AHMEDABAD: Three students at a BAMS college in Kalol were exposed to a toxic gas ostensibly released from a unit inside the Kalol GIDC estate on Saturday evening. Two of them needed to be hospitalized. According to Kalol Taluka police officers, the alleged exposure took place at around 9pm on Saturday, when people living near the estate and students of Shree Swaminarayan Ayurvedic College opposite it began suffering from breathing problems. “Three girl students felt breathless and fainted after inhaling a toxic gas, likely released from a factory in the industrial estate. A priest of the Swaminarayan sect along with some students went to the factory and protested,” said Kalol Taluka police inspector J R Patel. Patel said about 100 students and other locals gathered at the spot, alleging that the gas was released from a unit called Sahyog Organics Private Ltd. Two girls — Vidhi Patel from Dholka and Vidhi Savadia from Wadhwan — were admitted to the hospital on the Swaminarayan educational campus on the Ahmedabad-Mehsana highway. Patel said the Gandhinagar fire brigade and Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) were informed. He said locals have been constantly raising the issue of air pollution in the area, urging GPCB to deal with it. Kalol MLA Lakshman Thakor said that as soon as he learned about the gas leak, he rushed to the site and found that some students had been affected. He said the issue will be raised with the state government.
The family hailed from Dingucha village of Gandhinagar. (File)Ahmedabad: A total of three men have been arrested in Gujarat in connection with the case in which four members of a family had frozen to death while attempting to illegally cross into the United States from Canada in January last year, state police said.The Ahmedabad Crime Branch officials last Saturday arrested Bhavesh Patel, and Yogesh Patel who had been involved in illegally sending 11 people to Canada including the family of four who died in the snow on the US border with Canada on January 19, 2022, in their attempt to cross the border illegally.The family hailed from Dingucha village of Gandhinagar.The police arrested a third person identified as Dasarath Chaudhary from Kalol in Gandhinagar for his alleged involvement in the case.According to the police, the deceased family members were identified as Jagdish Patel (39), Vaishali Patel (37) and their two children namely daughter Vihangi Patel (11) and son Dharmik Patel (3) whose bodies were recovered near Emerson, Manitoba in Canada.Bhavin Suthar, Ahmedabad Crime Branch Inspector said, "On January 19, 2022, four members of Dingucha's family died of freezing to death while crossing the border from Canada to America. The Gujarat police along with the embassy was investigating the matter. Agent Bhavesh Patel and Yogesh Patel, who sent Dingucha's family abroad, have been arrested by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch.""Dasarath Chaudhary, who is in the custody of Ahmedabad Crime Branch, has been arrested. He is a resident of Gandhinagar and has been found to be working as a sub-agent for sending illegals abroad," he added.The official informed that Chaudhary had sent two students named Priyanka and Prince, residents of Kalol to America illegally through Yogesh Patel who was arrested earlier."Crime Branch has started an investigation by summoning Mahendra Patel, cousin of deceased Jagdish Patel," the Police Inspector said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comDuring interrogation, the arrested three men revealed that they received Rs 5 lakh per person for sending people to America illegally.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayWatch: Mamata Banerjee Plays Drums In Meghalaya
Ahmedabad crime branch officials arrested the agents from Kalol and Ahmedabad. (Representational)Ahmedabad: Two agents were arrested for facilitating illegal immigration almost a year after four members of a family from Gujarat froze to death near the Canada-US border while trying to cross into the US, police said on Sunday.Ahmedabad crime branch officials arrested the agents from Kalol in Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, and declared two others from Canada and the US as wanted in a case of allegedly getting 11 persons from Gujarat, including the family of four, illegally cross into the US from Canada, a senior official said.Jagdish Patel, his wife and two children from Dingucha village in Kalol taluka died apparently due to exposure to extreme cold conditions on the US-Canada border in January 2022."The city crime branch has registered an offence in a case wherein the accused (agents) had forced 11 people to walk in the snow in a bid to get them illegally cross the US-Canada border, causing the death of four members of a family," Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (Crime Branch) Chaitanya Mandlik told reporters.The investigation so far has revealed that the accused persons played a role in trying to get the 11 persons from Gujarat to illegally cross the international border (US-Canada), he said."The victims were taken to Toronto in Canada and later to Vancouver. The agents then dumped them at Winnipeg in Manitoba province leaving them to cross over to the US on their own," the official said.The two other accused who are wanted in the case are the "crossing agents" who were to get Rs 60 lakh to Rs 65 lakh per person, he said."There are deputy agents, main agents in India. The crossing agents in Canada and the US help with legal and other assistance. The two wanted accused are agents from Canada and the US," Mr Mandlik said.Of the 11 persons from Gujarat, seven who tried to cross illegally were arrested by the US authorities after they landed there. Most of these people hail from Kalol in Gandhinagar and Mehsana, he said.The Gujarat CID Crime has also registered an offence of (filing) bogus documents in connection with the illegal immigration case.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"The documents submitted in embassy and passport offices are to be verified to ascertain whether they are fake or genuine," the official added.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayAnother Big Win For SS Rajamouli's RRR. This Time At Critics Choice Awards
AHMEDABAD: Two agents were arrested for facilitating illegal immigration almost a year after four members of a family from Gujarat froze to death near the Canada-US border while trying to cross into the US, police said on Sunday. Ahmedabad crime branch officials arrested the agents from Kalol in Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, and declared two others from Canada and the US as wanted in a case of allegedly getting 11 persons from Gujarat, including the family of four, illegally cross into the US from Canada, a senior official said. Jagdish Patel, his wife and two children from Dingucha village in Kalol taluka died apparently due to exposure to extreme cold conditions on the US-Canada border in January 2022. "The city crime branch has registered an offence in a case wherein the accused (agents) had forced 11 people to walk in the snow in a bid to get them illegally cross the US-Canada border, causing the death of four members of a family," Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (Crime Branch) Chaitanya Mandlik told reporters. The investigation so far has revealed that the accused persons played a role in trying to get the 11 persons from Gujarat to illegally cross the international border (US-Canada), he said. "The victims were taken to Toronto in Canada and later to Vancouver. The agents then dumped them at Winnipeg in Manitoba province leaving them to cross over to the US on their own," the official said. The two other accused who are wanted in the case are the "crossing agents" who were to get Rs 60 lakh to Rs 65 lakh per person, he said. "There are deputy agents, main agents in India. The crossing agents in Canada and the US help with legal and other assistance. The two wanted accused are agents from Canada and the US," Mandlik said. Of the 11 persons from Gujarat, seven who tried to cross illegally were nabbed by the US authorities after they landed there. Most of these people hail from Kalol in Gandhinagar and Mehsana, he said. The Gujarat CID Crime has also registered an offence of (filing) bogus documents in connection with the illegal immigration case. "The documents submitted in embassy and passport offices are to be verified to ascertain whether they are fake or genuine," the official added.
