these days, cows in the milkshed area of Anand are equipped with digital belts that are tied around their necks. Based on the movement of the cows, the chip-enabled belts alert the owners as well as Amul Dairy's dedicated call centre in Anand if the bovine is likely to fall sick. What's more? Telecom service providers are seeing a market in this segment as the belt relays information on mobile phones of farmers. A couple of them have already approached Amul Dairy which has set a target of covering one lakh animals within the next one year. "Usually, when one sees a cow, you hardly realize that it's sick. But with this technology, I get an alert on my mobile phone if my cow is likely to get ill in the next couple of days. On checking the temperature, you realize that it is having a high temperature. This is the biggest benefit of this technology. I can start providing them treatment before they fall sick ensuring their speedy recovery," said Pandya, who has been running the dairy farm since 2008. Telcos excited as Amul Dairy targets 1 lakh bovines The biggest advantage is that the farm owners get a notification when their animals is in silent heat (sexually receptive). It ensures that artificial insemination (AI) is done on time and the animal turns pregnant without delay, A dairy farmer incurs loss of nearly Rs 15,000 a year if such silent heat cycles go undetected. Amul Dairy's managing director Amit Vyas, said, "Like fit-bits in your hands help you know the number of walking steps or pulse rate, these digital belts/ trackers help us know whether the animal is eating and drinking properly, whether it is moving or not. It also has data of when the animal got pregnant or had a miscarriage." "The Israeli technology has been modified to suit Indian conditions and environment as landholding of our dairy farmers is less. We are targeting 10,000 digital belts of which 3,200 have been commissioned. Our target is to cover one lakh animals within one year," said Vyas. Amul Dairy officials were surprised when a top telecom player recently approached them to enter into an agreement. "They are seeing 10,000 consumers which will eventually turn into a subscriber base of one lakh," he said. Currently, a dairy farmer spends Rs 5 per day per animal towards one digital tracker tied on the neck of his animal. "Eventually, as volumes go up and we evolve the technology further, we want to bring down this cost to Rs 1 per day per animal," he said.

Gujarat: Cows as telecom subscribers? Digital belts to track their fitness
Gujarat: Minister hands over compensation to kin of deceased in flood-ravaged villages in Anand
The Indian Express | 1 day ago
The Indian Express
1 day ago

Gujarat Revenue Minister Rajendra Trivedi on Monday visited the flood-ravaged villages of Borsad taluka in Anand district and handed over compensation cheques for Rs 4 lakh to families of three persons killed in the flash floods of Saturday night.Trivedi also assured that families who have lost domestic animals in the floods will also receive compensation shortly.Accompanied by District Collector M Y Daxini and BJP MP Mitesh Patel, along with other elected representatives and teams of NDRF, Trivedi visited the affected areas and interacted with people in the shelter homes, distributing grains and sarees to women.Trivedi, who is the guardian minister of Anand district, also handed over the compensation cheques for Rs 4 lakh to the families of the three deceased persons –Sanjay Patel, Kisan Baria, and Sana Thakur.Speaking to reporters, Trivedi said that despite the taluka receiving over 300mm rainfall in 24 hours, the administration and the BJP “did its best” in the given situation.In response to a query about the pre-monsoon work of the administration in the flood-affected areas, Trivedi said, “It is not the question of the pre-monsoon work in this matter. When any place receives rainfall of 1 foot (300 mm) in a span of 24 hours, the low-lying areas are bound to be flooded… Even in such a situation, the administration was able to reach everyone and shift people to safer places. Unfortunately, three persons were killed but the government did not sit back and watch… The revenue department, collector’s office and the workers of the BJP got together and faced the floods…”Trivedi added that the government would soon also release the compensation to families that have lost domestic animals.“We are aware that many domestic animals were drowned in the flood… I surveyed the villages today and I could see the flood water has left marks up to 11 feet… Our party workers and elected representatives have travelled through the flood waters on tractors and along with the district administration ensured that all people were taken care of.. We had 200 people in the shelter home and everyone was served food,” Trivedi said.Collector MY Daxini said that Trivedi distributed sarees to 180 women and grains to families at the shelter home, who will slowly be shifted back to their homes.“The water has receded in most places but the teams are working on surveying the area. The health teams are also in action, checking those families that are still in the shelters and villages where water has just receded are being sanitised. The carcasses of animals are also being disposed of,” Daxini told The Indian Express.“So far, close to 150 families have moved back to villages such as Bhadran but about 186 families from Sisva and around are still in the shelter. The survey teams will complete their work and in a day or two, we will also complete the cash dole for compensation and loss of household items as per government rule,” the collector added.

Gujarat: Minister hands over compensation to kin of deceased in flood-ravaged villages in Anand
Gujarat rains: One person, 90 animals killed in Anand flooding
The Indian Express | 3 days ago
The Indian Express
3 days ago

One person and 90 animals were killed after heavy rain lashed Borsad taluka of Anand district, the state government said here on Saturday. A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been sent for rescue and relief operations after the region received 12 inch rainfall in the last 24 hours.As many as 380 people were shifted to safer places from rainfall-hit villages in Anand district by a team of the NDRF.“A total of 380 people from two villages in Borsad taluka were shifted to safer places due to flooding in low-lying areas. Rains have stopped in the area and water receded, but some 140 people have not been able to return home yet,” said a disaster management official of Anand district administration.Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel took stock of the situation and spoke to the district officials, especially about Sisva village where the situation is stated to be grim.Due to incessant rain, there has been no electricity supply in the region.The local administration has started removing the trees that fell on the roads due to heavy rainfall. Chief Minister Patel has directed his officials to start the process of giving out cash-doles to those affected in the flooding. He also asked the administration to undertake a preliminary survey of the losses, the release added.Meanwhile Palsana taluka in Surat recorded 209 mm rainfall in a day till Saturday morning, officials said.In the 24-hour period that ended at 6 am in Saturday, parts of south Gujarat and Banaskantha in north Gujarat received heavy rainfall, causing flooding in many areas.The Met department has forecast light to moderate rainfall in several parts of Gujarat over the next five days with heavy to very heavy rains in isolated parts of some districts in south and central Gujarat and Saurashtra-Kutch regions during this period.(With PTI inputs)

Gujarat rains: One person, 90 animals killed in Anand flooding
Newsmaker | Among first to take up cause of Gujarat riot victims, Teesta is fighting many cases
The Indian Express | 1 week ago
The Indian Express
1 week ago

