Gujarat Drugs News

Poll authorities in Gujarat seize items worth Rs 71.9 crore
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

GANDHINAGAR: Election authorities in the state have seized items worth Rs 71.88 crore, including liquor worth Rs 7.9 crore, since the announcement of the assembly elections in Gujarat. This is considerably higher than the total value of seizures of objectionable materials, worth Rs 27.2 crore, during the 2017 assembly election. In just eight days, the authorities have seized liquor worth Rs 7.98 crore, narcotics drugs worth Rs 1.95 crore, gold worth Rs 1.87 crore and Rs 1.14 crore cash. Senior IPS officer Narsimha Komar, the nodal officer for law and order management for the assembly election, said, “A total of 78,386 cases have been registered so far against offenders. Those with licensed weapons have also been made to deposit them with police.”

Poll authorities in Gujarat seize items worth Rs 71.9 crore
  • Toys, accessories worth Rs 64 crore seized from Gujarat’s Mundra port ahead of polls: EC
  • The Indian Express

    The Election Commission on Friday said seizures of cash, liquor, drugs, precious metals and other freebies ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls had already reached record levels, with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence detecting smuggling of toys and accessories worth Rs 64 crore at Mundra port.In Gujarat, where polls are scheduled on December 1 and December 5, the EC said the seizures had already reached Rs 71.88 crore within days of the announcement of polls. In 2017, the total seizures were of Rs 27.21 crore, the EC said.“Though these are early days after the polls were announced in the state of Gujarat, yet activity by police has led to seizure of around 1.10 lakh litres of liquor valued at Rs 3.86 crore. DRI also reported massive seizure amounting to Rs 64 crore of toys and accessories which were being smuggled by way of mis-declaration and by resorting to concealment in import cargo at Mundra Port. Two persons including the mastermind have been arrested in the case and further investigation is under progress,” an EC statement said.The EC said seizures of freebies ahead of Saturday’s Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh had increased five-fold compared to 2017.Authorities in Himachal Pradesh made seizures worth Rs 50.28 crore in total, of which Rs 17.18 crore was in cash. Liquor worth Rs 17.50 crore or 9.72 lakh litres, drugs worth Rs 1.20 crore, precious metals worth Rs 13.99 crore and other freebies worth Rs 41 lakh were also seized in the hill state. During the 2017 elections, authorities made seizures worth Rs 9.03 crore.

Permanent nakas to be set up along Nashik dist border
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

NASHIK: The Nashik rural police are planning to set up permanent checkpoints along the district’s borders to keep a check on criminals and also their attempts to bring drugs, gutka and weapons into the city. Nashik Rural superintendent of police Shahaji Umap, who recently took charge after the transfer of Sachin Patil to Aurangabad as SP, CID, said this during a press briefing on Friday. The police said cases of weapons being found with anti-social elements are frequently registered by the city police. Apart from this, there are also cases of drugs, gutka being smuggled or transported through the rural district. Incidents of liquor being transported through the district illegally are also common. In view of this, the rural police are planning to put up permanent check points at the district borders, which would not only show police presence but also deter the criminals from indulging in such illegal activities. Nashik district shares its border with Dhule, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Thane, Palghar districts and also the neighbouring state of Gujarat. Umap said he has decided to take strict action against people indulging in illegal business of gambling, illegal sale, manufacturing or transport of liquor, gutkha. He said he recently conducted a meeting of all the officers in charge of the police stations under his jurisdiction and instructed them to ensure that such illegal activities do not take place in their respective jurisdictions. Umap also outlined his plan to set up a dedicated phone number on which people could contact the police and inform about any illegal activity in their areas. The name of the informer would not be revealed, he assured.

Permanent nakas to be set up along Nashik dist border
Record seizure of cash, liquor & freebies before polls in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

NEW DELHI: Seizure of unaccounted cash and potential voter inducements like liquor and drugs in poll-bound Gujarat within just eight days of announcement of elections has been to the tune of Rs 71.8 crore, more than 2.6 times of the Rs 27 crore worth of seizures reported during the entire duration of the 2017 polls in the state. The value of cumulative seizures in Himachal Pradesh — which goes to polls on Saturday — has seen an over five-fold increase to Rs 50.3 crore from Rs 9 crore in the 2017 elections. The seizures in Gujarat as on November 10 include Rs 66 lakh of unaccounted cash, over 1 lakh litres of liquor valued at Rs 3.9 crore, drugs worth Rs 94 lakh, precious metals worth Rs 1.9 crore and freebies worth Rs 64.6 crore. The department of revenue intelligence had reported a seizure amounting to Rs 64 crore of toys and accessories, which as per EC were being smuggled by way of misdeclaration and by concealment in import cargo at Mundra Port. Poll seizures in Himachal compiled by EC up to November 10 include Rs 17.2 crore of cash, 9.7 lakh litres of liquor valued at Rs 17.5 crore, Rs 1.2 crore worth of drugs, nearly Rs 14 crore in precious metals and Rs 41 lakh worth of freebies.

Record seizure of cash, liquor & freebies before polls in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh
  • Record Cash, Liquor Seized Ahead Of Himachal, Gujarat Polls: Election Body
  • Ndtv

    Himachal Pradesh votes on Saturday and Gujarat will have voting on December 1 and 5. (File)New Delhi: The Election Commission on Friday said "record seizures" of cash, liquor and freebies have been made as Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh go for assembly polls.While Himachal Pradesh votes on Saturday, Gujarat will have voting on December 1 and 5.Record seizures made during ongoing Assembly Elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh: Election Commission of IndiaSeizures in Gujarat amounted to Rs 71.88 crores while seizures in Himachal Pradesh amounted to Rs 50.28 crores.#GujaratAssemblyPolls#HimachalPradeshElectionspic.twitter.com/6B23Yc7as4— ANI (@ANI) November 11, 2022The election body said there has been a five-fold increase in seizures in Himachal Pradesh compared to the 2017 assembly elections.The Commission said its comprehensive planning led by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar ahead of the polls has given "encouraging" results in terms of seizures.Gujarat witnessed seizures of Rs 71.88 crore in just few days of announcement of elections, which surpasses even the seizures made in entire duration of enforcement of Model Code of Conduct in 2017 assembly elections, which was Rs 27.21 crore.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comSimilarly, the seizures in Himachal Pradesh are also significant, amounting to Rs 50.28 crore as compared to Rs 9.03 crore, marking more than a five-fold increase, it said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayAbhishek Bachchan, Vicky Kaushal And Sikandar Kher At Monica, O My Darling Screening

Rs 71.8 crore of cumulative seizures in poll-bound Gujarat, Rs 17.2 ​crore in HP
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

NEW DELHI: The Rs 71.8 crore worth of cumulative seizures of unaccounted cash and potential voter inducements like liquor and drugs, etc in poll-bound Gujarat — within just eight days of announcement of election — are already 2.6 times the Rs 27-crore seizures reported for the entire duration of 2017 polls in the state. Even the value of cumulative seizures in Himachal Pradesh — which witnesses polling on Saturday — has seen an over five-fold increase to Rs 50.3 crore from Rs 9 crore in 2017 assembly poll. The poll-time seizures in Gujarat as on November 10, 2022, include Rs 66 lakh of unaccounted cash, over 1 lakh litre of liquor valued at Rs 3.86 crore, drugs worth Rs 94 lakh, precious metals worth Rs 1.86 crore and freebies worth Rs 64.56 crore. The Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had reported a massive seizure amounting to Rs 64 crore of toys and accessories, which as per EC were being smuggled by way of mis-declaration and by resorting to concealment in import cargo at Mundra Port. Two persons including the mastermind were arrested in the case and further investigation is in progress. Himachal Pradesh’s poll seizures compiled by EC up to November 10 include Rs 17.2 crore of unexplained cash, 9.7 lakh litres of liquor valued at Rs 17.5 crore, Rs 1.2 crore worth of drugs, nearly Rs 14 crore in precious metals and Rs 41 lakh worth of freebies. EC on Friday attributed the huge jump in poll-time seizures to its comprehensive planning, reviews and follow-ups that actively involved the enforcement agencies. While announcing dates for Gujarat polls on November 3, chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar had stressed on keeping the elections inducement-free. The process of effective expenditure monitoring starts months before the announcement of elections and includes host of activities like appointment of experienced officers as expenditure observers, sensitizing and reviewing enforcement agencies for more coordinated and comprehensive monitoring, marking of expenditure sensitive constituencies, ensuring planning of adequate availability of field level teams in the monitoring process and regular follow-ups with district election officers (DEOs) and Superintendents of Police (SPs) with a view to curb role of money-power in vitiating elections. EC has deployed 69 expenditure observers in Gujarat along with marking 27 assembly constituencies as “expenditure-sensitive” for closer monitoring. In Himachal, the EC had deployed 23 expenditure observers. The Commission visited Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh in September for reviewing electoral preparedness. It undertook extensive reviews with enforcement agencies, district authorities and police nodal officers to emphasise on close and effective monitoring of items meant for influencing voters. CEC and election commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey had, while reviewing preparedness of districts and enforcement agencies in Himachal Pradesh, asked for tight vigil against illegal mining business and areas like liquor distribution and suspicious cash, etc. The investigation wing of Income-Tax Department conducted raids at stone crushing units across 27 premises in Himachal Pradesh and adjoining states and seized a significant amount of cash. It also carried out search and seizure operations on manufacturers and traders of country liquor, wherein unaccounted cash was seized and discrepancies in stock and account keeping was observed. Even in the bye-elections to 7 assembly seats in Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra, Telangana, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, significant seizures of Rs 9.35 crore were made. In Munugode bypoll in Telangana, cash amounting to Rs 6.6 crore along with thousands of litres of liquor and Rs 1.78 crore worth of precious metals were seized.