Days after the reported death of a Kalol resident while trying to cross the US-Mexico border, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) Gandhinagar Monday decided to write to the INTERPOL seeking more details about his death and his family members.According to media reports from Mexico, Brijkumar Yadav, 38, who works as an accountant in a private firm in Kalol, had allegedly fallen to death while scaling a wall on the US-Mexico border near Tijuana, sometime before December 15.Yadav was accompanied by his wife Pooja and their three-year-old son Tanmay while crossing to US, the report said.The family had gone to Mexico on a tourist visa, Additional DGP (CID, Crime and Railways) RB Brahmbhatt told The Indian Express Monday.Brahmbhatt said that Yadav’s wife Pooja is in San Diego, while their son is in a hospital in Tijuana.“We have got the passport detail of Brijkumar Yadav, his wife, Pooja, and their son. We are going to write to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), on these details on Monday,” he added.Yadav’s sister-in-law Sushila, had told this paper Saturday that the family had left on November 18, saying they were “going on a trip”.They last heard from Pooja on December 17, saying her husband had died of a heart attack.Yadav was a resident of Chhatral area near Kalol in Gandhinagar and hails from Pathak Purwa village in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district. Brijkumar earned a monthly salary of Rs 15,000 and Pooja as a teacher at a private school for Rs 20,000 a month.“CID is the nodal agency to intimate with the INTERPOL in such cases,” said Brahmbhatt, adding they were doing the preliminary enquiry”.“All we know is that the family went to Mexico on a tourist visa. The investigation is still going on,” he added.INTERPOL assists law enforcement agencies in each of its195 member countries to combat all forms of transnational crime.
The Election Commission (EC) received 312 complaints, including one against Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the 40 complaints that the Congress party filed, during Phase 2 of polling in Gujarat on Monday.According to Kuldeep Arya, additional chief electoral officer of Gujarat, the Congress party also sought police protection for their candidate in Kalol assembly seat, Prabhatsinh Chauhan, who was allegedly attacked by a mob of 400 persons in Chhota Udepur. The party also sought EC action.A third complaint was filed against Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel’s posters and banners, which continued to be displayed at Ghatlodia assembly constituency on voting day.The Congress also lodged a complaint against Samajwadi Party candidate at Bapunagar seat in Ahmedabad for allegedly entering the polling booth at a local school and creating ruckus.Later in the day, the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) claimed Model Code of Conduct violations on 36 seats that included a television interview of Viramgam BJP candidate Hardik Patel in which BJP was allegedly mentioned repeatedly.Congress also complained of “anti-social elements” voting for the BJP at Jhalod and Kadi seats, booth capturing at Dariapur, “stopping and scaring” of voters at Bapunagar. Most of the Congress complaints where regarding the flags and posters of the BJP near polling booths, slow voting and non-functional EVMs.After the voting concluded, Arya said among the 312 complaints received, 180 were through C-Vigil mobile application and 39 complaints through the call centre. Chief electoral officer P Bharthi said that voting was peaceful except for three or four incidents of violence. “In Fatehpur village of Dahod district, two groups clashed and in the neighbouring Panchmahal district, we got a complaint about vehicles of a Congress candidate being damaged. At Kalol in Gandhinagar district, a group clash was also reported,” she said.“After the polls began, 0.32% of ballot units, 0.33 per cent of control units and 1.07% VVPATs were replaced. This is 50 per cent less than the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.” Bharathi added. Live webcasting was done at 13,319 sensitive polling booths in Phase 2.Meanwhile in 5,000 voters from three villages — Varetha, Davol and Dalisana — of Kheralu taluka in Mehsana district, abstained from voting, protesting about water scarcity and other issues. Seizures madeDuring the elections, seizures worth Rs 801 crore were made that includes narcotics worth Rs 540 crore, Rs 31.92 crore in cash, liquor worth Rs 16.4 crore and precious metals and gold worth Rs 36.51 crore.In Panchmahal district, polling officer Rakesh Bhatia (49) had to be rushed to hospital after he fell unconscious during voting due to “low sugar.”
Recently, the National Milk Day celebrations marking the birth anniversary of Dr Verghese Kurien, who is hailed as India’s milkman, culminated in Anand — India’s milk city. Even before India gained independence, seeds of the white revolution that changed the fortunes of millions of farmers and converted India from a milk-deficit country into the world’s largest milk producer were sown in Anand’s neighbouring district, Kaira, now Kheda. Headquarters of the Amul Dairy and the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, the apex body of all 18 milk unions of Gujarat that markets the brand, Amul, are located next to each other. The BJP has successfully turned the federation into a ‘Congress-mukt’ board in the past two decades. The heads of the 18 milk unions, who are board members in the federation, have links to the saffron party. Despite this, the Congress still counts in the complex structure of dairy cooperatives. If the BJP rewarded Amul Dairy’s chairman Ramsinh Parmar, a former Congress leader, by giving a ticket to his son Yogendra Parmar from Thasra seat in Kheda, Ramsinh’s deputy in Amul Dairy, Rajendrasinh Parmar, is eyeing another term as the Congress MLA from Borsad in Anand district. Kanti Sodha Parmar, another Amul Dairy board member, is eyeing a second term as a Congress MLA from the Anand seat. Sanjay Patel, another director of the milk union, is trying his luck for the third consecutive time on a Congress ticket from the Matar seat in Kheda. But it is not just dairy cooperatives that hold the key to assembly elections here. The twin districts of Anand and Kheda, broadly known as Charotar — the fertile region that falls between the Vatrak and Mahi rivers — are also known for their diaspora spread across the globe. They own so many motels in the US that the lodges have come to be known as ‘Potels’. It is also this land from where Madhavsinh Solanki once rose to become Gujarat’s chief minister. On the back of Solanki’s social engineering theory of KHAM (Kshatriyas,Harijans, Adivasis and Muslims), the Congress registered a thumping victory by getting 149 seats in the 1985 assembly election — a record that the BJP desperately tries to break every election without success. The Congress had bagged eight of the 13 assembly seats in Anandand Kheda, while the BJP got five in the 2017 election. With caste equations running deep, both the BJP and the Congress are banking on the caste backgrounds of the candidates to ensure victory this time. It is Patel versus Patel on some seats and Kshatriya versus Kshatriya on others. The poll issues in these twin districts are similar. Residents in Anand and Nadiad — the urban towns of Charotar — are battling congested roads, overflowing drains, stray cattle menace and waterlogging — an annual monsoon feature. In the countryside, there are villages where the power of pounds and dollars is evident through the RCC roads, CCTV cameras, and a strong network of hospitals and schools run by various trusts funded almost entirely by NRGs. But this hasn’t helped Anand get its own publicly funded civil hospital – a project that has remained on paper for 15 years despite two foundation stone laying ceremonies. The last one was performed by former DyCM Nitin Patel. Not surprisingly, the Congress has made it an election issue. “If we are voted to power in Gujarat, we will lay the foundation stone of a civil hospital in Anand in 48 hours, and its construction will begin the next day,” promised former GPCC president Amit Chavda. This four-time MLA from Anklav is the grandson of Ishwar Chavda, a five-time CongressMP from Anand, and cousin of former GPCC chief Bharatsinh Solanki. Refuting the charges, Pankaj Desai (Gotiyo), a five-time BJP MLA from Nadiad and chief whip of Gujarat since 2010, said: “We have set up a sports centre with an Olympic-size international level swimming pool,tennis courts, badminton court, and skating rink. We are broadening the railway