Teesta Setalvad, a journalist and activist based out of Mumbai and a Padma Shri, is a founding trustee and secretary of the NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) established in 2002 in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots, with one area of work being providing legal assistance to victims of the riots.She was among the first activists to take up the cases of riot victims in Gujarat in 2002, finally leading the Supreme Court to set up a special investigation team to probe the post-Godhra riots, six years later, under former CBI director R K Raghavan. Setalvad has also faced several allegations over the years.Setalvad first took on then CM Narendra Modi head on when in March 2007, in a special criminal application before the Gujarat HC, she named herself as a co-petitioner of Zakia Jafri, who had sought an FIR against Modi and 61 other politicians, bureaucrats and police officers for their alleged role in the 2002 riots. She also sought a CBI inquiry against Modi.The petition and Setalvad’s locus standi in the case were rejected, but she moved the apex court, which asked the SIT to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the allegations. However, her falling out with Raees Khan, formerly a CJP member and a field worker on behalf of the CJP at Ahmedabad, saw him getting back with allegations of tutoring witnesses.In 2018, another FIR was lodged at the Ahmedabad DCB police station against Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand based upon a complaint by Raees accusing them of misappropriation of grants released for Sabrang NGO in 2014 instead for personal use. A petition moved by Setalvad and Anand to quash the same remains pending before the Gujarat HC.In an FIR in 2014 by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch, some victims of the Gulberg Society accused Setalvad, Anand and Jafri’s son Tanveer of criminal breach of trust, cheating, criminal conspiracy etc, wherein it was alleged that foreign donations received for establishment of a museum at Gulberg Society were used for other purposes, including Setalvad’s personal use. Bank accounts of the NGO trusts in two banks — IDBI and Union Bank — were frozen to this effect.A source says Setalvad, 60, was already actively involved with human rights through the Mumbai-based NGO Sabrang Trust when the Gujarat riots took place. “She came to Gujarat, spoke to the victims and decided to pursue their cases.”Setalvad took up several Gujarat riot cases, including of the Gulberg Society victims, Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam victims, Sardarpura, Dipda Darwaja victims, Ode victims and the Best Bakery case in Vadodara.In 2006, charges of allegedly hurting religious feelings, fabricating false evidence, trespassing on burial places among other charges, were slapped against Setalvad, Raees and 10 others by the Panchmahals police for allegedly carrying out unauthorised digging at the spot where the bodies of 28 Muslims from Pandervada village, killed during the 2002 riots, had been buried by the administration. A petition by Setalvad for quashing of this FIR also remains pending before the Gujarat HC.Setalvad is the granddaughter of M C Setalvad, India’s first Attorney General. Her great grandfather Chimanlal Harilal Setalvad was one of the three Indian members in the Hunter Commission that investigated the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre. The daughter of a lawyer, she began her career as a journalist in Mumbai. In 1993, she launched a monthly magazine, Communalism Combat, along with her husband, setting up an organisation, Sabrang Communications, to provide information and analysis on communal politics in India.

Newsmaker | Among first to take up cause of Gujarat riot victims, Teesta is fighting many cases
NRI from Anand killed in Virginia
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

VADODARA/ ANAND: An NRI from Anand district was shot dead by assailants at his convenience store in the United States (US). Fifty-two-year-old Preyas Patel, who hails from Sojitra town of Anand district, along with an American national identified as Logan Edward Thomas, 35, was found with gunshot wounds at the store located near Fairway Plaza shopping centre in Virginia. The shooting took place around midnight on Wednesday. The duo who were fatally wounded were pronounced dead at the crime scene after the local police reached the store. Patel, who was fondly called Cheekoo by his friends, was trying to help an employee in his store when he himself turned into a victim of the violent crime. Patel ran the convenience store named 7 Eleven near the shopping centre. Sources said that Patel, a native of Navadhara area of Sojitra, had moved to the US over a decade ago. His father Deva Patel belongs to Sojitra. Patel's relatives who reside in Anand have left for the US after learning about his death. His younger brother Tejas Patel, who is president of BJP's Vallabh Vidyanagar unit, along with his parents left for the US on Thursday, sources close to the family said. A resident of Virginia's New Port, Patel was known by the nickname Peter. Sources said that police are investigating the shoot out further to identify the assailants.

NRI from Anand killed in Virginia
  • Gujarat: NRI from Anand killed in Virginia
  • Times of India

    VADODARA/ ANAND: An NRI from Anand district was shot dead by assailants at his convenience store in the United States (US). Fifty-two-year-old Preyas Patel, who hails from Sojitra town of Anand district, along with an American national identified as Logan Edward Thomas, 35, was found with gunshot wounds at the store located near Fairway Plaza shopping centre in Virginia. The shooting took place around midnight on Wednesday. The duo who were fatally wounded were pronounced dead at the crime scene after the local police reached the store. Patel, who was fondly called Cheekoo by his friends, was trying to help an employee in his store when he himself turned into a victim of the violent crime. Patel ran the convenience store named 7 Eleven near the shopping centre. Sources said that Patel, a native of Navadhara area of Sojitra, had moved to the US over a decade ago. His father Deva Patel belongs to Sojitra. Patel's relatives who reside in Anand have left for the US after learning about his death. His younger brother Tejas Patel, who is president of BJP's Vallabh Vidyanagar unit, along with his parents left for the US on Thursday, sources close to the family said. A resident of Virginia's New Port, Patel was known by the nickname Peter. Sources said that police are investigating the shoot out further to identify the assailants.

Gujarat: ‘Communal’ clash in Borsad, 2 policemen injured
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago

The police in Gujarat’s Anand began a probe into the communal clash that took place in the district’s Borsad town early Sunday. Two policemen were injured in the clash, according to officials.The clash took place ahead of Union Home minister Amit Shah’s visit to the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) on Sunday morning.Anand Superintendent of Police Ajit Rajiaan told indianexpress.com that the clash occurred at around 2 am. Rajiaan said, “There was a rumour that the police have apprehended two persons from the minority community for questioning after an altercation over a path separating a temple and a wadi. They (the minority community) have paved the path, resulting in a dispute… A clash broke out between members of the two groups and police personnel got injured when they tried to intervene. We are in the process of registering an FIR. The clash was not connected to the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Anand.”The police officer further said, “The police have rounded up around 15 persons for rioting. Indian Penal Code Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 333 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 143 (unlawful assembly), and 147 (rioting), among others, will be included in the FIR.”Rajiaan said that one company of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) has been deployed in Borsad to maintain law and order.