Rs 71.8 crore of cumulative seizures in poll-bound Gujarat, Rs 17.2 ​crore in HP
Himachal votes tomorrow: A reading list of dispatches, analyses, and interviews 
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago | |

Himachal Pradesh votes on Saturday after a few weeks of intense political campaigning that illustrated the dependence of the ruling party on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the enormity of the task before the Congress that has not won a state election on its own since 2018. But the Congress will draw hope from the hill state’s almost three-decade tradition of voting out the incumbent government.As the parties canvassed, a team of reporters of The Indian Express fanned out across the state to bring to readers a sense of what voters were thinking about, the issues they wanted their representatives to address, and the challenges before the two main political parties on the road to power.The result is a compendium of ground reports, analyses, and interviews of the key political players in the battle for Himachal. Here are 10 articles you must read:🔴 BJP banks on Modi as across Himachal, discontent brews over pension scheme, jobsFrom Himachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur’s home district Mandi, Manoj CG reported on the BJP’s predictable campaign narrative built on the muscular nationalism of the Narendra Modi government and the “double-engine government”. He found the ruling party anxious over resentment among government employees and pensioners, the youth, and apple growers. The Congress, he wrote, is harping on this angst.🔴 Freebies or welfare? First test for BJP in Himachal, Gujarat Liz Mathew on how the BJP, having taken a “principled position” against freebies following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call against “revdi culture”, is doing “a complicated balancing act in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections in which its rivals have been generous with promises”.Amil Bhatnagar compared the manifestos that the BJP and the Congress released for the 2017 elections and their list of promises this time.🔴 16 voters and a hamlet called Ka: All quiet on this poll frontAmil Bhatnagar reported from the constituency of Ka in Kinnaur district that has only 16 voters — the lowest voter count among the 7,881 polling stations in the state.🔴 Anurag Thakur: No ifs and buts about Jai Ram Thakur… BJP will cross 44-mark in HimachalUnion Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told Rajesh Chander Sharma in an interview that the Jai Ram Thakur-led government had done wonderful work in Himachal Pradesh and “there were no doubts that the BJP was contesting the elections under his leadership”. The BJP leader also spoke of the Congress’s prospects and why he thinks his party’s promises cannot be categorised as freebies.🔴 Prem Kumar Dhumal campaigns for BJP, gives party pension adviceTwo-time Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Anurag Thakur’s father, denied a ticket by the BJP, was nonetheless out to campaign for the party, Navjeevan Gopal wrote in his dispatch from the veteran leader’s home turf Hamirpur. “I have no regrets, it was a party decision,” Dhumal said. “I feel the party has given me a lot. I am satisfied.”🔴 In Himachal town once hit by riots, voices near Atal Chowk: ‘Immense respect for Vajpayee, but…’The town of Tissa in the constituency of Churah in Chamba district was rocked by riots in the run-up to the elections in 2017. Five years have passed, but the town and the nearby village of Khushnagri are still struggling to come to terms with the violence and complain about the lack of development, Divya Goyal wrote in her ground report.🔴 Across parties, a reality check; Need to tackle Himachal drug menaceAfter Punjab, Himachal Pradesh recorded the most cases under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), 1985, according to the 2021 NCRB data. And both the Congress and the BJP have one thing in common – the promise to rid the state of drugs if elected to power.🔴 A look at Congress CM contenders or, as BJP says, its problem of plentyDuring campaigning, the BJP mocked the Congress saying it had several aspirants for the CM’s chair. Kanchan Vasdev took a look at five of the possible contenders for the top job if the Opposition party returns to power.🔴 Pratibha Singh: When Virbhadraji there, no one would even aspire to replace him as CM… Now all hopefulState Congress president Pratibha Singh, one of the party’s CM contenders, talked to Man Aman Singh Chhina about her party’s chances in the elections, the absence of her late husband and former CM Virbhadra Singh, and infighting in the party’s state unit.🔴 Who gets the credit? Lahaul-Spiti BJP and Cong candidates fight over Atal TunnelMan Aman Singh Chhina reported from Keylong on how the Atal Tunnel, the longest tunnel in the world over an altitude of 10,000 feet, turned into a bone of contention between the BJP and the Congress in the Lahaul-Spiti constituency.

Himachal votes tomorrow: A reading list of dispatches, analyses, and interviews 
Illegal cough syrups make way to Mumbai from UP
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

THAT CODEINE-based cough syrup (CBCS) is among the most abused drugs in Mumbai is common knowledge. Readily available and light on the pocket, CBCS is popular in low-income pockets of the city. Interestingly, two cases that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) registered this year in and around the city have revealed links to distant Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh.While a major chunk of the manufacture of CBCS is known to take place in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, Varanasi’s Dawa Mandi, a hub for procurement of pharmaceutical drugs, has been popping up on the radar of both the Central and state Anti Narcotic agencies that have seized CBCS in the past.Codeine abuse is rampant among youngsters in city’s low-income pockets such as Govandi, Mankhurd, Dharavi, Kurla. Costing around Rs 150 – 250, CBSC is affordable, and so, popular in these lower income pockets.As per data provided by Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC), they seized 22,798 bottles in Mumbai alone last year while in the current year, they have seized 5,680 bottles till August.Several current and former officers of NCB and the ANC of Mumbai Police confirmed to The Indian Express that codeine, from its manufacturing spot in Baddi, which is a hub for legitimate manufacture of cough syrups, reaches the city via several states.“Owing to the massive stock at Dawa Mandi, several suppliers manage to divert cough syrups to UP which are not shown on record,” an NCB officer said.NCB officers said that in the two cases cited above, the same person in Varanasi’s Dawa Mandi, who was eventually arrested, supplied codeine to Mumbai.“In one case where they seized 7,200 bottles from Bhiwandi in June and arrested two persons, the supply came from Dawa Mandi to Bhusawal,” said Amit Ghawate, NCB Mumbai Zonal Unit Director.In August, a consignment of 13,248 bottles of codeine seized in Mumbai had come from Pune via tempos. Tracking the source led the NCB to Dawa Mandi again.“Our team stayed in Dawa Mandi for nearly a month in order to zero in on the person and arrested him on August 19. We have found that codeine is supplied illegally from Dawa Mandi to various parts of the country, especially Mumbai which has a high demand,” the officer said.A Mumbai-based person who has two medical shops in central Mumbai was the one who sought supply of codeine to further distribute illegally. The officer said, “They were supplying nearly 40,000 bottles of codeine to the city every single day through their network. In the city, peddlers would transport it through taxis and tempos.”ANC DCP Datta Nalawade said, “Apart from UP, Gujarat is another state from where we have found codeine supply. However, in some cases, the bottles coming from Gujarat have also been sourced from UP. Varanasi is also one of the places that has been found to be one of the suppliers.”An ANC official said that in the city, the accused either uses the registration papers of a legitimate medical shop after reaching an understanding with the owner, or create fake registration license in the name of a medical shop. The medical shop only appears on paper. In the August case conducted by NCB, one of the accused had two medical shops in central Mumbai while he had created fake paperwork for two more which enabled him to get codeine supply from distributors. In order to get permission for a medical shop, one requires medical registration from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) which is available to those who have a degree in pharmacy. “Distributors don’t really check details as long as they are able to sell,” an official said.The officer said that since rules are lax in UP, it is comparatively easier to get cough syrups, so it is also emerging as a supply point to other states through distributors – including both genuine and fake.A former NCB official said there are several reasons codeine smuggling is rampant, primary among them being that law enforcement agencies do not take abuse of the drug seriously. “If we go to another state to conduct a raid, they are surprised that we came all the way just for codeine,” the official said.However, cough syrup abuse by kids is a major issue in a city like Mumbai. After NCB busted the codeine supply network in August, several parents from Dharavi, whose kids who were addicted to cough syrups, came to thank the agency.Dr Rama Shyam, who has worked with youngsters in areas where the cough syrup abuse prevails, said, “They refer to cough syrup as Corex and on most occasions, the first name is Corex which is then followed by Vicks, correction fluid, and other hard drugs. In that sense, cough syrup is an entry point for youngsters into the world of drugs,” she said.“I am worried about the impact this has on their neuro-transmitters which will hamper the cognitive development of an entire generation that no one seems to care about,” Dr Shyam added.