underpasses, beautifying gardens, and developing lakes. ” Around 100km from Anand, the Panchmahal district with five seats came into focus in 2002 when the Sabarmati Express carnage took place in Godhra. Labelled as the Ground Zero of the 2002 Gujarat riots, Godhra struggles to shake off its communal image even though no major riots occurred after 2002. Amid a political campaign charged with attempts to polarise voters on religious grounds, development too remains the focus in Godhra. Locals point out the town has been in a state of neglect, and there have been times when the municipality has struggled to pay salaries to its safai workers or the power bill for streetlights. “The roads are not made or maintained in these areas. A railway underbridge is desperately needed, but nobody cares about this,” said AIMIM candidate Mufti Hasan Kachaba. The municipality president Sanjay Soni, however, pooh-poohs the charges of partiality. “We have given grants equally to all wards, and the long-pending work of the Kabrastan Road has also been taken up. The locals added money to our allocation to get better quality material,” Soni said. He was an independent councillor but later joined the BJP and was made the municipality president. Barring the 2002 election, Godhra was a stronghold of the Congress. The BJP’s Haresh Bhatt won the seat in 2002. After this, the seat remained with the Congress till C K Raulji ditched the party and joined the BJP. Raulji won from the BJP in 2017 with just 258 votes. The major parties have fielded local heavyweights on the Shehra, Halol, and Kalol seats. In Shehra, the BJP’s Jetha Ahir is a force to reckonwith, while BJP minister Jaydrathsinh Parmar has significant clout in Halol. Kalol has BJP turncoat Prabhatsinh Chauhan, a former minister, contesting from the Congress this time. The Halol constituency in the Panchmahal also has Pavagadh, that found mention in several election speeches. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah have both pointed out how, during the BJP reign, a new temple was constructed, and a ‘dhwaja’ unfurled here, 500 years after invaders damaged it. The pilgrimage site has seen significant development over the years as part of a detailed plan. The election speeches also hail the tribal warriors from the region who fought against the British. Other backward class (OBC) votes dominate the electorate in Panchmahal. The Congress believes it has got the caste arithmetic right this time. “Our five candidates are from the OBC community, and the BJP has no local OBC candidate. This will work in our favour along with the anti-incumbency and discontent among the people,” said Rafiq Tijoriwala, Congress vice president of the Panchmahal unit. Mahisagar, among the youngest districts of the state, has three seats. These seats were in three other districts before Mahisagar was formed. The Balasinor seat was in Kheda, the Santrampur (ST) seat was in Dahod, and the Lunawada seat was in Panchmahal.
Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi Saturday visited Swaminarayan temples in Anand and Vadtal and held roadshows in Kalol as part of campaigns for the Gujarat Assembly elections. The roadshow began from the central party office at Kalol and attracted a number of people. Later in the afternoon, Sanghavi visited the Swaminarayan temple at Vadtal and Anand from where he took blessings from the priest and requested them to support the BJP candidates in their areas. Seats in Kalol and Anand will go to polls on Monday. He also visited Haridham Atmiya Vidhyadham at Bakrol. The election for Surat’s Majura seat from where Sanghavi has been fielded was held on December 1.
Mumtaz Patel said that it is prudent to avoid such comments.New Delhi: Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, whose "Ravan" remarks targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi sparked a backlash for the party, has been "advised" from within to choose his words carefully as they could be misused.Mumtaz Patel, a Congress leader from Bharuch in Gujarat and the daughter of Sonia Gandhi's political advisor Ahmed Patel, has said that it is prudent to avoid such comments."We should be careful about what we say because words are misused and the real message is lost," Ms Patel told NDTV on a question about the slurs against PM Modi that have largely backfired on the Congress. She later added that her advice to to all parties and all leaders and not specifically to the Congress.Mr Kharge had made the ill-advised comment earlier this week, while campaigning in Gujarat for the first time since taking over as Congress president."Modi ji is Prime Minister. Forgetting his work, he keeps campaigning in corporation elections, MLA elections, MP elections, everywhere... All the time he's talking about himself - 'You don't have to look at anyone else, just look at Modi and vote'. How many times do we see your face? How many forms do you have? Do you have 100 heads like Ravan?" Mr Kharge had said.Days before him, his party colleague Madhusudan Mistry had made comments referring to "aukat (status)" that PM Modi has raised repeatedly in his rallies.The Prime Minister responded to the Congress leaders' barbs at a rally yesterday in Kalol, Gujarat."There is a competition in the Congress on who will insult Modi more, use bigger, sharper insults," PM Modi said while campaigning in Gujarat's Kalol."A few days back, a Congress leader said Modi will die a dog's death, another said Modi will die Hitler's death. Another said if I get a chance, I'll kill Modi myself...Someone says Ravan, someone says rakshash (demon), someone says cockroach... I'm not surprised that Congress calls Modi names, I'm surprised - anyone would be - that despite using such words, the Congress never has remorse. Congress thinks it is their right to insult Modi, the Prime Minister of this country."Ahmed Patel, who was Congress president Sonia Gandhi's most trusted aide, died of Covid at 71, two years ago.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThough his daughter Mumtaz Patel is not politically active, she has weighed in on subjects related to the Congress often.She did not contest the Gujarat election but was non-committal on fighting the 2024 election as a Congress candidate. "For the time being, I'll observe and understand things. After that, I'll go among the public and then, I'll contest...Let's see after a year," she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The strength that Gujarat has given me troubles Congress, said PM Modi.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, campaigning in Gujarat today, fired back at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's "Ravan" comment targeting him. It was not ok to call someone "Ravan" in the land of "Rambhakts (Ram devotees)", he commented, addressing a large gathering."There is a competition in the Congress on who will insult Modi more, use bigger, sharper insults," PM Modi said while campaigning in Gujarat's Kalol."A few days back, a Congress leader said Modi will die a dog's death, another said Modi will die Hitler's death. Another said if I get a chance, I'll kill Modi myself...Someone says Ravan, someone says rakshash (demon), someone says cockroach... I'm not surprised that Congress calls Modi names, I'm surprised - anyone would be - that despite using such words, the Congress never has remorse. Congress thinks it is their right to insult Modi, the Prime Minister of this country."Mr Kharge had made the comments while addressing a rally in Ahmedabad earlier this week. "Modi ji is Prime Minister. Forgetting his work, he keeps campaigning in corporation elections, MLA elections, MP elections, everywhere... All the time he's talking about himself - 'You don't have to look at anyone else, just look at Modi and vote'. How many times do we see your face? How many forms do you have? Do you have 100 heads like Ravan?" Mr Kharge had said.Days before him, another Congress leader, Madhusudan Mistry, had said "We want to show Modiji his aukat (status)" while talking about renaming a stadium named after Narendra Modi.PM Modi tackled both comments today.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"The strength that Gujarat has given me troubles Congress. A Congress leader came here and said we'll show Modi his aukat in this election. The Congress felt still more needs to be said, so they sent Kharge here. I respect Kharge but he must have had to say what had been asked. Congress doesn't know that Gujarat is a state of Ram bhakhts. Here he said Modi is Ravan with 100 heads," the Prime Minister said.Gujarat voted in the first round of a two-phase election today. The second phase is on Monday.