Gujarat: ‘Communal’ clash in Borsad, 2 policemen injured
  • Clash between members of 2 communities in Gujarat town; cop among 4 injured
  • The Indian Express

    A communal clash broke out in Gujarat’s Anand district in which a police constable and three other persons suffered injuries, an official said Sunday.Police have arrested 14 people in connection with the incident that took place in Borsad town on Saturday night over the issue of laying of bricks on a disputed plot of land, he said.Later, the police lobbed around 50 teargas shells and fired 30 rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, Deputy Superintendent of Police D R Patel said.Heavy security has been deployed in the town and the situation is under control, he said.“At around 9.30 pm on Saturday, some people from a community were laying bricks on a disputed plot. Some members of another community objected to it, leading to an altercation between the two sides. The dispute later escalated and members from both the sides started hurling stones at each other,” the official said.After being alerted, local police rushed to the spot and appealed to members of both the communities to maintain peace, he said.The local civic chief also reached there and asked the people to refrain from laying bricks on the plot until the dispute was resolved, he said.However, members from the two communities threw stones on each other and clashed. A police constable and another person were stabbed in he violence, Patel said, adding that two other persons were also injured.The police lobbed teargas shells and fired rubber bullets to disperse the rioters, he said.The constable was seriously injured. He and the three other injured persons were admitted to hospital, the official said.At least 14 people have been arrested so far in connection with the violence, he said.The police have identified 15 sensitive locations in the city and heavy security has been deployed there. Two companies of the State Reserve Police (SRP) have also been called for security in the affected areas, the official said.

Drone sighting in six Gujarat villages fan fear and rumours
Times of India | 3 weeks ago
Times of India
3 weeks ago

Ahmedabad: “Nana-nana helicopter ude chhe, chhokraone lai jay chhe. Dhad ke chori kari jaay chhe.” (There are small helicopters flying. They will abduct kids. Carry out robbery or theft). These are some of the rumours spreading fast in villages of at least six districts – Kheda, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Morbi, Surendranagar and Anand — which has led to villagers to live in unwarranted fear and put cops on alert. At Sarsavani village in Mahemdavad taluka of Kheda district, the rumour mongering has been growing for around a month. The villagers claimed to have seen drones in the sky, which they say are flown by thieves or “child lifters”. Ashwin Chauhan, a resident of Sarsavani village, said, “It started with incident involving theft of two buffaloes two months ago. Since then, rumours started building about gangs roaming the village to abduct small children. Some villagers saw blinking lights of drones at night and say that criminals keep a watch on them with the intention of carrying out burglaries or abducting children.” Another resident of Sarsavani — the native village of freedom fighter and Gandhian Ravishankar Maharaj — said the villagers keep vigil round the clock to thwart untoward incidents. Needless to say, the rumour-mills have put cops on alert who are wary overzealous crowds taking law in their hands like in 2016 when a tidal wave of rumour mongering had gripped the state while in 2018 a woman was lynched in Ahmedabad following rumours of child kidnappers on prowl. Inspector N D Nakum of Mahemdavad said a lack of understanding and misinformation cause such rumour mongering. “A countrywide drone festival was held recently, where participants flew their drones and these villagers thought they were criminals. We deployed cops in such villages and regularly send out patrols to smother these rumours,” said Nakum. Kheda SP Rajesh Gadhia said it has come to their notice that such rumours are spreading in Morbi, Surendranagar and Anand too. “Someone recently flew a toy helicopter in a village of Umreth taluka in Anand district. Some villagers caught it when it flew low and found it was just a toy, available for around Rs 600,” said Gadhia. “Having said that, we have been taking these rumours and incidents very seriously. We have been talking to sarpanches. As they also sometimes get scared of planes in the sky, we made them download a flight tracker app, so they know there are planes above and not drones watching them,” Gadhia said. He said police have been making extra efforts to ensure no one faces mob violence because of these rumours, which have also spread in the adjacent parts of Ahmedabad district. An officer of Ahmedabad rural police said these rumours spread like wildfire. “There was some oil pipeline work underway near the expressway, for which a drone survey was conducted by ONGC or some government agency four months ago. “Since then, villagers of eight to ten villages have been complaining about seeing drones every now and then. A funeral procession in Vadod village of Daskroi was recently held with just about ten men only as many villagers stayed home to guard their children and property,” the officer said. “They say a small helicopter-like flying object was seen, and that these are used by gangs of criminals to steal valuables and abduct children,” said a police officer. For the past week, similar rumours and fears of drones have been witnessed in four or five villages of Dehgam taluka. “The villagers say they saw blinking lights of a drone after which an inquiry was started,” said a police officer.

Drone sighting in six Gujarat villages fan fear and rumours
  • Drone sighting in six Gujarat villages fans fear and rumours
  • Times of India

    Ahmedabad: "Nana-nana helicopter ude chhe, chhokraone lai jay chhe. Dhad ke chori kari jaay chhe." (There are small helicopters flying. They will abduct kids. Carry out robbery or theft). These are some of the rumours spreading fast in villages of at least six districts – Kheda, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Morbi, Surendranagar and Anand — which has led to villagers to live in unwarranted fear and put cops on alert.At Sarsavani village in Mahemdavad taluka of Kheda district, the rumour mongering has been growing for around a month. The villagers claimed to have seen drones in the sky, which they say are flown by thieves or "child lifters".Ashwin Chauhan, a resident of Sarsavani village, said, "It started with incident involving theft of two buffaloes two months ago. Since then, rumours started building about gangs roaming the village to abduct small children. Some villagers saw blinking lights of drones at night and say that criminals keep a watch on them with the intention of carrying out burglaries or abducting children."Another resident of Sarsavani — the native village of freedom fighter and Gandhian Ravishankar Maharaj — said the villagers keep vigil round the clock to thwart untoward incidents.Needless to say, the rumour-mills have put cops on alert who are wary overzealous crowds taking law in their hands like in 2016 when a tidal wave of rumour mongering had gripped the state while in 2018 a woman was lynched in Ahmedabad following rumours of child kidnappers on prowl. Inspector N D Nakum of Mahemdavad said a lack of understanding and misinformation cause such rumour mongering. "A countrywide drone festival was held recently, where participants flew their drones and these villagers thought they were criminals. We deployed cops in such villages and regularly send out patrols to smother these rumours," said Nakum.Kheda SP Rajesh Gadhia said it has come to their notice that such rumours are spreading in Morbi, Surendranagar and Anand too. "Someone recently flew a toy helicopter in a village of Umreth taluka in Anand district. Some villagers caught it when it flew low and found it was just a toy, available for around Rs 600," said Gadhia. "Having said that, we have been taking these rumours and incidents very seriously. We have been talking to sarpanches. As they also sometimes get scared of planes in the sky, we made them download a flight tracker app, so they know there are planes above and not drones watching them," Gadhia said.He said police have been making extra efforts to ensure no one faces mob violence because of these rumours, which have also spread in the adjacent parts of Ahmedabad district.An officer of Ahmedabad rural police said these rumours spread like wildfire. "There was some oil pipeline work underway near the expressway, for which a drone survey was conducted by ONGC or some government agency four months ago."Since then, villagers of eight to ten villages have been complaining about seeing drones every now and then. A funeral procession in Vadod village of Daskroi was recently held with just about ten men only as many villagers stayed home to guard their children and property," the officer said."They say a small helicopter-like flying object was seen, and that these are used by gangs of criminals to steal valuables and abduct children," said a police officer.For the past week, similar rumours and fears of drones have been witnessed in four or five villages of Dehgam taluka. "The villagers say they saw blinking lights of a drone after which an inquiry was started," said a police officer.