Illegal cough syrups make way to Mumbai from UP
Need to break drug supply chains, Amit Shah at regional meet
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

Chairing a high-level meeting of the western region states on ‘Drug trafficking and national security’ at Gandhinagar on Wednesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that other states must adopt the Gujarat model to check drug trafficking as the state has achieved a major success in drug seizures from its coast in the recent years. He also underlined the need to break the drug supply chains.The meeting was conducted in a hybrid mode. Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel was present on the dais, while Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant, his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, among others, joined through video conference.Drugs weighing nearly 1.65-kg kilos seized by the Delhi and Ahmedabad units of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the Gujarat Police were also destroyed on the day.According to Shah, the drug-seizure cases saw a sharp rise of 152 per cent in the period from 2014 to 2022 as compared to between 2006 and 2013.“It is important to crack down on heroin smuggling from the West Coast side of the country and Gujarat has done a great job in this direction. For this, I want to specifically congratulate the Gujarat’s Police, Gujarat CM and home minister. Operations carried out by the Gujarat’s narcotics control department in coordination with the Central agencies delivered results… Goa and Maharashtra has to step up and play a proactive role. In the entire western region, we are seeing increasing use of couriers and parcels for trafficking drugs…We will have to take strict steps and devise a mechanism to screen parcels.”Urging all states to adopt “top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top approach” to identify the entire chain and network, Shah said, “We had done an investigation and the NCB came out with a new (top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top) approach to check drugs. When a person is caught at a ‘paan’ shop selling drugs, we can’t see it as just one isolated case… It is our job to track and identify the entire network. And when a big drug consignment is caught at a port, then the network needs to identify the last person downwards… otherwise we won’t be able to destroy the entire network… We can’t win this fight if we limit ourselves to seizing drugs.”The Home Minister further said: “The fight against narcotics is at a delicate turn. If we fight with all seriousness, we will win but if we take this as just another offence, then the drug traffickers will win.”

Need to break drug supply chains, Amit Shah at regional meet
Gujarat minister Harsh Sanghavi: A Rs 1,000 traffic fine affects a person’s Diwali celebrations…That is why the waiver
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi (37) started his career with the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and rose to become its general secretary. In 2012, he became the youngest MLA after winning the first Assembly election he contested. Reflecting the party’s trust in him, Sanghavi holds the portfolios of Home, Disaster Management and Police Housing, and Sports, Youths and Cultural Activities as MoS, apart from Independent charge of Excise and Prohibition, Border Security and Prisons, and was given additional charge of Revenue recently, after Rajendra Trivedi was stripped of the portfolio.Sanghavi, who has declared that the police would not penalise people for minor traffic offences till October 27, speaks about the decision, which the Opposition has described as “revadi”, and his other plans for the police force. Excerpts:* How did you get into politics?SANGHAVI: I come from a non-political background, from a family in the diamond business, and started working for the party as a youth worker. I never dreamt of contesting elections or becoming a minister. While working in the BJYM as general secretary, I got an opportunity to travel across the country and meet different youth wing leaders. Later I got the opportunity to contest Assembly polls, and also got a chance to hold different responsibilities.I feel a lot of challenges and responsibilities were put on my shoulders at such a young age. To fulfill the same, struggle, hard work and determination are necessary. I never thought I would get such responsibilities as Home, Revenue etc. It is true that the BJP trusts its workers with big responsibilities.* What are the challenges you have faced as MoS, Home?SANGHAVI: At first, my attitude was to do more social work than politics. I also tried to do the same in the police department. We know that drug menace has increased in western countries. Our PM (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) and UHM (Union Home Minister Amit Shah) gave a call to fight against drugs, and after becoming MoS, Home, on the first Saturday and Sunday, I called a meeting with senior IPS officers on how to frame a drugs (seizure) reward policy and stop the drug menace in Gujarat.The Central government already had such a reward policy and Gujarat is the first state in the country that framed its own. We have seen major success with this policy and, in over a year, arrested around 700 members of the drug mafia, including 30 Pakistani nationals and Iran nationals. We also managed to get information on drug rackets not only in Gujarat but also Kolkata and on the drug lords lodged in Punjab jails. We acted on it and have got results.The reason behind such major seizures is the new political system in Afghanistan… The credit of the anti-drug drive in Gujarat does not go to me (alone), it is teamwork starting from top to low-rank officials.I take meetings with senior IPS officers thrice a week and make a note of the work done against drugs and get all the data. I congratulate officials personally to boost their morale.* What is the logic behind not collecting fines for traffic offences from October 21 to October 27?SANGHAVI: Let’s take the example of a diamond polisher or textile labourer who returns home after day-long hard work. He takes his wife and family to do shopping for Diwali from the savings of his hard-earned money. They shop from roadside stalls from small shopkeepers. If he does not possess a driving licence, or wears no helmet, or rides on the wrong side etc, and is caught by cops, he has to pay a penalty of Rs 1,000. He gets disturbed, which affects the festival celebrations. Even small shopkeepers lose business. So, after a great deal of thinking, we have come up with this decision of not charging a penalty from the vehicle riders. Along with this, we have started a drive to catch drivers who do stunts as well as over-speeding bikers on the Surat-Dumas road. They are caught and legal steps are taken.There are political leaders who have started doing politics on such decisions, but we are not afraid. We have not given the right to violate traffic rules, we stop such offenders and give them a rose. Our police team explains to them that they are earning members of their family and their life is valuable, and that they have saved Rs 1,000. That if something happens to them, their families’ lives will be affected.* What is being done to check the increase in cases of sexual abuse, especially of minors?SANGHAVI: We lead the country where maintenance of law and order is concerned. At the DG conferences across the country, the PM and UHM have emphasised ensuring speedy trials in POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) cases. We have accepted the call as a challenge and ensured that important evidence is collected, chargesheets filed before time, and the culprits punished. We have been successful in getting accused convicted.* The Opposition has attacked the government over the recent hooch tragedy in Ahmedabad. Officials dubbed it a case of ‘chemical poisoning’.SANGHAVI: It was an unfortunate incident and many lives were lost. Ten days prior to the incident, our police teams had carried out a drive and raided nearby places and seized hooch and other ingredients. Whether we call it a chemical tragedy or hooch tragedy, it is our primary responsibility to get the culprits strictly punished. We successfully filed a chargesheet in 10 days, ensuring that the culprits do not get bail or take advantage of the law and that when the trial ends, the accused are convicted.* What steps are needed, according to you, to improve police functioning?SANGHAVI: There should be no gap between the police and the public. The police are like a friend of the public. Cops spend most of their time with complainants and criminals and, sometimes, society has high expectations from the police, but due to their stressful work and life, they cannot meet them… In Surat, I went personally to different areas and met people. I have taken details from the Surat police and got data on different incidents. We wanted to make the police public-oriented and work on it is in progress.Senior police officials have started interacting with citizens on morning walk and become friendly with them. During such talks, our senior officials also get new ideas and tips.

Gujarat minister Harsh Sanghavi: A Rs 1,000 traffic fine affects a person’s Diwali celebrations…That is why the waiver
  • On Diwali, a gift we can give ourselves, and others
  • The Indian Express