As elections heat up, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been spending more and more time in Gujarat. Helming the BJP’s poll strategy in his home state, he spent four days at a stretch here till Wednesday, most of that time in Ahmedabad and his Lok Sabha constituency of Gandhinagar, finalising the candidate list, trying to pacify rebellions and joining the nomination processions of at least two candidates, including incumbent Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.In three other constituencies, where the party has dropped sitting candidates, Shah held late-night meetings.All these five constituencies where Shah spent considerable time fall under his Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat. Of its total seven seats, the BJP has sitting MLAs in five and the Congress in two. Having won the Gandhinagar seat for the first time in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, it is a battle of prestige for Shah to win all the seven Assembly segments in it.Considered the brain behind the BJP’s poll strategies, particularly the figuring out of intricate sub-caste arithmetic in candidate selection, Shah cannot not meet with total success in own seat. He is also the face and voice of the party for the Gujarat elections, holding media interactions and laying down winnability as the criteria for ticket selection.It was after Shah landed in Gujarat on November 13 that the BJP took up finalisation of candidates for some of the most contested Assembly constituencies in the state, wrapping this up by Wednesday – a day to go for nomination deadline for the second phase to end. Sources said the Union minister was closely involved in damage control as a number of leaders were openly angry over allotment of tickets, with at least three threatening to contest as Independents.Between 1989 when Shankersinh Vaghela won from the seat, and 2019, when Shah became the MP, the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency had been represented by MPs not based in Gujarat. For example, former deputy prime minister L K Advani, who was a five-term Gandhinagar MP, winning it consecutively from 1991 till 2014, except 1996, when late PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee won.An MLA from Sarkhej constituent of the Gandhinagar seat, Shah was the election manager for Advani each time he contested, ensuring a bigger victory margin every successive election.During his recent trip, Shah drove with candidate Kanubhai Patel as he went to file his nomination in the Sanand Assembly constituency, and made a halt to meet party workers at a small gathering, in a boost to the candidate. Similarly, he did a nearly 3-km roadshow with CM Bhupendra Patel in his Ghatlodia constituency on the day he filed his nomination papers.The Union minister visited the offices of the BJP candidates from Vejalpur, Naranpura and Sabarmati – Amit Thaker, Jitu Bhagat and Harshad Patel, respectively – who have replaced sitting MLAs.A party source said there was nothing surprising in this. “This is Shah’s style during elections. He was deeply involved during the 2017 Assembly polls as well. As far as visiting the constituencies goes, he is almost religious in taking care of them.”Of the seven Assembly segments in Gandhinagar — Vejalpur, Naranpura, Ghatlodia, Sabarmati, Kalol, Sanand and Gandhinagar North – only Kalol and Gandhinagar North have not had a visit from Shah recently. “He will certainly cover them in his next visit,” said the source.
Former BJP MP from Halol Lok Sabha seat Prabhatsinh Chauhan joined the Congress party on Tuesday at the party’s Parivartan Sankalp Yatra in Fagvel.Chauhan had been upset with the BJP since 2017 when the party fielded his daughter-in-law Suman Chauhan in the Assembly polls from Kalol constituency while Chauhan had demanded a ticket for his wife. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Chauhan was sidelined.On Tuesday, Chauhan joined the Congress party in presence of senior leaders Sachin Pilot, Amit Chavda, Naran Rathwa, Jagdish Thakor, Sukhram Rathwa and Siddharth Patel. Sources said that Chauhan is aspiring to contest the upcoming polls from Kalol or Godhra assembly constituency.An influential leader in Panchmahal, Mahisagar, and Kheda districts, Chauhan was, however, criticised for being miffed over Suman’s candidature in 2017 Assembly polls, following which the party dropped in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.A senior BJP leader said, “The party had been trying to explain to him that he must involve himself in party activities. But he has been aloof and trying to push his family members for party tickets. It is strictly not allowed anymore… We had been expecting this move for a long time and it has come before the polls. Since he was barely active in the party nowadays, his departure will not affect the prospects of the BJP in any of the seats.”Chauhan, known to be close to former chief minister Shankarsinh Vaghela, was elected as a Congress MLA from Kalol in 1980 but joined the BJP in 1991. He was a BJP MLA from Kalol in 1998 and 2002 and was also a Minister of State under the chief ministership of Narendra Modi in Gujarat. In 2009 and 2014, he contested and won two consecutive terms as MP from Panchmahal.Chauhan’s daughter-in-law Suman Chauhan is a BJP MLA from Kalol and was recently in the news for being part of the Jail Advisory Committee (JAC) that recommended the release of the 11 life-term convicts in the 2002 Bilkis Bano case. BJP party sources said that the party has not decided if Suman would be repeated for a second term from Kalol in the upcoming polls.
Former BJP MLA joins Congress in Gujarat. (Representational)Fagvel (Gujarat): Former BJP MP Prabhatsinh Chauhan on Tuesday joined the Congress here ahead of Assembly elections in Gujarat.The 81-year-old leader, a former state minister, joined the party in the presence of Congress leaders Mohan Prakash and Siddharth Patel.The BJP had denied Mr Chouhan ticket from Panchmahal Lok Sabha seat in 2019.“BJP has failed in Gujarat. The party is not going to win future elections. That is the reason I have joined the Congress,” he said.Mr Chauhan's daughter-in-law Suman Chauhan is BJP MLA from Kalol in Panchmahal district.She said it was his personal decision. “I am with the BJP and my family is also with the BJP,” she added.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comMr Chauhan was a Member of Parliament from 2009 to 2019. Earlier he was the minister of tribal development in the BJP government in the state from 2004 to 2007. (This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayVideo: New Water Cooler For PM's Visit To Gujarat Hospital, No Water
It was widely believed that when in 2017, Mahendrasinh Vaghela followed the footsteps of his father, former chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela, and quit the Congress, it was because the father wanted to cement the son’s stuttering political career.Mahendrasinh, then a Congress MLA from Bayad in the Aravalli district, was among the 14 MLAs, including his father –then the Leader of the Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly — who had quit ahead of the Rajya Sabha election, in which the late Ahmed Patel was seeking re-election.પ્રદેશ પ્રમુખ શ્રી જગદીશભાઈ ઠાકોર તેમજ પાર્ટીના અન્ય હોદ્દેદારોની હાજરીમાં પૂર્વ ધારાસભ્ય શ્રી મહેન્દ્રસિંહ વાઘેલાએ કોંગ્રેસ પક્ષમાં ઘરવાપસી કરી pic.twitter.com/utNbVXV7Hc— Gujarat Congress (@INCGujarat) October 28, 2022On Friday Mahendrasinh returned to the Congress, where he had begun his career in electoral politics, though the party high command has cold-shouldered Shankersinh’s signals to return.Sources, however, say the son’s return signifies a “backdoor entry” for Shankersinh into the party. Given his oratorical skills, he is even expected to campaign for Mahendrasinh, if the latter were to contest the elections. Congress sources say there is a good chance he will. “His former constituency of Bayad can be considered for Mahendrasinh’s ticket. Other options include Dehgam, Abdasa or even Gandhinagar,” said a party source.Mahendrasinh, 58, who describes himself as a “farmer and a social worker” is Shankersinh’s eldest of three children, with son and a daughter after him. The family runs the Shankersinh Vaghela Bapu Charitable Trust that owns the Bapu Gujarat Knowledge Village, an educational campus in Gandhinagar, of which Shankersinh is the chairman and managing trustee, and Mahendrasinh a trustee.In 2017, Ahmed Patel won by a whisker in a closely fought election, where, pitted against him was former Congress Assembly whip Balwantsinh Rajput, another of the 14 MLAs who followed Vaghela out of the Congress. Rajput, who is now in the BJP, remains connected to the Vaghelas, as his son is married to Mahendrasinh’s daughter.Mahendrasinh joined the BJP in July 2018, but quit in October the same year. Overshadowed by his veteran RSS-rooted father, who had split the state BJP in 1996 to launch his own party to become the chief minister, Mahendrasinh contested his first Assembly election in 2002, from Sami in Patan district, losing to the BJP. Congress was then fighting the elections under the leadership of Shankersinh, after his Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP) merged with the Congress.When in BJP, Mahendrasinh was hardly seen or heard, perhaps because he is known to be “soft-spoken” and to keep a low profile. But on Friday, when he returned to the Congress, he said, “I have neither gone to any BJP event nor the party headquarters,” adding that he was always with the Congress in his “mind”.Mahendrasinh eventually became MLA for the first time in 2007 from Meghraj constituency in Aravalli, when his father was a Union minister in the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government. In 2012, he won again from the Bayad seat in Sabarkantha.