Metal Balls Fall From Sky In Gujarat. Chinese Rocket Debris Likely, Say Experts
Ndtv | 1 month ago
Ndtv
1 month ago

Metal balls that fell from the sky in Gujarat might belong to a satelliteAhmedabad: Four spherical metal balls fell from the sky in some villages in Gujarat over the past few days, which some experts said were likely the debris of a Chinese rocket or fuel storage tanks of space launch vehicles.The hollow metal spheres, each of about 1.5 feet in diameter, fell between May 12 and 13 in Dagjipura, Khambholaj and Rampura villages of Anand district, and Bhumel village of neighbouring Kheda district, Anand's Deputy Superintendent of Police BD Jadeja said.No one was injured by these objects, which the Anand police have taken."Our primary analysis suggested that these metal balls might belong to a satellite. For further analysis, we have decided to consult the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as well as the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad," Mr Jadeja said.US-based astronomer Jonathan McDowell in a tweet on May 12 said these metal spheres are likely debris of the Chinese rocket Chang Zheng 3B, commonly known as CZ 3B. The debris might have fallen over Gujarat during the "reentry" of the rocket, he said.On May 12, McDowell tweeted, "The third stage from the Chang Zheng 3B serial Y86 rocket, which launched the ZX-9B communications satellite in Sep 2021, reentered today sometime around 0900-1200 UTC.""CZ-3B Y86's final orbital parameters are a bit uncertain due to its highly elliptical orbit with very low (100 km or so) perigee rapidly changing due to drag. But appears a fair match for the reentry over Gujarat at 1115 UTC May 12 from which debris has been found on the ground," he added.Retired ISRO scientist BS Bhatia said these metal balls might be the fuel tanks used in rockets and satellites to store hydrazine, a type of liquid fuel.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comUsually, empty storage tanks on a rocket are programmed to detach automatically and fall on the ground after the fuel is completely consumed."These large spheres might be the storage tanks for hydrazine. This is a very common fuel, primarily used to keep satellites in their orbit. This liquid fuel is also used in rockets," Mr Bhatia said.

Metal Balls Fall From Sky In Gujarat. Chinese Rocket Debris Likely, Say Experts
99.3% Land Acquired In 5 Gujarat Districts For Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train Project
Ndtv | 3 months ago
Ndtv
3 months ago

A total Rs 2,935.85 crore has been paid as compensation to the project-affected peopleAhmedabad: The Gujarat government has acquired 99.3 per cent of land in five districts for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed rail corridor, popularly known as the bullet train project, the state Assembly was informed on Monday.In reply to starred questions on the status of land acquisition for the project, the Gujarat government said Rs 2935.85 crore has been paid as compensation in five out of eight districts from where the bullet train will pass, adding that replies were based on the status till December 31, 2021.The districts for which the state government furnished details are Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Kheda, Anand and Navsari, while Surat, Bharuch and Valsad are the other three districts that are part of the corridor.In replies to starred questions, revenue minister Rajendra Trivedi said 358.31 hectare land has been acquired out of 360.73 hectare required for the project in the five districts.Vadodara tops the list with 103.94 hectare land acquired, out of 105.46 hectare required for the project, while least land required is in Ahmedabad at 27.15 hectare, out of which acquisition of 26.43 hectare is complete.At the same time, the highest amount of Rs 1,108.45 crore has been paid as compensation in Ahmedabad, and the lowest in Anand district, as per the replies.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comA total Rs 2,935.85 crore has been paid as compensation to the project-affected people for the land acquired for them for the ambitious project, said the government minister.The 508.17-kilometre long network will pass through Mumbai, Thane, and Palghar in Maharashtra, and Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Kheda, and Ahmedabad in Gujarat.

99.3% Land Acquired In 5 Gujarat Districts For Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train Project
10 yrs after inception, Kamdhenu University still awaits sanction for pension benefits
The Indian Express | 6 months ago
The Indian Express
6 months ago

Prakashchandra Manilal Patel, who served for 38 years at Dairy Science College Anand, succumbed to Covid-19 on April 24 this year. Working as a draftsman, he was transferred to Kamdhenu University Gandhinagar on April 1, 2021. With his sudden death, the family’s last hope for his daughter’s pending marriage was his pension and retirement benefits.However, almost eight months since his death, the family is still waiting for the pension benefits. However Prakashchandra’s case is not an exception.More than a decade since it was established and over seven years after it started operations, Kamdhenu University in Gandhinagar does not have a provision to provide pension to its retired staff.Further, in the absence of its own statute, the university is following the Common Statutes for Agricultural Universities of Gujarat, 2011 applicable to four agricultural universities – — Anand Agricultural University, Junagadh Agricultural University, Navsari Agricultural University and Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural university.Following a notification of Gujarat Universities Laws (Amendment) Act,2020 on April 1,2021, approving a long-pending demand of the newly formed Kamdhenu University, eleven colleges affiliated to the four agricultural Universities with nearly 500 staff was transferred to Kamdhenu University.However, 18 teaching and non teaching employees under the university are still waiting sanction for their pension benefits.The matter was taken to the state government, through a communication on June 5, 2019, but the issue still stands unresolved.“This is to inform that since there is no direction from the state government regarding pension, there is no provision for the same in the grant allocated by the state government….Since as per rules paperwork for the retirement process has to be initiated 24 months before retirement”, the communication had stated.When contacted, sources in the Kamdhenu University revealed that “the university does not have any authority from the Finance Department” to issue pension benefits to its employees. Though they are following up the matter with the state government, in the absence of a “principal sanction’ to allow pension benefits as per the other four state agricultural universities, the “procedural lapses are causing delay”.A day after Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandary and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala wrote to Raghavji Patel Minister of Agriculture and Animal Husbandary-raising the issue of pending pension benefits, the state government held a meeting on November 24 to discuss the issue.“The state government has assured in the meeting that the issue will be resolved at the earliest. Already, work has been started in this regard,” Kamdhenu University Vice-Chancellor N H Kelawala told The Indian Express.Government sources revealed that since these four agricultural universities denied to approve pension cases of transferred staff to Kamdhenu University, the state government has approved Kamdhenu University to sanction these cases.Rupala in his letter has stated, “From April 1,2021 state’s veterinary, dairy, fisheries science colleges and polytechnic institutes have been transferred to Kamdhenu University… I have received complaints that despite their (teaching and non-teaching staff transferred to Kamdhenu University) submission of opting for pension from their parent university, these agriculture universities are not approving the same. I seek from the state government to investigate the case as per rules and take appropriate action’.On November 3, 2021 the state government issued a show-cause seeking explanation within 10 days from the three universities- Anand Agricultural University, Junagadh Agricultural University and Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University.