    The election drums are beating for Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. The two factions of the Shiv Sena are contesting one legacy over who gets the symbol and who gets the name. The ruling party, by its own admission, is always in an election mode. Meanwhile, not a day passes without someone red-flagging distress in our democracy. This Diwali, welcome to the Great Indian Paradox: Elections are in perfectly fine fettle but can that be said about democracy? Yes and no, there is both light and dark.At the heart of the paradox lies this truism: We were supposed to vote once in five years, we were supposed to vote in secret (the ballot box is shielded from public view). Instead, today, we vote every five minutes and we flaunt our vote to the world. The “like” button on social media is a vote, the retweet button, the thumbs up emoji, the WhatsApp forward — each is a vote. This means that all the time, we are taking sides, we are seeing someone as an ally, someone as a rival but, more importantly, a rival that we need to defeat because what is a vote if you don’t win, what is an election if there are no results.Even in the world of online ratings, from rating the Zomato delivery person to the book review on Amazon — even if we haven’t read it — or even on social media apps where people choose partners, we are called upon to be in a constant judgement mode. As we live more like a consumer than a citizen, this makes the market happy. The market feeds and loves this state of constant restlessness and judgement and we are comforted and vindicated by the illusion that our voting is being counted every moment, 24 by 7. That we matter.However, this constant voting mindset has affected our moral reasoning. We are always in canvassing mode, we shall win at any cost, it makes us ruthless and judgemental. Human reasoning, simplicity and empathy for others are values that are the core principles of humanity but today they are wonderful to preach but not to practice. Because who won an election by praising the rival candidate?Because we reduce our arguments into yes or no, like or hate, for or against, we become the champions of dumbing down, of mediocrity day by day. Thrill and happiness we feel only if we take sides. Democracy prepares us to argue as well as to listen but we are yelling all the time. Even after Covid, the pandemic that didn’t discriminate, we have learnt few lessons. Vaccinated and immune, we are at war and more with the self. B R Ambedkar, the chairman of the drafting committee of the Indian Constitution, saw it very early: “On January 26, 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics, we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality.” That inequality today is the bedrock of all our divisions.When veteran leader Mulayam Singh Yadav passed away, in many of his obituaries there was a passing reference to a speech he made just before the general elections in 2019 but it was framed in mocking terms. Yadav was praising the chair and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his humility and wished him well, even a next term. In a polarised climate, that was almost a sacrilege. Yadav’s humility and generosity did not travel well. His critics saw it as a suspicious act. They had a reason to, given how everyone is branded an “enemy” when she is merely a political rival when you cannot praise an adversary.This hurts democracy. It makes us more of a minimal democracy rather than a maximum democracy. In its broader meaning and understanding, democracy has been a part of contemporary political philosophy and other social choice theories. Its aspects date far back in time, much before the Greek city-state. Democracy is all about a government by discussion but that discussion should not divide us into two hard brackets.Even a political leader is a citizen first. If everywhere we all will be divided and resist appreciating the qualities of another person, democracy becomes just lining up to vote once in five years rather than the universal human pursuit of speaking, expressing, reviewing, decision making, valuing togetherness and thus becoming and acting with moral reasoning.Can we begin at home? A home where everyone is more concerned about caring and looking out for each other rather than becoming “for or against”. At home, imagine the burden on our children if we tell them to choose between parents. We are allowing ourselves to be defined by our differences rather than what’s common to us all. In Mahabharata, Bhrigu argues with Bharadwaja about caste divisions related to human beings. Bharadwaja responds, “We all seem to be affected by desire, anger, fear, sorrow, worry, hunger and labour; how do we have caste differences then?”Democracy endures not only because the majority is heard but the majority doesn’t weaponise the verdict to target the other. It makes us moral because we learn to listen to others. The biggest ability of democracy is to blur the divide between “for and against” and enhance the social capability of moral reasoning. We the people, we for people and we by people means that we listen to each other. The great king Ashoka was against any kind of discussion that can ignite animosity or violence. He argued: “For he who does reverence to his sect while disparaging the sects of others wholly from attachment to his sect, in reality, inflicts, by such conduct, the severest injury on his sect”.That is the gift we can give to each other and to ourselves this Diwali. The realisation that inflicting injury on others is causing severe injury on ourselves — that healing others is healing ourselves. That’s the purest essence of democracy — and a good way to say Happy Diwali.Nilay is the author of Being Good, Aaiye, Insaan Banaen and Ethikos (stories searching for happiness). He teaches and trains courses on ethics, values and behaviour

  • Gujarat minister’s no-fine Diwali gift coincides with season of high traffic violations
  • The Indian Express

    AS A festival bonanza in poll-bound Gujarat, Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi Friday announced that no fines would be imposed for violating traffic rules until October 27. Gujarat traffic police and NCRB data incidentally show that festivals are the time when traffic violations peak in the state.On the first day of the concession, on Saturday, the traffic police in Gujarat handed out “red roses” to those caught not wearing helmets or seat belts, and other such “minor” offences.Ahmedabad Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Safin Hasan said that Diwali sees an increase in offences such as “driving on the wrong side, illegal parking, no compliance of the helmet and seat belt rule, as well as tripling on two-wheelers and overloaded rickshaws”.The higher traffic on the road during this time also leads to a surge in accidents, Hasan said. “We are keeping an eye on the major intersections / junctions in Ahmedabad. As per the minister’s announcement, we will not impose a fine on anybody for petty offences such as not wearing helmets or seat belts, illegal parking, speeding etc, but take a softer approach… Offence registration has of course not stopped so serious offences will attract IPC, Motor Vehicle Act, Gujarat Police Act sections. For example, if someone is driving carelessly, or driving at high speed on the wrong side of the road, we will definitely register an offence,” the DyCP said. However, a fine won’t be charged if someone is speeding while driving on the right side.Incidentally, in 2019, when the Union Transport Ministry had introduced steep fines for traffic violations under the new Motor Vehicles Act, then Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani had gone the other way and announced cuts in such penalties instead.Rupani at the time reasoned that while safety was his government’s top priority, it had no interest in “harassing people” by levying steep fines or “dragging out court cases” for years. So, he said, his government was deliberately keeping the penalty low for offences such as triple-riding or pillion riding. “We often see that people in rural areas do triple-riding due to lack of facilities or resources. So we have waived any penalty on triple-riding on three-wheelers and pillion riders sitting without a helmet,” he said.GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), which provides free ambulance service in the state, said that given the trends of previous years, and that Diwali is coming after a weekend this time, they expect a hike in the number of emergencies by 12.94%, 29.34% and 26.45% on Diwali (October 24), Gujarati New Year (October 25) and Bhai Dhooj (October 26), respectively.Of this, the highest emergencies are expected to be of vehicular trauma – EMRI expects 1,000-plus on October 25, compared to a daily average of 400-plus.The NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) data of 2021 show that Gujarat made up nearly 4% of the total road accidents in the country, and that its average number of deaths due to road accidents a year (7,457) is almost double the national average (4,322).As many as 82% of the total road accidents in Gujarat are caused by overspeeding, with 12,574 such cases recorded in 2021. Ahmedabad ranked the highest in deaths due to accidents at pedestrian crossings in 2021, way above the second-ranked Delhi – 161 to 53, respectively – as per the NCRB numbers.Month-wise NCRB data of traffic accidents for Gujarat in 2021 showed the maximum were seen in January, March and December (1,459; 1,446; and 1,410, respectively) followed by the festive months of October, November (1,343 and 1,379 cases, respectively).2021 Gujarat traffic data(Deaths higher than the national average of 4,322)Major casesAll data obtained from NCRB 2021

  • Revdi By BJP: A Owaisi Over No Fines For Traffic Violation In Gujarat
  • Ndtv

    Assembly polls in Gujarat are expected to be announced soon. (File)Surat, Gujarat: No fines will be collected from from traffic rules violators till October 27 in view of Diwali festivities, the Gujarat government has announced.The decision was taken so that people's "Diwali is not spoiled," said Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi.The announcement, however, evoked a sharp response from All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi who termed it a "Revdi" (freebie) from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.The BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been vocal against the culture of offering freebies to woo voters.Assembly polls in Gujarat are expected to be announced soon."From October 21 to 27, traffic police in Gujarat will not collect any fine from people. If anyone is caught without a helmet or driving licence or found violating any other traffic rule during this period, our police will give them a flower," said Mr Sanghavi in Surat on Friday.The decision was taken to give relief to people during Diwali and it was being done under the guidance of Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, he said.In a tweet on Saturday, AIMIM chief Mr Owaisi said, "In 2021, Gujarat saw 15,200 road traffic accidents in which 7,457 people lost their lives. This 'revdi' bonanza by BJP Gujarat govt is putting people's lives at risk."In 2021, Gujarat saw 15,200 road traffic accidents in which 7,457 people lost their lives. This ‘revdi' bonanza by BJP Gujarat govt is putting people's lives at risk https://t.co/ExBBiImjPK— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) October 22, 2022Mr Sanghavi hit back on Saturday without naming anyone, saying those who doing politics over the issue will get a befitting reply from middle-class citizens (during polls)."Middle-class citizens go out during Diwali to do shopping with their family with whatever they have saved during the year. Many also go out on their two-wheelers with their aged parents. People many times forget to wear helmets or carry a driving license. Instead of collecting fine, we will give them a flower to make them realise their mistake," the minister said in Surat.The intention was to ensure that people's "Diwali does not get spoiled" due to traffic fines, he said."On the other hand, we do not consider racing by bikers on roads a mistake. This is an intentional crime. Gujarat police very well knows the difference between unintentional mistake and crime. Surat police have caught many such bikers in the last few days. So no one needs to teach us anything on that," Mr Sanghavi asserted.Govatsa Dwadashi, celebrated on Friday, marked the beginning of the Diwali festival this year. Laxmi Pujan, the main day of the festival of lights, will be celebrated on October 24.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comMeanwhile, at a function in Science City in Ahmedabad on Friday, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel inaugurated or performed ground breaking for 16,359 projects and works worth Rs 3,338 crore.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

  • No fine for flouting traffic rules in Gujarat during Diwali, announces govt; Owaisi calls it ‘revdi’
  • The Indian Express