Five years after quitting the Congress and joining Gujarat’s ruling BJP, former MLA Mahendrasinh Vaghela returned to the Opposition party on Friday, even as his father and former chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela is attempting a return.State Congress chief Jagdish Thakor described Mahendrasinh as a “family member” and welcomed him to the party.“There is no doubt that Congress is in a strong position. We will all work together,” Mahendrasinh told reporters, adding that it was for the party to decide if he would fight the upcoming Assembly elections.Asked why he was returning to a party that he left for the BJP in 2017, Mahendrasinh said. “After my joining the BJP, I have not gone to any of their events or to the party office. My mind was here (with the Congress). I did not feel that I should continue with the BJP.”He was among the Congress MLAs who quit the party ahead of Rajya Sabha polls in 2017 under Shankersinh’s leadership.Mahendrasinh, who represented Bayad, later joined the BJP, while his father floated a separate political party and unsuccessfully fought the 2017 Assembly elections.Asked if his father too would join the Congress, Mahendrasinh said, “He is an elder. He is my father. You can ask him.”He added that Shankersinh’s blessings were always with him.For the past few months, Shankersinh has been attending events along with Congress leaders and he has hinted at his readiness to return to the Opposition party before the 2022 polls.
Mahendrasinh Vaghela said he was joining the Congress without any expectations. (File)Ahmedabad: Mahendrasinh Vaghela, son of former Gujarat Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela, joined the Congress on Friday, ahead of the state Assembly election.The 58-year-old former MLA was welcomed into the fold by Gujarat Congress president Jagdish Thakor at the party headquarters in Ahmedabad.The development has come ahead of the state Assembly election, which is expected to be held by December.Talking to reporters, Mahendrasinh Vaghela said he was joining the Congress without any expectations and will fight the polls if the party wants.Mahendrasinh Vaghela, who was a Congress MLA from Bayad in north Gujarat between 2012 and 2017, had quit the party in August 2017, a few months before the Assembly elections, and later joined the BJP."The party leadership will decide whether I fight the polls or not. I have joined the Congress without any expectations. I had quit the BJP immediately after joining because I was not comfortable and that was the reason why I had not attended any of their events," he said.Mahendrasinh Vaghela was one of the eight Congress MLAs, including his father Shankersinh Vaghela, who had crossvoted in the Rajya Sabha polls in favour of the BJP candidate in August 2017 and later resigned from the party.Despite the crossvoting, Congress candidate, late Ahmed Patel, had won the election by defeating the BJP's Balwantsinh Rajput.Notably, Mahendrasinh Vaghela had not contested the 2017 state Assembly election.Mahendrasinh Vaghela joined the ruling BJP in July 2018 and resigned in October, barely three months after joining the fold.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comWithout elaborating much about his sudden decision to quit the party, he had stated at the time in his resignation letter that he was resigning due to some "personal reasons".(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
AHMEDABAD: For busy Amdavadis, a mere hour-long drive provides a calm escape to green and quiet Thol, an abode for migratory birds. The natural water lake, however, is under the threat of losing its status as a Ramsar site as it is turning into a 'septic tank'. Illegal restaurants that have cropped up to cater to birders and tourists along with newly constructed housing societies without a proper sewage network are befouling the lake with their wastewater. To make matters worse, air pollution from nearby industries is also affecting the health of the birds. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its 2022 report red flagged the rising pollution in Thol lake. It has been pointed out that seven property units were releasing their waste into the lake. CAG, which directly monitors the Thol sanctuary, in its 2022 report pointed out, "The prohibited establishment of sawmills, industries causing pollution, the establishment of commercial hotels, discharge of untreated effluents, and solid waste in the natural water body are causing pollution." Will probe dumping in Thol lake: Minister In the past, Kalol nagarpalika had planned to release treated drainage water into the lake. "A team of experts in their report to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) stated that treated wastewater from the proposed sewage treatment plant should not be discharged directly or indirectly into the eco-sensitive zone of Thol," said the official, adding: "If the experts objected to the release of treated wastewater, can you imagine the damage that untreated waste can cause?" Jagdish Panchal, minister of state for environment forest and climate change, said, "We will have to investigate the allegation of illegal dumping of human waste in the lake. We have also asked Gujarat Pollution Control Board to monitor air pollution and keep a watch on industries in the vicinity to ensure they were not tainting the area." Uday Vora, an expert ornithologist and a former official of the forest department, said, "The continuous high-level of pollution can definitely affect migratory birds and force them to abandon the area." When asked about wastewater disposal, Vora, a member of the committee formed by NGT, said, "The tribunal had sought an inquiry into the release of treated wastewater, but the forest department, earlier this year, withdrew the permission it gave to Kalol nagarpalika."