10 yrs after inception, Kamdhenu University still awaits sanction for pension benefits
AAU jumps four spots, finishes among Top 20 in national ranking
Times of India | 6 months ago
Times of India
6 months ago

VADODARA/ ANAND: Continuing with its upward journey, the Anand Agricultural University (AAU), for the second year in running, bettered its position in the national rankings released by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Jumping four spots, the AAU has been placed 20th in the 2020 national rankings released recently by ICAR’s education division. In 2019, the state-funded AAU had bettered its position by jumping 13 notches to be ranked among top 25 agriculture universities of the country at 24th position. The AAU achieved the best ranking among Gujarat universities. ICAR is the apex body for coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in the field of agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences. “Our team has ensured that we keep on improving when it comes to taking new technologies to the doorsteps of farmers as part of our extension activities or providing better exposure to our students and scientists. There are various parameters on which these rankings are done. And we have scope to still improve our own performance,” said AAU vice-chancellor Dr K B Kathiria. The national rankings covered 67 agriculture, veterinary, animal sciences, horticulture, fisheries and ocean studies universities across the country. For other universities in the state the rankings have come as a mixed bag. The Navsari Agricultural University (NAU), for instance, has jumped to 31st rank, up from the 42nd spot it had bagged in 2019. But its performance is still dismal compared to 2018, when it was ranked 14th. Performance of both Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU) and Sardar Krushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University (SKDAU) at Sardarkrushinagar however slipped further. JAU which had slipped to 30th rank in 2019 from 20th in 2018, has this time been ranked at 40th position. Similarly, SKDAU which had slightly improved its performance from 46 in 2018 to 45 in 2019 has been ranked at 60th position now.

AAU jumps four spots, finishes among Top 20 in national ranking
Daily Briefing: India detects 2 cases of Omicron; As cyclone nears, Odisha farmers start distress sale
The Indian Express | 7 months ago
The Indian Express
7 months ago

Good morning,Big Story The Union Health Ministry has said that Omicron, the latest Covid variant of concern, has been detected for the first time in India in two cases from Karnataka through genomic surveillance. The Ministry, however, stressed that there was no need to panic, called for strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour and urged everyone to adopt the “universal vaccine” of wearing masks to tackle the new challenge.A 66-year-old South African national, who arrived in Bengaluru via Dubai last month, and a 46-year-old doctor at a private hospital in the city, with no travel history, are the first two cases of Omicron to be detected in India. Both were fully vaccinated before testing positive and displayed only mild symptoms, officials said.Seven Covid-19 vaccines are safe and stimulate a strong immune response when given as boosters to people who have previously received a two-dose course of either Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech, as per the first such randomised trial of boosters published in The Lancet. As SII seeks nod, booster trial clears AstraZeneca on the comparative safety of Covid vaccines, and the immune responses they stimulate as a third dose. Only in the ExpressWith more than 260 million cases and 5.2 million deaths due to Covid-19 worldwide, as we enter the third year of the pandemic, it is clear that the battle is far from over. Almost all vaccines that are based on the initial Wuhan virus genome have held on to their promise. But the recent, fierce fourth wave in European countries, more than two-thirds of whose populations are fully vaccinated, and a surge of infections in the US, have sent alarm bells ringing around the world.Explaining what the National Family Health Survey’s data means, Abhishek Anand and Arvind Subramanian write: “Insofar as health and nutrition are determined by actions of the states, stunting outcomes reflect on their performance. The improvements in Rajasthan have happened under the Congress, in MP and Haryana under the BJP, in Odisha under the BJD, and in UP under both Samajwadi Party and BJP; and the stagnation/setbacks have occurred in Gujarat (BJP), West Bengal (Trinamool), and Telangana (TRS). Neither success nor failure seems to be the monopoly of any one political party.” From the Front Page A day after Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi saying “you can’t be abroad most of the time” and “there’s no UPA now”, political strategist Prashant Kishor, who manages TMC’s electoral forays, said the Congress’s leadership of the Opposition is not the “divine right of an individual, especially when the party has lost more than 90 per cent elections in last 10 years”. Let Opposition leadership, he said, be decided “democratically”.  Must Read With the Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) draft Bill 2021 expected to be tabled in Parliament this session, the Indian Leadership Forum Against Trafficking (ILFAT), a forum set up in 2019 by trafficking survivors, has now written to the Ministry identifying gaps in the Bill. Survivors of trafficking have demanded that the draft bill include provisions of funds for the rehabilitation of survivors as well to investigate cases, often across states and even countries. They have also said that the Bill needs to give “more agency to the victim’’ to decide the duration of their stay in protection and rehabilitation homes.Saying that there are “actionable clues” pointing to a “mastermind” behind the death of Dhanbad Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand, the CBI has said it wants to subject the two accused  — Lakhan Kumar Verma and Rahul Kumar Verma — to narcoanalysis, brain-mapping and polygraph tests again. The two accused are alleged to have knocked down ASJ Anand with an autorickshaw on July 28, while he was on a morning walk.Between cyclone Yaas  and unseasonal rain in the pre-harvest season, Odisha’s farmers have had to grapple with setback after setback in recent months. And now with cyclonic storm Jawad predicted to hit the state this weekend, farmers are resorting to an early harvest and distress sale of paddy as mandis are slated to open towards the end of the month. “Back to back crop damage will leave us with heavy debt. The produce this year has been nearly 40 per cent lower than usual,” a farmer from Sohoda village of Bhadrak district said. And Finally While India’s cricket tour of South Africa is set to be delayed by a week after global panic over the new coronavirus variant Omicron, the chief medical officer of Cricket South Africa (CSA) Dr Shuaib Manjra insisted that there are protocols in place for all eventualities. Speaking to The Indian Express, Manjra said that though cases are growing exponentially, the evidence so far is that the cases have been mild in general.Delhi Confidential: A copy of the latest edition of the ‘Who’s Who’ in Parliament library has the wrong photograph against the name of Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and External Affairs V Muraleedharan. Instead, it has a picture of K Muraleedharan, Congress MP from Vadakara, Kerala.In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we take a look at how the prime accused in the lynching of a student leader died in Assam, the significance of Mamata Banerjee saying that “there is no UPA now”, and the government’s strategy to tackle Omicron. Until tomorrow, Rahel Philipose and Rounak Bagchi