    No fine will be collected for violation of traffic rules in the state till October 27 in view of Diwali festivities, the Gujarat government has announced.The decision was taken so that people’s “Diwali is not spoiled,” said Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi.In 2021, Gujarat saw 15,200 road traffic accidents in which 7,457 people lost their lives. This ‘revdi’ bonanza by BJP Gujarat govt is putting people’s lives at risk https://t.co/ExBBiImjPK— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) October 22, 2022The announcement evoked criticism from All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi who termed it a “Revdi” (freebie) from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.The BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been vocal against the culture of offering freebies to woo voters.Assembly polls in Gujarat are expected to be announced soon.“From October 21 to 27, traffic police in Gujarat will not collect any fine from people. If anyone is caught without a helmet or driving licence or found violating any other traffic rule during this period, our police will give them a flower,” said Sanghavi in Surat on Friday.The decision was taken to give relief to people during Diwali and it was being done under the guidance of Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, he said.In a tweet on Saturday, AIMIM chief Owaisi said, “In 2021, Gujarat saw 15,200 road traffic accidents in which 7,457 people lost their lives. This ‘revdi’ bonanza by BJP Gujarat govt is putting people’s lives at risk.” Sanghavi hit back later in the day without naming anyone, saying those doing politics over the issue will get a befitting reply from middle-class citizens.“Middle-class citizens go out during Diwali to do shopping with their family with whatever they have saved during the year. Many also go out on their two-wheelers with their aged parents. People many times forget to wear helmets or carry a driving license. Instead of collecting fine, we will give them a flower to make them realise their mistake,” the minister said in Surat.The intention was to ensure that people’s “Diwali is not spoiled” due to traffic fines, he said.“On the other hand, we do not consider racing by bikers on roads a mistake. This is an intentional crime. Gujarat police very well knows the difference between unintentional mistake and crime. Surat police have caught many such bikers in the last few days. So no one needs to teach us anything on that,” Sanghavi said.Govatsa Dwadashi, celebrated on Friday, marked the beginning of the Diwali festival this year. Laxmi Pujan, the main day of the festival of lights, will be celebrated on October 24.Meanwhile, at a function in Science City in Ahmedabad on Friday, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel inaugurated or performed ground breaking for 16,359 projects and works worth Rs 3,338 crore.

  • No fine for flouting traffic rules in Gujarat during Diwali, announces govt; Asaduddin Owaisi calls it ‘Revdi’
  • Times of India

    SURAT: No fine will be collected for violation of traffic rules in the state till October 27 in view of Diwali festivities, the Gujarat government has announced. The decision was taken so that people's "Diwali is not spoiled," said Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi. The announcement evoked criticism from All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi who termed it a "Revdi" (freebie) from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been vocal against the culture of offering freebies to woo voters. Assembly polls in Gujarat are expected to be announced soon. "From October 21 to 27, traffic police in Gujarat will not collect any fine from people. If anyone is caught without a helmet or driving licence or found violating any other traffic rule during this period, our police will give them a flower," said Sanghavi in Surat on Friday. The decision was taken to give relief to people during Diwali and it was being done under the guidance of Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, he said. In a tweet on Saturday, AIMIM chief Owaisi said, "In 2021, Gujarat saw 15,200 road traffic accidents in which 7,457 people lost their lives. This 'revdi' bonanza by BJP Gujarat govt is putting people's lives at risk." Sanghavi hit back later in the day without naming anyone, saying those doing politics over the issue will get a befitting reply from middle-class citizens. "Middle-class citizens go out during Diwali to do shopping with their family with whatever they have saved during the year. Many also go out on their two-wheelers with their aged parents. People many times forget to wear helmets or carry a driving license. Instead of collecting fine, we will give them a flower to make them realise their mistake," the minister said in Surat. The intention was to ensure that people's "Diwali is not spoiled" due to traffic fines, he said. "On the other hand, we do not consider racing by bikers on roads a mistake. This is an intentional crime. Gujarat police very well knows the difference between unintentional mistake and crime. Surat police have caught many such bikers in the last few days. So no one needs to teach us anything on that," Sanghavi said. Govatsa Dwadashi, celebrated on Friday, marked the beginning of the Diwali festival this year. Laxmi Pujan, the main day of the festival of lights, will be celebrated on October 24. Meanwhile, at a function in Science City in Ahmedabad on Friday, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel inaugurated or performed ground breaking for 16,359 projects and works worth Rs 3,338 crore.

Drugs worth Rs 120 crore seized from Mumbai, Jamnagar; six including former AI pilot held
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

The Mumbai unit of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) seized 60 kg high-quality mephedrone (MD) worth Rs 120 crore, busted a syndicate and apprehended six people, including a kingpin of the operation, from multiple cities, officers said. Those arrested include a pilot who was earlier with Air India.According to officers, the Naval Intelligence Unit in Gujarat’s Jamnagar shared information about the suspicious activities of a few people following which an NCB team led by Mumbai unit zonal director Amit Ghawate coordinated with the agency and closely monitored the specified targets.Eventually, it was noticed that a bulk consignment of high-quality drugs was about to be transported from Gujarat to another state. The NCB conducted an operation on Monday, seized 10.3 kg MD and arrested four key people. They were identified as Bhaskar V, arrested from Jamnagar, and S G Mahida, S M Chowdhury and Muthu P D from Mumbai.An NCB official said Mahida was a pilot and served in Air India between 2016 and 2018. He completed his flying training from San Antonio in Texas, USA and Lithuania. Muthu is a history-sheeter who was arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in 2001 in a 350 kg Mandrax (drug) trafficking case and has been out on bail since 2008.Investigation revealed the gang’s major drug linkages and Mumbai links. Accordingly, the NCB team conducted further raids and recovered around 50 kg of MD from a godown at SB Path, Fort, Mumbai on Thursday. Upon further questioning, the alleged kingpin M I Ali was also apprehended from Mumbai on Thursday along with one M F Chisty.Further investigation revealed that the source of the drugs in the seizures made in Jamnagar and Mumbai was the same. The total 60 kg seized MD is part of a consignment and has linkages with previous MD seizures made by the Mumbai police, an officer added.MD is a stimulant drug commonly known as Meow Meow or M-Cat in the illicit market. It is classified under the list of NPS or New Psychoactive Substances.

Drugs worth Rs 120 crore seized from Mumbai, Jamnagar; six including former AI pilot held
Those who predicted poll dates are ‘self-appointed astrologers’: CEC
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

The Election Commission, which is on a two-day visit to review poll preparations, Tuesday said those who predicted election dates were “self-appointed astrologers”.The commission’s remarks came a day after state BJP president CR Paatil said that polls in Gujarat will be advanced by 10-12 days and will be completed by November-end.Without naming any political leader, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar said in a media interaction, “Usually we take a decision on poll dates after reaching Delhi. Media is told about the polls the first. It is a different matter that there are some self-appointed astrologers who have already declared the election dates before our arrival”.When asked if action would be taken, Kumar said, “ I wish MCC (Model Code of Conduct) was in force. Currently our hands are tied. If MCC was in force we could have reacted immediately.”Decision on Shiv SenaCEC Kumar also said that on the issue of Shiv Sena, he would go by “rule of majority”. Responding to a question on the Supreme Court allowing the EC to decide which faction was the “real” Shiv Sena, the CEC said, “I am not into a live telecast of legal decisions. There is a set procedure. That procedure mandates us and we define it in terms of a very transparent process by judging and applying ‘the rule of majority’. We will apply the rule of majority whenever we are looking at it. This will be done after reading the exact decision.”Webcasting in sensitive boothsThe EC has also decided to do live webcasting in more than 50 per cent of the 51,782 polling booths in the state (25,891 booths) that are “sensitive” and “critical” in nature. The decision was following suggestions from political parties.The commission said it will not only allow polling at homes for Divyangs and for voters aged 80 and above, but will also ask large industries in Gujarat to create a list of workers who do not cast vote on polling day.“Election will be held in 51,782 polling booths. While we have allowed 1,500 voters in one booth, the average voters per booth in the state is 934 … The commission has also directed webcasting to be done on at least 50 per cent of the booths. Cameras will be installed in these booths, which will record and telecast live feed to the control room. If there is an untoward incident, our teams can reach there. If anything needs to be checked later, then we will have the recording as well. This is very strong action that we are taking in ensuring transparency in the booths. These polling stations will be those which are identified by the administration as the sensitive or critical booths,” Kumar said.In 2017 assembly elections, about 23,500 polling booths were marked as “sensitive.”Voting from HomeThe Commission said there were 10.36 lakh voters who were aged 80 and above and about 4.13 lakh voters who are divyangs. These voters will be allowed to vote from the comfort of their homes during the upcoming polls.“If they do not want to come to the booth for some reason or are sick, then they can vote from their homes. They need to fill a form 12D. This form will be opened after nominations are filed. Thereafter BLOs will go the house of voters and fill the form and will make arrangements for voting at their home. The entire process will be video graphed and will allow representatives of the candidates of political parties to go with them… Similarly physically disabled voters will also be entitled to vote from their homes if their disability is more than 40 percent,” Kumar said.Monitoring workers failing to vote“We have started a new initiative wherein organisations having 500 or more employees have been requested to appoint a nodal officer to prepare a list of employees who could not vote despite a holiday being provided. We cannot do anything as there is no compulsory voting but we can do a motivational exercise with them,” he said adding that ECI was doing MoUs with bigger industrial units for this purpose.Criminal candidatesEvery criminal candidate in the fray will have to publish advertisement in newspaper prominently about the cases lodged against them three times, the CEC said.Liquor, Cash & DrugsTalking about the meetings held with enforcement agencies in Gujarat, Kumar said, “We have clearly said that responsibility will be fixed if any liquor enters from any border of neighbouring states. If liquor reaches central districts that do not share a border with other states, then special inquiry will be done on how the liquor consignment managed to reach a particular district.”All enforcement agencies have been asked to keep a vigil on movement of drugs and narcotics. “If drugs are seized during polls, even officers will be dealt with,” he added. RBI and banks have also been asked to keep an eye on the movement of cash.Meeting political partiesAbout meeting the national political parties in Gujarat, the ECI said it has decided to accept some of the suggestions, including that of webcasting the polling process. “We have taken note of the suggestion that candidates and parties should not be allowed to ferry voters. A single window system in the office of Chief Electoral Officer, Gujarat will also be created where all permissions related to elections can be given,” the CEC said.Other suggestions including not using retired government personnel and private persons in the polling process was also accepted by the Commission.