Referring to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that promotes technical courses in mother tongue, Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah announced that from October 16 this year, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Vishwavidyalaya in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, will offer MBBS in Hindi. At the foundation stone laying ceremony of the new campus of Gujarat Technological University (GTU) in Lekawada of Gandhinagar on Tuesday, Shah said, “The NEP has encouraged mother language as when a student thinks in his mother tongue, he can understand and research better. Some people might find this strange but I want to reiterate that when students think, talk and study in their mother tongue, he can research better unlike rote learning. That is the reason from October 16, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Vishwavidyalaya will offer complete first semester of MBBS course in Hindi.” On the second day of his two-day visit to Gujarat on Tuesday, Shah took part in the foundation stone laying of the 750-bed Adarsh Multispeciality Hospital at Kalol, inauguration of an underpass in Gandhinagar built by the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation at a cost of Rs 34.74 crore, foundation stone laying of a martyr memorial and library in Samou village in Mansa taluka of Gandhinagar district. He also visited temples in Rupal and Bahucharaji in Mansa, both in Gandhinagar district. Listing out benefits of the NEP, Shah said, “The National Education Policy is not just a book, but a library… Priority has been given to Indian language, art and culture. Modi ji has taken the initiative to improve the standard of living of people through technology,” he added.Talking about the Indian economy, Shah said when Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, India’s economy was number 11 in the world, while now it is the fifth largest economy in the world. Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said that earlier, Gujarat youths had to go to other states to study engineering or medicine by paying high fees. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reversed this situation and 102 universities are now functional in the state, he said.Addressing a gathering in Kalol town in Gandhinagar district, Shah said the healthcare scenario improved after Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office in 2014.“Under the Ayushman Bharat or PM-JAY scheme, 60 crore poor citizens are now getting free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh. In addition, PM Modi has also allocated Rs 64,000 crore to set up the required health infrastructure to implement that scheme. 35,000 new beds were added in hospitals across 600 districts under this scheme,” said Shah.Earlier, Shah laid the foundation stone of 750-bed Adarsh Multispeciality Hospital established by the Umiya Mata Kadva Patidar Education and Samaj Seva Trust at Kalol in his constituency, Gandhinagar. “What is the meaning of such infrastructure if there are no doctors in hospitals? During the Congress rule, leaders were busy making money in the name of improving medical education facilities. It was PM Modi who improved this scenario after assuming the office,” the Gandhinagar MP said.The minister also laid the foundation stone of an ESIC hospital at Kalol — which would upgrade the present 50-bed dilapidated hospital to 150-bed revamped hospital.Shah also asked Dr Atul Patel, founding member of the hospital and ex-MLA of Kalol, to “take advantage” of Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s presence at the event and expedite and push for the establishment of a medical college along with the trust-run hospital.“Today Mansukh Mandaviya has come, should we take advantage of it or not? 750-beds will be made and with some increase in amenities, you can apply and as per provisions, Mansukhbhai will quickly arrange and approve for a medical college (with the hospital). Then Kalol’s kids will get its benefits…It is my appeal and request (to Dr Atul Patel) that not just a hospital, but to also prepare a (medical) college so that our kids can study here and serve in their own village,” Shah said.He added that in the next two years “Kalol will have nearly 850-bed facilities” with the foundation stone laid for the two hospitals. Emphasising on the health needs of the working population, Shah said, “Sanand, where nearly 1.30 lakh people work at one place, the only health facility is a PHC with 10 beds. Yesterday we laid the foundation stone for a 350-bed ESIC hospital there. In two days, we have laid down the foundation stone of 500 beds of ESIC hospitals.”Also present at the event were Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Union Labour Minister and BJP’s Gujarat incharge Bhupendra Yadav, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, and former Lok Sabha MP from Mehsana Dr AK Patel. Later in the evening, Shah chaired a meeting at BJP headquarter Kamalam in Gandhinagar that was attended by leaders, including party state president CR Paatil, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and party state general secretary Pradipsinh Vaghela.In addition to deliberations on assembly elections, discussions were held on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Gujarat on September 29 and 30.
Amit Shah was addressing a gathering in Kalol town in Gandhinagar district.Ahemdabad: Union Home Minister Amit Shah today alleged instead of improving health infrastructure, Congress leaders "made money" in the name of improving medical education facilities when the party was in power before 2014.Addressing a gathering in Kalol town in Gandhinagar district, Mr Shah said the healthcare scenario improved after Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office in 2014."Under the Ayushman Bharat or PM-JAY scheme, 60 crore poor citizens are now getting free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh. In addition, PM Modi has also allocated Rs 64,000 crore to set up the required health infrastructure to implement that scheme. 35,000 new beds were added in hospitals across 600 districts under this scheme," he said.He added that a separate budget of Rs 1,600 crore has been granted to set up integrated laboratories and research centres in the country.Amit Shah is on a two-day visit to Gujarat, where elections are due in December this year, which began on Monday.Earlier in the day, Mr Shah laid foundation stones for two hospitals - a 750-bed hospital to be managed by a trust and another 150-bed hospital to be operated by the Employees' State Insurance Scheme, to be set up in Kalol."What is the meaning of such infrastructure if there are no doctors in hospitals? During the Congress rule, leaders were busy making money in the name of improving medical education facilities. It was PM Modi who improved this scenario after assuming the office," the Gandhinagar MP said.Mr Shah said 387 medical colleges, both private and government ones, were functioning in the country in 2013-14. Their number has increased to 600 due to the efforts of the prime minister."The number of MBBS seats has also gone up to 89,875 today against 51,348 seats in 2013-14. The number of post-graduate medical seats also increased from 31,185 to 60,202 today. This means that the number of colleges and medical seats doubled in the last eight years. Ten new AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) have become operational, while 22 more are coming up," said Mr Shah.The home minister is scheduled to inaugurate and lay the foundation stones of various projects in areas falling under his Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency.He will inaugurate an underpass in sector 15 of Gandhinagar city and also attend the ground-breaking ceremony for a Gujarat Technological University building in Lekavada village in the district.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comIn the evening, Mr Shah will visit his native place Mansa town in Gandhinagar to take part in the 'aarti' at Bahuchar Mata temple on the second day of Navratri.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
As Union Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday laid the foundation stone of two hospitals at Kalol in his constituency of Gandhinagar in Gujarat, he pushed for the establishment of a medical college along with a trust-run hospital.Shah laid the foundation stone of 750-bedded Adarsh Multispeciality Hospital at Kalol established by the Umiya Mata Kadva Patidar Education and Samaj Seva Trust Kalol.The Home Minister also laid the foundation stone of an ESIC Hospital, which would upgrade the present 50-bed dilapidated hospital to 150-bedded revamped hospital, at Kalol.Speaking on the occasion, Shah implored the trust hospital’s founder to “take advantage” of Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s presence at the event and expedite and push for the establishment of a medical college along with a trust-run hospital.કલોલ ખાતે KRIC કોલેજ પરિસરમાં નિર્માણાધીન 750 બેડની હોસ્પિટલના શિલાન્યાસ સમારોહને સંબોધન પ્રસંગે.. https://t.co/or7hgBKt4r— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) September 27, 2022He suggested Dr Atul Patel, the hospital’s founding member and ex-MLA of Kalol, to aim for affiliating a medical college with the hospital.“Today Mansukh Mandaviya has come, should we take advantage of it or not? 750-beds will be made and with some increase in amenities, you can apply and as per provisions, Mansukhbhai will quickly arrange and approve for a medical college (with the hospital),” Shah said.“Then Kalol’s kids will get its benefits…It is my appeal and request (to Dr Atul Patel) that not just a hospital, but to also prepare a (medical) college so that our kids can study here and serve in their own village,” he added.Shah said Kalol will ‘have nearly 850-bed facilities’ in the next two years with the foundation stone laid for the two hospitals.Emphasising the health needs of the working population, Shah said, “In Sanand, where nearly 1.30 lakh workers work at one place, the only health facility is a PHC with 10 beds. Yesterday, we laid the foundation stone for a 350-bed ESIC Hospital there. In two days, we have laid down the foundation stone of 500 beds of ESIC Hospital.”Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Union Labour Minister and BJP’s Gujarat in-charge Bhupendra Yadav and former Lok Sabha MP from Mehsana Dr A K Patel were among those present at the event.Yadav, who made a short address in Gujarati, lauded the laying of the foundation stone of the two hospitals.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will lay the foundation stone of the new campus of Gujarat Technological University (GTU) at Lekawada in Gandhinagar on September 27. Currently, the university functions from a temporary campus in Chandkheda, Ahmedabad.GTU Vice Chancellor Prof Navin Sheth Thursday announced the proposed project will have 17 small buildings each having different departments of various engineering faculties and adjacent workshop and administrative blocks.The state government has allotted 100 acres of land and sanctioned Rs 275 crore for the new building. The new university project would also have a stadium and an auditorium with 18,000 square metres area for solar lighting aimed at saving electricity costs.The university was set up in 2007 by then Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Sheth said in his official statement.