Daily Briefing: India detects 2 cases of Omicron; As cyclone nears, Odisha farmers start distress sale
Gujarat: Pamper retired canine warriors at their home in Anand
Times of India | 7 months ago
Times of India
7 months ago

VADODARA: Dog lovers will be able to pet, pamper, play or just shower love on the canine warriors of the police. The state-level retirement home for dogs, a very unique facility in the country, started by the Gujarat police in Anand has been thrown open for the public. After the Indian Army, which has a K9 old-age home in Meerut, Gujarat police is the only second force in the country to have an old-age home for its canines.To ensure that the four-legged colleagues of the state police spend their post-retirement life with dignity and respect, the state police had opened the facility which started at Anand police headquarters. It was inaugurated by state DGP Ashish Bhatia in July. The facility currently has 17 retired police dogs including three German Shepherds and Labradors. “After its inauguration, we are receiving many requests from people who want to visit the facility. So, under our public outreach programme, Suraksha Setu, we have decided to open this facility for the general public,” said Anand district superintendent of police Ajit Rajiaan, himself a canine lover. In fact, a lot of donors have come forward offering winter jackets and toys for the inmates for whom shelters, open ground and obstacle courses have been set up at the facility to keep the retired dogs active and fit. The facility will be open for school and college students every weekends for two hours from 9am to 11am and again two hours in the evening from 4pm to 6 pm. “People can pet, play, take a walk, feed the dogs in presence of police dog handlers. Similarly, NGOs too can actively contribute during these hours,” said Rajiaan, adding that it will be a win-win situation for both the human and his ‘best friends’. The dogs earlier handled tough jobs like sniffing out narcotics, explosives and helping detect crimes by tracking down the accused.

Gujarat: Pamper retired canine warriors at their home in Anand
Gujarat: Woman dies of Covid-19, new SoPs begin at airports amid Omicron concerns
The Indian Express | 7 months ago
The Indian Express
7 months ago

As Gujarat again sees a marginal increase in Covid-19 cases — reporting as many as 45 new cases on Wednesday — and a death of a fully-vaccinated 61-year-old woman in Anand, the state saw implementation of revised SOP at airports amid concerns over the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron.At Ahmedabad international airport, Ahmedabad chief district health officer Dr Satish Parmar said that of 77 passengers out of the 1,300 international arrivals were made to undergo RT-PCR tests on arrival.“55 of them were arrivals from at-risk countries and 22 others were made to undergo RT-PCR tests at random, as the MOHFW guideline states two per cent of other passengers have to be tested at random. All were negative. Most of the arrivals were from Middle-East countries. They will have to self-quarantine for seven days and be tested again by our district surveillance teams on the eighth day following which they will again have to self-quarantine for seven more days if negative.”According to Dr Parmar, two teams of Ahmedabad district’s health team are working in two shifts at the Ahmedabad international airport.Ahmedabad city on Wednesday reported 11 new cases of Covid-19.In Vadodara, 95 persons, who landed at any of the Gujarat airports from any of the ‘at-risk’ countries and then travelled to the district, were quarantined. None of them have tested positive so far, according to the VMC health department.Meanwhile, Anand district recorded the death of a Covid-19 patient on Wednesday, the first in the district since mid-June. The patient, a 61-year-old female, had tested positive for Covid19 on November 13 and his condition deteriorated during treatment at a hospital in Anand.Officials of the district health department said that the patient had comorbidities of diabetes and a serious liver ailment.“The patient had been on ventilator support for most of the period of her admission at the hospital since November 13. She passed away on Tuesday night,” an official said.Anand district, which has recorded a total of 9,645 positive cases, has reported 50 Covid-19 deaths so far. The district currently has three active cases of Covid-19, of whom, one is on ventilator support at Shree Krishna Hospital.

Gujarat: Woman dies of Covid-19, new SoPs begin at airports amid Omicron concerns
Primary schools reopen after 20 months Learning loss: Skip assignments in class, give more homework, cut curriculum, suggests panel
Indian Express | 7 months ago
Indian Express
7 months ago

An 11-member committee formed by the Gujarat government to suggest ways to cover the “immense” learning loss to lower primary students during the Covid-19 pandemic, when classes were held online for almost 20 months, has recommended a plan for the remaining days of the academic session by skipping assignments in class, increasing homework and reducing the curriculum.State schools recorded an average attendance of 15 per cent when offline classes resumed for Classes 1 to 5 on Monday. While most of the self-financed schools have decided to resume offline classes from next week requiring time for planning and taking consent from parents, government primary schools across the state that were shut since March 2020 reopened on Monday.Tapi recorded the highest attendance of 29.51 per cent on first day, followed by Navsari (28 per cent), Narmada (27 per cent) and Devbhumi Dwarka (26 per cent). Among districts with lowest number of students attended schools were the cities of Surat (2.6 per cent), Vadodara (5 per cent) and Ahmedabad city (5.12 per cent). The recommendations shared in an online meeting chaired by MI Joshi, director of primary education, on November 18 are being compiled and likely to be submitted to the state government on Tuesday.“We will submit the report to the education minister tomorrow after compiling the recommendations. This will be followed by a deliberation on implementation of the recommendations,” Joshi told The Indian Express.The committee comprises educationists and academicians such as NC Swamiji, chairman Vrajbhoomi International School Anand; Raja Pathak, director, Sattva Vikas School Ahmedabad; Tejal Amin, chairperson Navrachna Education Society, Vadodara; Digvijaysinh Jadeja, president, Gujarat Primary Teachers Association; and Jatin Barad, president of Rajkot zone of Gujarat Self-Financed School Management Association. “While everyone knows that there has been an immense learning loss, the committee submitted recommendations on strategies to cover learning losses as schools reopened after remaining closed for more than 600 days,” said Raja Pathak, who is also an office-bearer of Association for Promotion of Prominent Schools.Adding that the recommendations included time management for nearly 60-70 remaining teaching days (for CBSE affiliated schools) of the academic session, Pathak said, “Parents’ involvement has been the highest in the history during these 600 days. This should be utilised to the maximum through focus on homework rather than wasting time on assignments in the classroom.”Based on internal surveys, the experts suggested unanimously that there should be a reduction in curriculum with stress on teaching only the “relevant” chapters.“While worksheets to reduce gaps should be prepared by schools and distributed among students for Classes 1 to 5, stress should be on listening, reading and writing in the core subjects. There should not be a rush to complete curriculum. We have recommended to reduce curriculum where only the relevant chapters that are required in the next class should be covered,” said NC Swamiji.Swamiji, who is also co-ordinator secretary of more than 140 Swaminarayan Gurukuls in Gujarat and member of Anand district advisory for the Gujarat Self Financed Management Association, added that the surveys conducted in all these schools revealed that behaviour of children, especially in Classes 6 to 8 has changed a lot. “They are no more able to sit continuously for four to five hours, which was the school time earlier as they have been taking online classes sitting or lying down on a sofa,” he added. Teachers’ representation in the committee through Digvijaysinh Jadeja, Gujarat Primary Teachers Association, stated that looking at the learning losses, they have suggested that an additional one hour should be planned for making children to only read and write before the school hours. Bharat Gajipara, president of Gujarat Self-Financed School Management Association, told The Indian Express, “We suggested that in Classes 1 to 5, children should be taught only to read and write. We also have to check how much a child knows. Since schools were closes for almost two years, curriculum should be reduced at least by 20 per cent.”