Those who predicted poll dates are ‘self-appointed astrologers’: CEC
Goa: Inter-state cops discuss sale of drugs through darknet
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

PANAJI: Sale of drugs through the darknet and delivery through the postal service are the new challenges for seven states, including Goa. The inter-state intelligence coordination meeting on narcotic drugs and other organised crimes on Thursday discussed challenges and shared information on drug dealers, peddlers and all those involved in the drug trade. The meeting was attended by police officials from Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat and Odisha. Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials also attended the meeting. “The meeting was held to effectively deal with drug peddlers, drug mafia and drug carriers and share information about criminals,” director general of police (DGP) Jaspal Singh told reporters after the meeting. The meeting assumes greater significance as police in the state have started acting against the drug mafia. “A new trend is emerging where drugs are received through parcels and registered AD letters. All such issues were discussed,” Singh said. “In one case, an officer mentioned that drugs are being sold on the darknet and we have asked police to share the details about the same. It is very difficult to prevent dealings on the darknet because of the complex digital processes involved. One is not aware of where the dealing is being done and one has to do a lot of backward work,” the DGP said. Singh said that Goa police will also develop intelligence to counter drug deals on the darknet. “We will be requesting the postal department to come forward and develop some kind of mechanism to scan parcels. Of course there are complications as privacy is involved,” he said. The DGP said that each and every agency has to effectively work against this menace. “We don’t want the tag of being a destination where drugs are easily available. We have to make it difficult for peddlers to sell drugs in Goa. With this objective in mind, we invited representatives of other states so that we can jointly act against peddlers,” he said. “We shared the list of drug peddlers who have been arrested in other states,” he said, adding that it was also decided that all states will appoint a nodal officer so that in case any state police needs to conduct an operation in another state, they can coordinate with the nodal officer of that state.

Goa: Inter-state cops discuss sale of drugs through darknet
GUJCTOC amendment Bill passed: Over 740 arrests, drugs worth Rs 6,500 cr seized last year, says Sanghavi
The Indian Express | 2 months ago | |
The Indian Express
2 months ago | |

More than 740 persons were arrested and drugs worth Rs 6,500 crore were seized by the state police in the last year, Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi told the Gujarat assembly Wednesday. The minister stated this even as he noted that the inclusion of drug-related offences under the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GUJCTOC) Bill  required further discussion.On Wednesday, the first day of the two-day Assembly session, the amended GUJCTOC Bill, which dropped gambling as an offence under the Act, was unanimously passed. Two words—“terrorist act” and “gambling”—have been dropped from certain sections of the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Act, 2015. “Under Section 2 (h), the terrorist act has been defined. This is being duplicated in Section 2 (e). So, we are removing the word “terrorist act” from 2(e). We are not removing any action against terror (contained in the Act),” the minister told the House.He said the amendments were to “make certain provisions more meaningful and to make them easy to interpret so that no provisions are misinterpreted during implementation of the said Act, resulting in unnecessary hassle to the persons in state of Gujarat.”“Till now, no gambling case has been registered under GUJCTOC. Also, we already have a provision of punishment of less than three years imprisonment for gambling and in GUJCTOC, we can admit cases where punishment is more than three years. So, we have removed the word gambling from this,” he said, noting that gambling was being removed from Section 2(e).Sanghavi’s statements came as Congress MLAs proposed adding drug-related offences, extortion, land-grabbing, contract killings, economic offences, cyber crimes and human trafficking for prostition under the ambit of the Act. “We will fully discuss if drugs need to be included in GujCTOC, but none of the persons arrested in the last one year have been able to get out of custody,” Sanghavi said noting that the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) has made drug seizures not only in the state but also worked on joint efforts with central agencies in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Kolkata.Talking about the easy availability of drugs in Ahmedabad, Congress MLA Virji Thummar implored the minister to visit Sindhu Bhavan Road (in Ahmedabad city) on a Sunday. While Congress MLA Gyasuddin Sheikh pointed out drugs were easily available in pan shops and in pan masala pouches, MLA Baldev Thakor pointed out the alleged illegal activities at some spas and beauty parlours.The amended Bill seeks to replace The Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022 that was promulgated when the House was not in session. It defines “organised crime” as “any continuing unlawful activity, including extortion, land-grabbing, contract-killing, economic offences, cyber crimes having severe consequences, running large-scale gambling rackets, human-trafficking racket for prostitution or ransom by an individual, singly or jointly, either as a member of an organised crime syndicate or on behalf of such syndicate, by use of violence or threat of violence or intimidation or coercion or other unlawful means.”The Bill states that the accused shall not be granted bail if it is noticed by the Special Court that he was on bail in an offence under this Act on the date of the offence in question.“If any person on behalf of a member of an organised crime syndicate is, or at any time after the commencement of the Act, has been in possession of movable or immovable property which he cannot satisfactorily account for, shall be punishable with imprisonment  for a term which shall be not less than three years but which may extend to imprisonment for 10 years and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than Rs one lakh and such property shall also be liable for attachment and forfeiture,” it added.Meanwhile, strict implementation of GUJCTOC has helped neutralise gangs in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Patan and Saurashtra, said Sanghavi.The minister named the gangs that were dealt with under GUJCTOC. These include the Zilia gang of Patan, Vichiya gang of Saurashtra, Asif Tomato and Sajid Kothari Gangs of Surat, Nazir Vora gang of Ahmedabad and Aslam Bodia Gang of Vadodara. While arms and copies of land documents were recovered from Zilia Gang of Patan, the Sajid Kothari Gang had constructed illegally on government land that was pulled down, the minister added.

GUJCTOC amendment Bill passed: Over 740 arrests, drugs worth Rs 6,500 cr seized last year, says Sanghavi
Bulk drug park that MVA worked for has gone to Gujarat, Andhra and Himachal: Aaditya Thackeray
The Indian Express | 2 months ago | |
The Indian Express
2 months ago | |

A day after the Vedanta-Foxconn project was shifted to Gujarat, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday claimed that Maharashtra has lost on yet another big-ticket project of bulk drug park.“After the loss of the Vedanta-Foxconn project, the bulk drug park that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) had worked on for so long has gone to three states – Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh,” Aaditya told mediapersons.“The unconstitutional government of Maharashtra not only took 40 (Sena) MLAs but has also snatched two of the important state projects,” he added.On September 1, the Centre had extended “in-principle” approval to the proposals of Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh under the scheme for promotion of bulk drug parks – a key initiative to support the bulk drugs manufacturing industry.The scheme, with a financial outlay of Rs 3,000 crore, notified in 2020, provides for financial assistance to three states for establishing bulk drug parks and aims to bring down the cost of manufacturing of bulk drugs by creation of world class common infrastructure facilities supported by the Centre and thereby, increase the competitiveness of the domestic bulk drug industry.Maharashtra was pushing for Roha and Murud tehsils in coastal Raigad district for the bulk drug park. The state had already earmarked 5,000 acre in these two tehsils for the project. In 2020, the state Cabinet had cleared special incentive scheme for the bulk drug park project.The scheme includes waiver on electricity and stamp duty charges, concession in power tariffs at Rs 1.5 per unit for 10 years and five per cent interest concession to micro, small or medium enterprises, among others. These incentives were to be applicable for five years.The government had also granted concession of Rs 2 per unit in power tariff or cross-subsidy for 10 years for common facilities like waste water management, water supply and solid management that would be set up by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation.Aaditya said that though he won’t complain about other states getting the project, the Maharashtra government should explain why it could not pursue the matter effectively with the Centre. “The youth of this state has already lost over one lakh job opportunities. Will the ministers focus on governance rather than playing politics?” he asked.