As many as seven people were killed and five others critically injured after a speeding Innova mowed down a group of devotees walking on foot in Gujarat’s Aravalli in the morning hours of Friday.According to police, the devotees were headed towards Ambaji temple in Banaskantha on foot when a speeding Innova vehicle mowed them down on the four-lane highway adjacent to Krishnapur village in Malpur taluka of Aravalli at around 7 am on August 2.The officials said that the devotees were from Dahod and had intended to travel to Ambaji temple for the Bhadarvi Poonam fair starting from September 5.The victims, who were traveling in a group of 40 to 45, had left their home in Dahod on August 31.“Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the pedestrian devotees killed in a road accident in Malpur of Aravalli while they were headed towards Ambaji,” read a statement from the Chief Minister’s office.“CM Patel has announced an ex gratia relief of Rs 4 lakh for each deceased from the CM Relief Fund and Rs 50,000 for the injured. He has also informed the Aravalli district collector to provide necessary medical treatment to those injured (sic),” the statement added.The deceased have been identified as Pankaj Jadhav (23) from Kalol in Panchamahal, Prakash Rathod (24) from Kalol in Panchmahal, Sanjay Kumar Bhilwad (21) from Limkheda in Dahod, Apsinh Baria (27) from Limkheda in Dahod, Vikrambhai Ad (26) from Zalod in Dahod, Suresh Bamania (14) from Aravalli and one unidentified person.The injured have been identified as Khumansinh Parmar, Rohit Kumar Rathod, Atul Kumar Parmar, Dharmedrasinh Chauhan and Shailesh Nat.“We had left with a chariot of Amba Goddess from our village Valundi and nearby villages in Dahod, travelling on foot in a group of 40-45 devotees,” said Maganbhai Bhilwad, a resident of Valundi in Dahod, who was among those injured.“On August 2 morning, we were walking at the roadside of the four-lane highway from Lunawada to Malpur, when a speeding Innova car hit our group and kept speeding forward, mowing down at least a dozen of us. The car finally stopped when it hit a pillar at the highway roadside,” he added.The driver of the Innova car has been identified as Hemantbhai from Mumbai, police said, adding he was apparently travelling towards Udaipur in Rajasthan. He is also admitted to the Himmatnagar Civil Hospital after receiving injuries in the crash with a pillar.Based on a written complaint by Bhilwad, he has been booked at the Meghraj Police Station under Sections 304A for causing death due to negligence, 279 for rash driving and 338 for causing grievous hurt of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).“The car driver had allegedly dozed off while driving and hit a group of pedestrian devotees. The car had finally stopped after it struck a pole at the highway roadside,” said a senior police official of Aravalli.“We are checking the CCTV footages for further investigation and all assistance is being provided to the needy,” he added.What is the Bhadarvi Poonam Fair?Celebrated every year during the monsoon season, the Bhadarvi Poonam fair is observed for a week at the famous Ambaji temple in Ambaji taluka of Banaskantha. Every year, lakhs of devotees from all across Gujarat and neighbouring Rajasthan reach Ambaji temple by walking on foot as part of the customs.Bhadarvi Poonam fair is going to be held from September 5 to 10 at Ambaji temple in Banaskantha where several lakh devotees are expected to arrive at the temple walking on foot.The devotees usually walk through the hilly areas of Banaskantha to reach Ambaji temple.According to police, over 7,000 police personnel will be deployed on duty along with teams of the NDRF, SDRF, health, fire and local administration for the bandobast.The police will also be monitoring the religious procession using drone and CCTV cameras.
AHMEDABAD: Six people were killed and five others injured after an SUV ran over devotees near Aravalli district in north Gujarat on Friday. The accident took place on the highway connecting Modasa and Godhra. According to police, the deceased were residents of Dahod district and were going on foot to temple town Ambaji to attend the Bhadarvi Poonam Fair there. Police sources said that the SUV with a registered Maharashtra number ran over the devotees near Krishnapura village. Six people died on the spot, while five injured were shifted to a nearby hospital. Every year lakhs of devotees gather at Ambaji for the annual fair which is considered to be auspicious. Meanwhile, chief minister Bhupendra Patel expressed shock over the incident and announced Rs 4 lakh compensation for the kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those injured.
Gujarat: The driver of the car lost control over his vehicle which led to the accident, police said.Aravalli: Six persons were killed and seven others injured after a car ran over pilgrims on Friday morning in Malpur area of Gujarat's Aravalli district. The victims were walking towards Ambaji temple in nearby Banaskantha district when the accident occurred, police said.The driver of the car lost control over his vehicle which led to the accident near Malpur, according to initial information. The victims were rushed to Modasa Hospital in an ambulance.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comChief Minister Bhupendra Patel has expressed his condolences to the victims' families and announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund for each of those who died, and Rs 50,000 for the injured.The Chief Minister has asked the Aravalli District Collector to ensure that necessary medical treatment is provided to the injured.