Primary schools reopen after 20 months Learning loss: Skip assignments in class, give more homework, cut curriculum, suggests panel
Gujarat: Price of roses hits Rs 800 per kg, many farmers skip it this season
Indian Express | 7 months ago
Indian Express
7 months ago

The bright pink desi roses, used for almost all festivities and pujas, are conspicuous by their absence in most flower markets in cities, while in some cities, the price of roses has touched Rs 800 per kilogram. Farmers from Charotar, where roses bloom in abundance, continue to rue the series of losses suffered first due to the Covid-19 pandemic and more recently due to the extended, erratic monsoon.Ghanshyam Chauhan from Rel village in Anand district says that rose farmers have suffered crop losses due to heavy rainfall that lashed the region in October. “Just as the farmers were coming out of the cycle of losses that began with the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, with events being cancelled due to the pandemic, the rain this year affected the yield. Fields that would yield 50 kilograms of roses during Diwali every year have barely one kilogram this season,” Chauhan says. Most farmers in Rel village, which has about 50 bighas of rose farms, have been unable to even meet the expenses.Farmers said that flower sale had been uninterrupted for two months of the holy month of Shravan as well as Navratras, selling at up to Rs 200 per kg. Thereafter, the prices went up to Rs 1,000 per kg in big cities. In Vadodara’s flower market, traders are saving the rose for the garlands, which are priced per piece up to Rs 100. Garlands of marigold with rose in between are being sold for up to Rs 50 per piece. While the price of marigold is Rs 50 per kg, roses are being sold up to Rs 500 per kg.A trader says, “Customers pick up a mix of loose flowers along with garlands that usually has marigold and roses but this time, we are not able to give loose roses as they are extremely expensive. In Vadodara, the cost is Rs 400 to Rs 500 per kg but in cities like Ahmedabad and in North Gujarat, the prices are as high as Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 per kilo.About 40 kilometres away from Rel village in Anand, Baroda village of Matar taluka of Kheda district has about 400 bighas of rose farms. But this year has been lacklustre for farmers — many of whom, have even skipped the rose season this monsoon. Kanu Rathod, a traditional rose farmer has, instead, sown castor seeds.Rathod says, “Some of the rose farmers of the village have decided to skip a year or two after suffering heavy losses due to the Covid-19 lockdown… the second wave that came this year and the prediction of a possible third wave to coincide with the festive season had left us anxious… Many of us did not plant rose during monsoon this year…”Farmers say that roses have to be plucked at night and transported to the market early morning. “Roses perish fast. If they are not plucked at night and taken to the market by 4 am, they lose their value… With the prices so high, common customers do not opt for roses and the traders are also purchasing minimum stock,” he adds.Traders, however, are hopeful that the prices would come down during the upcoming wedding season. “The rain has stopped and rose crop yields flowers for the entire year — up to six or seven years of its life. Hopefully, by December the prices should drop as the wedding season picks up up to February…,” a trader says.

Gujarat: Price of roses hits Rs 800 per kg, many farmers skip it this season
Gujarat sees younger substance abusers as consumption numbers also rise
Indian Express | 8 months ago
Indian Express
8 months ago