Bulk drug park that MVA worked for has gone to Gujarat, Andhra and Himachal: Aaditya Thackeray
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal arrives in Gujarat for 3-day tour
The Indian Express | 2 months ago | |
The Indian Express
2 months ago | |

Delhi Chief Minister and national convener of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Arvind Kejriwal arrived in Ahmedabad, on Sunday, on a three-day tour of Gujarat.During his stay in the state, Kejriwal is scheduled to hold four townhall events with different vocational groups in Ahmedabad.As per an AAP release, Kejriwal will hold three town hall events with auto drivers, businessmen and advocates, on Monday. He will also do a townhall event with sanitation workers on Tuesday.He is also expected to announce an important ‘guarantee’ for the people of Gujarat during his stay ahead of assembly elections.After landing at Ahmedabad airport, Kejriwal hit out at the ruling BJP government over drugs entering Gujarat in large quantities through a port and being smuggled to Punjab and other parts of the country.He questioned the “failure” of the administration to stop the transport of drugs and said the people suspect that the administration at the top is complicit.“Several incidents in the recent past show that large quantities of drugs are entering through a Gujarat port. From here, the drugs go to Punjab and other parts of the country. Why is this happening? Apparently, somewhere the administration is involved at the top,” Kejriwal told reporters when asked about the incidents of seizure of drugs in Gujarat.He didn’t take the name of any particular port.“From Gujarat, these drugs spread across the country. Youth from across the country are consuming them. The youth of Gujarat consume them. Drugs also go to Punjab and other parts of the country. This should stop. People are very angry why this is not being stopped,” Kejriwal told reporters at Ahmedabad airport.Earlier, the BJP government had drawn flak over the seizure of drugs in Gujarat.In July, the state Anti-Terrorist Squad seized 70 kg of heroin estimated to be worth over Rs 350 crore from a container near the Mundra port in the Kutch district. In May, DRI seized 56 kg of cocaine, estimated to be worth around Rs 500 crore, from a container near the Mundra port. In April, the DRI seized 205.6 kg of heroin worth Rs 1,439 crore from a container near the Kandla port in Kutch.(With PTI inputs)

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal arrives in Gujarat for 3-day tour
Gujarat to expand anti-drug drive to other states: Harsh Sanghavi
The Indian Express | 2 months ago | |
The Indian Express
2 months ago | |

State home minister Harsh Sanghavi said on Saturday that Gujarat Police will expand anti-drug drives to other states to save “thousands” of young lives.Sanghavi’s statement comes a day after the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) along with Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) Jamnagar regional unit and Surat crime branch seized 39 kg of heroin worth around Rs 200 crore at Kolkata port on Friday.“We will expand our anti-drug drive to Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Kolkata, to save lives of thousands of youths,” Sanghavi said at a press conference in Surat on Saturday.Crediting the state’s reward policy for bringing a high volume of information on drug rackets operational in other states, Sanghavi said, “Due to our reward policy, Gujarat police are getting more information of drug rackets operational in other states. Acting on such information drugs have been seized. The politicians who are coming to Gujarat, police officials from their state are contacting Gujarat police to get the documents of the reward policy.”“They are inquiring about details of our reward policy so that they can implement it in their own states,” he added.Sanghavi said that Gujarat police and Delhi crime branch had, a few days ago, unearthed a drugs network by arresting Afghanistan national Vahad Ulla khan. Following his arrest, Delhi police seized a major consignment of drugs.“Punjab police thanked Gujarat police for sharing the information of Bagga Khan who was operating a racket from a jail in Punjab. Gujarat police have busted rackets of various gangs in different states,” Sanghavi further added.The BJP leader congratulated Gujarat police for working hard in anti-drug drives and saving many young lives across the country.“Gujarat police and different agencies worked jointly and seized drugs over Rs 6500 crores across the country in the last one year. On Friday, our Gujarat ATS and DRI busted a racket and seized 40 kilograms of heroin from Kolkata.”He added, “The drug lords of Pakistan and Afghanistan are worried over seizure of drugs from international borders of India and Pakistan.”Commenting on Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal’s remarks on pay scale of state’s police personnel, Sanghavi said that the matter should not be politicised.“Political leaders are trying to woo state police. The Gujarat government is committed to resolving their issue. The subject is under discussion between the government and police department,” he said.Kejriwal, during his visit to Gujarat in August, had assured state police that if AAP is voted to power in Gujarat, they will be given the “best pay scale”.The state police grade pay scale has been a contentious issue, with many other states having a better pay scale than Gujarat. State police have been demanding a pay hike and their families have taken out rallies in Gandhinagar in their support.Meanwhile, the Home Minister Saturday inaugurated Paal police station, which is the 32nd police station of Surat city. The minister had also launched traffic application on this occasion.Paal police station is in Adajan area which has population of around 4 lakh people.Around 1.75 lakh people come under the limits of the new police station.

Gujarat to expand anti-drug drive to other states: Harsh Sanghavi
Drugs Coming Via Gujarat Port, Need Investigation, Says Arvind Kejriwal
Ndtv | 2 months ago | |
Ndtv
2 months ago | |

Arvind Kejriwal has been campaigning for the AAP in GujaratAhmedabad: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday alleged drugs are entering Gujarat in large quantities through a port and being smuggled to Punjab and other parts of the country.He questioned the "failure" of the administration to stop the transport of drugs and said the people suspect that the administration at the top is complicit."Several incidents in the recent past show that large quantities of drugs are entering through a Gujarat port. From here, the drugs go to Punjab and other parts of the country. Why is this happening? Apparently, somewhere the administration is involved at the top," Kejriwal told reporters when asked about the incidents of seizure of drugs in Gujarat.He didn't take the name of any particular port.Gujarat में हमारी सरकार बनेगी तो भ्रष्टाचार मुक्त शासन देंगे। भ्रष्टाचार के ख़िलाफ़ Zero Tolerance होगा।अभी तक जितना भी भ्रष्टाचार हुआ और Paper फूटे हैं उन सभी की जांच होगी और दोषियों को सख़्त सज़ा देंगे।- CM @ArvindKejriwalpic.twitter.com/uUlcxFrG9q— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) September 11, 2022Kejriwal reached Ahmedabad on Sunday evening for a two-day visit to the city beginning Monday during which he will attend various public programmes and meetings with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders. He will also interact with auto-rickshaw drivers, sanitation workers, traders and lawyers in different town hall meetings.Launching a fresh attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat, where elections are due in December this year, the AAP national convener said nobody is ready to believe that the administration is unable to stop drugs that are entering ports in the state in large quantities."Nobody is ready to believe this. People are apparently suspicious about the involvement of the administration at the top."From Gujarat, these drugs spread across the country. Youth from across the country are consuming them. The youth of Gujarat consume them. Drugs also go to Punjab and other parts of the country. This should stop. People are very angry why this is not being stopped," Kejriwal told reporters at Ahmedabad airport.Kejriwal said his next "guarantee" to the people of Gujarat will be to provide a "corruption-free" government.Earlier in the day, the BJP in Delhi alleged that Kejriwal and corruption have become synonymous and said he has no right to remain in the post."No minister, MLA, or the chief minister of AAP will indulge in corruption (if the party is voted to power). A lot of money will be saved when the administration is clean. Every single money will be spent on the public. The money that is looted and transferred to Swiss banks will be spent on the public. Our next guarantee will be to provide corruption-free governance," Kejriwal said.He is scheduled to participate in three town hall programmes for auto-rickshaw drivers, businessmen, and advocates in Ahmedabad on Monday.Kejriwal will hold discussions with local AAP leaders and workers, and welcome new members to the party in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, the party said."Kejriwal will announce an important guarantee to the people of Gujarat. After the announcement of the guarantee, he will participate in the town hall programme organised for the sanitation workers before leaving for Delhi," the AAP said in a statement.During his multiple visits to Gujarat in the recent past, Kejriwal had announced a slew of "guarantees", including allowances for women and unemployed youth, free and quality healthcare and education, creation of jobs, and free electricity up to 300 units.Earlier, the BJP government had drawn flak over the seizure of drugs in Gujarat.The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had last year seized 2,988.21 kg heroin worth Rs 15,000 crore from two containers at a prominent port in the Kutch district.In July this year, the state Anti-Terrorist Squad seized 70 kg of heroin estimated to be worth over Rs 350 crore from a container near the Mundra port in the Kutch district.In May this year, the DRI seized 56 kg of cocaine, estimated to be worth around Rs 500 crore, from a container near the Mundra port. In April, the DRI seized 205.6 kg of heroin worth Rs 1,439 crore from a container near the Kandla port in Kutch.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comAround the same period, the Gujarat ATS and DRI in a joint operation recovered nearly 90 kg of heroin worth Rs 450 crore from a shipping container which arrived from Iran at the Pipavav port in Amreli district.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Drugs Coming Via Gujarat Port, Need Investigation, Says Arvind Kejriwal
Gujarat: Anti-terrorist squad, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seize 39.5 kg of heroin
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