Last month, the mother of a 24-year old Rajkot-based cricketer had accused six persons of luring her son and his wife into substance abuse. Following her lead, the police had found Akash Ambasana, a former under-19 cricketer, and wife Ami Cholera (22), under the influence of mephedrone at a hotel located barely 200 m from the police commissioner’s office. The couple, now at a rehab, “were saved due to timely intervention of the mother”, said police officials privy to the investigation.This comes barely a month after, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), on September 16, found two cargo containers with over 2,988 kg of heroin worth Rs 21,000 crore, smuggled as “semi-processed talc stones” at the Mundra Port in Kutch. It was claimed to be the biggest seizure of narcotics in the country.At the centre of the case, now with the National Investigation Agency (NIA), is a Chennai-based couple — Machavaram Sudhakar and his wife Govindaraju Durga Purna Vaisali — and Rajkumar P from Coimbatore. Besides, six Afghan nationals and an Uzbek were also arrested from different parts of the country.Investigative agencies believe that the 1,650-km-long Gujarat coastline, which was always used as a ‘gateway’ for international drug networks to smuggle large consignments from the ‘golden crescent’ (the land-locked area between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan considered to be the global hub of opium production) to countries in Europe and other continents, has now turned into a destination.The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in its Crime in India 2020 Report states that as many as 308 cases under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act were lodged in Gujarat in the pandemic year, of which 117 were those of personal consumption, a number that has been steadily rising. In 2019 of the 289 cases under NDPS Act, 112 were of personal possession, a sharp rise from 2018 when of the total 150 cases under the act, 60 were those of personal use.Cases are aplenty. Days after the Navratri festival, a 33-year-old man (name withheld) was at a private rehab centre in Ahmedabad for the third time this year for help against brown sugar addiction. His last two stays at the centre ended abruptly due to a “relapse”.Counsellors treating him believe that while his family is affectionate and caring, it was them who provided him with the narcotics after they saw him “suffering from withdrawal symptoms” during the recovery period. At times, the narcotics were hidden in the home-cooked food they parcelled to him at the rehab centre, much to the dismay of the counsellors.Another 30-year-old man from Jamalpur in Ahmedabad is addicted to cheap ganja that he can “score” from nearby paan shops for a mere Rs 50. What started as a thrill in his early teens, became a daily routine for the next decade of his life, he says. Now, he has a bed reserved at the Naya Jeevan De-addiction Centre with 14 other addicts.Dr Alpa Vyas, a counsellor at the Naya Jeevan De-addiction Centre, says that over 250 addicts have already visited the centre in the past year. Many leave abruptly, some complete the 30 days’ rehab period, while some keep returning to the centre, after each relapse.“We don’t take addicts below the age of 18 years. The average age of addicts at our centre is 25-35 years. All of them had started using when they were young and did not seek help then. They only did after spending a considerable time of their lives ‘on a high’,” said Vyas.Often, kids begin from beer to gradually move to hard drinks to marijuana to other chemical drugs in the trajectory as the dependency level in their body rises, says Ahmedabad-based psychiatrist Dr Rajendra Anand. “On an average, I see a new patient of addiction every day in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar,” he says.Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Shailendra Mishra says no person stays an addict forever. “At some point, they realise that they have been high for too long. But in that process, they end up wasting 10 or 15 years of their lives which could have been their golden time to become something,” he adds.A sudden spike in drug smuggling cases was seen in Gujarat after the second wave of Covid-19. Cases compiled by The Indian Express show that since June, local police and NCB have seized narcotics worth above Rs 6.6 crore in 21 instances and arrested over 52 persons for drug trafficking via rail, road and air from different parts of the state.According to psychiatrist Dr Anand, dealing with a drug addict is a tiresome and frustrating experience for the family as well. “When they see the addict relapsing after initial stages of staying clean, they lose all hope. However, the truth is that relapse is a natural reaction and part of the multi-dimensional approach of the rehab process.”NCB’s Mishra says most parents are scared to approach rehab centres fearing their children will face trouble from the police. “But we never go to a rehab centre and ask them where did they get the drugs from. Consumers are victims of the drug menace and we always recommend help for them. Counselling is always better than punitive action,” says Mishra.Police say that for cheap intoxicants such as ganja and bhang, cannabis and hemp plantations are grown by local “farmers” in Gujarat. In May, the Anand police busted a massive marijuana plantation and seized over 900 kg of plants sown among jowar crops.In 2019, an 80-year-old farmer was caught in Amreli for planting hemp on his farmland. It took police two days to uproot the plantation and seize 1,766 kgs of hemp. As per investigative agencies, the locally-grown ganja, often distributed for free in social events, is extremely popular in Gujarat villages.However, when it comes to sourcing “hard chemical drugs”, a close-knit network of peddlers and users and the use of the deep web are preferred.In September 2020, the Ahmedabad police had a major breakthrough when it arrested Afaq Ahmad alias Afaq Bawa, a Mumbai resident, who was running an MDMA racket from the Maharashtra capital to Ahmedabad. According to police, Bawa used a network of local peddlers from old city Ahmedabad and an Assistant Sub-Inspector of police (ASI) to smuggle drugs to Gujarat via road.“For charas (hashish) and heroin, heavy transport vehicles have been used from Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab to bring it to Gujarat. However, when it comes to mephedrone or methamphetamine, MDMA or LSD, the use of the deep web by youth is also getting popular. Often drug consignments are concealed in courier packages that are ordered online on advance payment. Roadways smuggling from Mumbai is an old modus operandi now,” said a senior police official in Ahmedabad.Recently, Minister of State (MoS) for Home Harsh Sanghavi announced a first-of-its-kind “narco reward” policy under which the informants and police personnel working to crack down on smuggling and sale/purchase of narcotics would be rewarded monetarily. The Gujarat Police have also announced a helpline — 1908 — wherein citizens can report on smuggling, sale/purchase and consumption of drugs.However, experts urge a sympathetic approach to deal with young drug users. “Teenage is a period of turmoil where children face a lot of stress due to academic expectations. There is no one to listen to what they want and in these circumstances, drugs become an easy recluse. We need to tell our children that we don’t hate them but we hate this particular bad habit,” said Dr Shraddha Rai, chairperson, Rehab Council of India for Gujarat, Rajasthan and Daman and Diu.

Gujarat sees younger substance abusers as consumption numbers also rise
‘Communal incitement’: Rights group calls for Raj Bhavan march
Indian Express | 8 months ago
Indian Express
8 months ago

The Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a rights group in Ahmedabad, has called for a Raj Bhavan march on November 10 to protest alleged inaction by police on complaints by Muslim activists regarding alleged incidents of communal incitement in Anand and Morbi districts. According to MCC representatives, the complaints refer to an incident on October 24 where a mob of over 50 persons in Anand protested against the inauguration of Hotel Blue Ivy jointly owned by Hindu and Muslim partners. Purported videos of the “protest” showed the mob allegedly “purifying” the road with water while chanting communal slogans. The construction of the hotel is under dispute at the Gujarat High Court between the owners and a prominent oncologist Dr Shailesh Shah, who is their neighbour. According to MCC, a police complaint was sent by a resident of Anand against an activist Pinkal Bhatia and Dr Shah for allegedly inciting a mob with communal remarks. Similarly, another complaint refers to an alleged incident on October 27 where a sabha was organised in Morbi town where a woman activist Kajal Ben was allegedly heard making communal slogans in facebook live videos.In a press conference held in Mirzapur of old city Ahmedabad on Wednesday, Mujahid Nafees, convenor of Minority Coordination Committee said, “Communal elements had recently organised sabhas in Anand and Morbi to incite people and when they approached police, their complaints were not converted into FIRs. The accused are roaming freely and inciting mob towards violence. We have written letters to the chief minister and state home minister demanding immediate action against such elements to ensure safety and security of people in Gujarat.”“We give time till November 9 to the Gujarat Police to take cognisance of the complaints and apprehend the accused. If the police fails to take action, then we will march from Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad to Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar and will also approach the governor,” he added.

‘Communal incitement’: Rights group calls for Raj Bhavan march
Stones Thrown At Cars, Trucks On Vadodara-Ahmedabad Expressway
Ndtv | 8 months ago
Ndtv
8 months ago

No passenger was injured in the incident, police said.Anand: Unidentified persons threw stones at trucks and cars moving on a stretch of the Vadodara-Ahmedabad Expressway in Gujarat's Anand district, damaging seven vehicles and putting the lives of passengers at risk, police said on Wednesday.Glass windows of three trucks and four cars were damaged late Tuesday night after some persons threw stones at the vehicles, taking advantage of the darkness, an official from Anand rural police station said.No passenger was injured in the incident that took place on a stretch of the Expressway near Samarkha village, he said.Patrolling along the stretch was increased and an FIR was registered against three unidentified persons under Indian Penal Code Section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), he said."Around 11 pm on Tuesday, vehicles going towards Ahmedabad on the Expressway were hit by stones hurled by unidentified persons. Seven vehicles, including three trucks, were damaged," the official said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comAn investigation is underway to identify the miscreants, he said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Stones Thrown At Cars, Trucks On Vadodara-Ahmedabad Expressway