AHMEDABAD: In a joint operation, the Gujarat anti-terrorist squad (ATS) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 39.5kg of heroin, worth Rs 197.82 crore, at the Kolkata port, said DGP Ashish Bhatia on Friday. Speaking to reporters, Bhatia said, "Gujarat ATS received an intelligence input that a consignment of drugs had been sent from Dubai to Kolkata in a gearbox. After this, Gujarat ATS and DRI launched a joint operation and began tracking the container in which the consignment was brought to India." Bhatia said that under "Operation Gearbox", officers of Gujarat ATS and DRI began dismantling gear boxes and found that 12 gearboxes had white marks on them. On dismantling them, investigators found the heroin in 72 packets weighing a total of 39.5kg. The heroin was found at Century Container Freight Station (CCFS) at Kolkata port. On forensic examination, it was found that the contraband was heroin, with an estimated value of Rs 197.82 crore in the underground market. The consignment had been lying at the CCFS for about six months and had been sent by one SSK General Trading LLC, having its office at Business Bay in Dubai. Bhatia emphasized that Gujarat ATS has provided intelligence inputs in many recent drug seizures in various parts of the country. On the involvement of local persons in the smuggling racket, Bhatia said the investigation is at a preliminary stage. The inquiry is still underway at Kolkata port, he added. An official statement from the DRI said joint intelligence was developed by DRI and Gujarat ATS after which 'Operation Gearbox' was launched. "A container has been examined by the DRI at Kolkata port in the presence of officers of Gujarat ATS. The said container from Jebel Ali, Dubai, with a gross weight of 9,300kg was declared to contain 'heavy melting scrap'. The bill of entry was not filed for this container and the goods were found to be metallic scrap and machine parts like gearboxes," reads the DRI statement. The drugs packets were later found in the gearboxes. The DRI statement adds, "The drug syndicate has used this unique modus operandi to conceal heroin. The gears from old and used gearboxes were removed after opening them and plastic packets containing the narcotic substance were placed in the created cavity and the gearboxes were refitted to avoid detection." These packets were shipped concealing inside this metal scrap with other metal scrap so that it would go unnoticed by the authorities, the statement adds.

Gujarat: Anti-terrorist squad, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seize 39.5 kg of heroin
  • Gujarat ATS and DRI seize heroin worth Rs. 200 cr at Kolkata port
  • The Indian Express

    The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) along with Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) Jamnagar regional unit and Surat crime branch Friday seized 39 kg of heroin worth around Rs 200 crore at Kolkata port in a container that had arrived at the port from Dubai in February this year. The contraband was concealed inside 12 gear boxes which were part of 7,220 kilograms of metal scrap sent from Dubai in a shipping container, said Gujarat Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia on Friday in Gandhinagar. “7,220 kilogram of metal scrap contained 36 gearboxes of which 12 gearboxes were marked with white ink. When the nut bolts were taken out and the gear boxes opened, 72 packets of heroin were found weighing 39.5 kilogram and worth Rs 197.82 crore,” DGP Bhatia said adding that the operation is still on. “The other gearboxes have been opened and the search operation is ongoing…Right now the focus is on the seizure.. Forensic analysis has confirmed that it is heroin,” he added.A DRI official refused to give details on whether any arrests have been made so far, stating that such details “may compromise the operation.”Meanwhile, a press note issued by DRI on Friday, elaborating the alleged modus operandi, stated, “The gears from the old and used gearboxes were removed and the plastic packets containing the narcotic substances were placed in the created cavity and the gearboxes were then refitted to avoid detection. These packets were shipped concealing inside the metal scrap along with other metal scraps so that it would go unnoticed by the authorities. Examination and seizure proceedings by DRI under the provisions of the NDPS Act, 1985 are continuing…”“Very advanced methods are being used (to conceal the contraband). Sometimes (contraband) is mixed with rock salt, sometimes with mulethi (licorice), sometimes in scrap metal, in jute bags, textiles, PVC pipes etc,” added Bhatia.The DGP said Gujarat ATS has been working with several other agencies such as Indian Coast Guard, Narcotics Control Bureau Delhi, DRI, Punjab Police, Delhi Police, DRI Jamnagar.

  • Gujarat ATS, DRI seize heroin worth Rs 198 crore hidden in gear boxes from scrap container near Kolkata port
  • Times of India

    AHMEDABAD: A joint team of the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized 39.5 kilograms of heroin worth Rs 197.82 crore from a container near the Kolkata port in West Bengal, an official said on Friday. The contraband was found concealed inside 12 gear boxes which were part of 7,220 kilograms of metal scrap sent from Jebel Ali Port in Dubai in a shipping container and it had reached Kolkata port in February, said Gujarat Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia in Gandhinagar. "Based on a specific tip-off received by Gujarat ATS, a joint team comprising officials from ATS and DRI raided a Container Freight Station near Kolkata port a few days ago and zeroed in on a container which had arrived there in February from Dubai," Bhatia told reporters. Of 36 gear boxes found in the metal scrap, 12 had markings of white ink, he said, adding that 72 packets of white powder were found when these gear boxes were opened. "A forensic analysis confirmed that the packets contained 39.5 kg of heroin worth Rs 197.82 crore in the international market. The probe is still on as officials have decided to open remaining gear boxes as well. Primary probe has revealed the container was meant to be re-exported to some other country from Kolkata," the DGP informed. In July this year, Gujarat ATS had seized 75.3 kg of heroin estimated to be worth over Rs 376.5 crore from a container near the Mundra port in Kutch district. The contraband was concealed inside fabric rolls and had been sent from the United Arab Emirates for further transportation to Punjab. In May this year, the DRI seized 56 kg of cocaine worth Rs 500 crore from a container near the Mundra port. In April, the DRI seized 205.6 kg heroin worth Rs 1,439 crore from a container near the Kandla port in Kutch. Around the same time, a joint operation of the Gujarat ATS and DRI led to the recovery of 90 kilograms of heroin worth Rs 450 crore from a shipping container that had arrived at Pipavav port in Amreli district from Iran. The DRI had in September last year seized nearly 3,000 kg of heroin worth Rs 21,000 crore in the global market, believed to have originated in Afghanistan, from two containers at the Mundra port.

Gujarat: ‘Rahul Gandhi’s statements on drugs misleading’
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

GANDHINAGAR: Responding to allegations by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that Gujarat has become a centre for drugs, Gujarat’s minister of state for home Harsh Sanghavi said that Gandhi’s statements are misleading and irresponsible. “The statements made about drugs in Gujarat amount to misleading the people of the state. The state government is acting very strongly against the drug menace,” Sanghavi told the media on Monday evening in Gandhinagar. He added that the narcotics seizures over the past months have been a result of hard work by security forces. Sanghavi said that Gujarat’s police have busted drug networks in other states like Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Jharkhand as well. Sanghavi said that in the past one year, 763 accused have been arrested and not a single drug peddler has got bail in the past one year. “Gujarat police personnel have pretended to be beggars, street vendors, milkmen and the like to nab drug peddlers.

Gujarat: ‘Rahul Gandhi’s statements on drugs misleading’
  • "Gujarat Has Become Centre Of Drugs": Rahul Gandhi
  • Ndtv

    He further said that the Modi government's policies are benefitting only two big industrialists.Ahmedabad: Hitting at the BJP government in the state, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that Gujarat has become the centre of drugs."Gujarat has become the centre of drugs. All drugs are moved from Mundra port but your government doesn't take any action. This is the Gujarat model. Gujarat is one state where you have to take permission before protesting; permission from those against whom protest will be done," said Rahul Gandhi.He further said if Congress comes to power in Gujarat, farmers' debts up to Rs 3 lakhs will be waived off."Sardar Patel was the voice of the farmers... BJP on one side makes his tallest statue and on the other side, works against people for whom he fought... if we come to power in Gujarat, we will waive off farmers' debts up to Rs 3 lakhs," he said in Ahmedabad.Earlier on Sunday, Rahul Gandhi came down heavily on the Narendra Modi-led Central government and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are dividing the country and a sense of fear has engulfed the minds of people about "their future, inflation and unemployment and that's turning them towards hate.""Hatred is rising in India. Fear of inflation and unemployment is increasing in India, and due to this hatred is rising. BJP and RSS dividing the country and creating fear in the country. Who gets the benefit of this fear? Is it poor, farmer, or small traders who are getting any benefit from the Narendra Modi government? Only two industrialists in the country benefitting from this fear and hatred," said Congress MP.He further said that the Modi government's policies are benefitting only two big industrialists."BJP giving all the benefits to two people. Now see Narendra Modi did demonetisation. Did it help the poor? The three farm laws that were withdrawn later by the govt were not for farmers but it was for those two industrialists only. But the farmers came on the road and showed their power to Narendra Modi and when PM Modi saw this, he had to take back the three farm laws," he said.The Congress leader further said that the Modi government broke the backbone of small and medium enterprises."In one way, you are being affected by unemployment and secondly, you are hit by the price rise. Narendra Modi asks what has Congress done in seventy years. I will say this, that in seventy years, Congress has not shown such price rise to the country and when the Opposition wants to raise the issue in Parliament then Narendra Modi's government doesn't allow it. Whether it is farmers' issue or China," he added.Speaking on the misuse of Central probe agencies, Rahul Gandhi said that he is not afraid of Enforcement Directorate (ED) and their questioning.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"The ED asked me to sit for 55 hours but I am not afraid of your ED. Whether it is 55 hours or five months or five years," he said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)