A speeding Innova mowed down a group of devotees in Gujarat’s Aravalli in the early hours of Friday, killing six and leaving six others critically injured. According to the police, the group was heading towards Ambaji temple in Banaskantha on foot when they were hit by the speeding vehicle on the highway adjacent to Krishnapur village in Malpur taluka of Aravalli. Officials said the group was from Dahod and had intended to travel to Ambaji temple for the Bhadarvi Poonam fair.“Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the pedestrian devotees killed in a road accident in Malpur of Aravalli while they were headed towards Ambaji. CM Patel has announced an ex gratia relief of Rs 4 lakh for each deceased from the CM Relief Fund and Rs 50,000 for the injured. He has also informed the Aravalli district collector to provide necessary medical treatment to those injured,” read a statement from his office.Celebrated every year during the monsoon season, the Bhadarvi Poonam fair is observed for a week at the famous Ambaji temple in Ambaji taluka of Banaskantha. Lakhs of devotees from across Gujarat and neighbouring Rajasthan reach Ambaji temple on foot as part of the customs.This year, the Bhadarvi Poonam fair will be held from September 5 to 10. Lakhs of devotees are expected to attend. They usually walk through the hilly areas of Banaskantha to reach the temple.According to the police, over 7,000 personnel will be deployed on duty along with teams of the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, health, fire and local administration for the bandobast. The police will also monitor the religious procession using drone cameras and CCTVs.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) to take steps to prevent release of treated wastewater from a proposed Sewage Treatment Plant in Kalol to Thol Lake.A three-member principal bench of the tribunal ordered GPCB to take further actions with respect to the recommendations of an NGT-constituted committee that suggested against the discharge of treated wastewater into the Ramsar-designated protected wetland.Read in Explained |NITI Aayog-commissioned report which studied 3 orders by Supreme Court, 2 by NGT: ‘5 green verdicts cost govt Rs 8K-cr revenue’Disposing of the proceedings, the NGT bench, in its order dated July 8, observed, “…let the state PCB take further action in terms of the recommendations by preventing discharge of sewage waste into the lake, including bypassing the flow of the wastewater and to utilise the treated water and to construct the guard pond.”The order further left it to the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) to utilise the wastewater through the industrial units in the region “against appropriate charges which may be used for restoration of the lake”. “The use of fresh water for industrial purposes may be controlled/regulated having regard to the fact that there is scarcity of potable water in the area. Quality of the lake may be maintained as per norms,” the panel directed.The order comes following a report by the joint committee that said treated wastewater should not be allowed to discharge directly or indirectly into Thol Lake and its eco-sensitive zone. The panel had recommended that other options to provide dedicated irrigation canals “bypassing Thol Lake and without affecting the whole bird sanctuary, eco-sensitive zone and reuse of treated sewage in the nearby industries” should be explored.“Guard pond-cum-distribution pond with OCEMS (Online Continuous Effluent Monitoring System) and regular manual monitoring should be provided for treated sewage from the proposed STP and treated sewage may be utilised based on requirements for irrigation and industrial purposes,” the report said.Some of the options identified by the joint committee and the sub-committee include utilisation of the treated wastewater in the garden area of Kalol municipality, for use by GIDC-Kalol that houses 180 industries, utilisation by other industries such as Arvind Limited at Santej and Bharat Vijay Mill at Kalol, along with utilisation by the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), Kalol unit, if the treated wastewater quality is found to be feasible for its utilisation.With respect to re-utilising the treated wastewater from the proposed plant, the committee has also noted that “Kalol Nagarpalika shall publish/advertise for Expression of Interest (EoI)”. It suggested that its recommendations should be taken into consideration by GPCB while considering the application of consent to establish/operate for the Kalol STP.The joint committee was constituted following an order by the NGT principal bench in March after The Indian Express reported on March 19 that Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife) and the Chief Wildlife Warden of Gujarat had approved the discharge of treated wastewater from the STP to Thol lake.Among the richest wetlands of the state, Thol Lake was constructed in 1912 as an irrigation tank with a catchment area of 155 square kms. However, it has now turned into an important wildlife habitat, especially for waterbirds, including dozens of species of international migratory birds as it falls on the Central Asian Flyway.
An eight-year-old boy was crushed to death by a speeding truck in Kalol in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar district on Wednesday night.According to police, Mahmad Asif Ansari, son of Pansar residents Nasir Hussain Ansari (38) and Jebabanu (34), was standing on the roadside near the Pansara trisection with his bicycle when the speeding truck crushed him. The driver of the truck is absconding.“On Wednesday night around 8pm, I received a call from my wife, who told me that my son had met with an accident and that he had been taken to the Kalol Civil Hospital. At the hospital, I found my son lying dead with grievous injuries on his head. Eyewitnesses to the accident told me that my son was standing on the roadside with his bicycle when he was crushed by a speeding truck, whose driver fled away after the accident,” Nasir Hussain Ansari wrote in a police complaint.The police have lodged a case of causing death due to negligence under Indian Penal Code Section 304A and rash driving under Section 279 against the unknown truck driver at the Kalol police station.
AHMEDABAD: A marriage bureau in Kalol has been ordered to refund a client's fees because it failed to find a bride in the stipulated one year time which was spent merely showing photographs of prospective brides in vain. According to case details, Shankarlal Gurjar of Kalol paid a fee of Rs 1.11 lakh to Sarv Gnyati Marriage Bureau in July 2020 to find a bride for his son, Vikas. After paying the fee, Gurjar did not hear anything from the bureau. When he contacted it, he was told that as soon as they got a good biodata from a woman, the family would be informed. A couple of more months passed, and they got a call from the bureau. When the father-son duo visited, a woman's photograph was shown to them, and their consent was sought to send a proposal for Vikas. The client insisted on more details about the woman and was told that they would call the woman and her family. Two days later, the Gurjars got a call from the bureau saying the woman's family was out of the town and obtaining her biodata would take 15 more days. After more waiting, they were told that the woman's marriage had already been solemnized. A month later, they were called again and shown another photo. The family expressed interest but did not get a response from the bureau. On his persistence, Gurjar was told that the girl did not like his son. A year passed and Gurjar sent a legal notice to the bureau and then sued it at the Gandhinagar District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, which issued notice to Manthan Gandhi, the marriage bureau proprietor, but he did not reply. The commission concluded that the bureau did not provide any service at all and was liable to return the fees to the client. Besides refunding the fee with 9% interest, the bureau has been ordered to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation for harassment caused to the client.
A committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) after The Indian Express reported that a proposed sewage treatment plant of the Kalol municipality in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar district had been allowed to discharge treated sewage to the Ramsar-protected Thol lake has disallowed the discharge into the lake and its eco-sensitive zone.The joint committee was formed in March following an order by the NGT principal bench, which on July 8 will likely take up the report submitted on June 1 by the five-member panel, headed by State Wetland Authority member secretary S J Pandit.While taking suo motu cognisance of the March 19 news report, the NGT had directed the panel to file a factual and action-taken report and sought to know if “treated sewage can be utilised for secondary purposes, instead of being discharged into the wetland”.The Indian Express reported that the Gujarat Urban Development Company Limited, a government undertaking, had floated tenders for setting up a sewage treatment plant with a capacity to treat 33.10 million litres per day in the Kalol municipality and parts of the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority’s jurisdictional areas.In a communication of September 2021, Shyamal Tikadar, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) and the chief wildlife warden of the state, granted permission for the proposed sewage plant to discharge treated wastewater in the Thol lake, which was designated as a Ramsar wetland site in April 2021.The NGT committee began its work on April 28 and completed the consultation process by May 12. Following a site visit, consultation with stakeholders, and deliberations on facts and records available and submissions of a subcommittee comprising subdivisional magistrates of Kalol and Kadi and Gandhinagar regional officer of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, several recommendations were outlined, the most important of which being that the “treated wastewater of the proposed sewage treatment plant of the Kalol Nagarpalika should not be allowed to be discharged directly or indirectly into the Thol lake and its eco-sensitive zone in any case”, according to the report.It has also been recommended that “the options of providing dedicated irrigation canals bypassing the Thol lake and without affecting the whole bird sanctuary, eco-sensitive zone of the Thol lake and reuse of treated sewage in the nearby industries should be explored”. Furthermore, “a guard pond-cum-distribution pond with an online continuous effluent monitoring system and regular manual monitoring should be provided for treated sewage from the proposed STP (sewage treatment plant), and treated sewage may be utilised based on requirements for irrigation and industrial purposes”.Some of the options identified by the joint committee and the subcommittee include utilisation of the treated wastewater in the garden area of the municipality, for use by the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation-Kalol, which houses 180 industries; utilisation by other industries such as Arvind Limited at Santej and Bharat Vijay Mill at Kalol; and utilisation by the Kalol unit of the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited, if feasible.On reutilising the treated wastewater, the NGT committee has also said that the municipality should advertise seeking expressions of interest for the utilisation of treated wastewater from the proposed plant. The panel also suggested that the state pollution control board take into account its recommendations while considering the Kalol sewage treatment plant’s application for consent.Following the distribution of the treated wastewater to industrial units and for other purposes, the remaining treated wastewater can be drained into a canal of Sujalam Sufalam Circle-1 for irrigation purposes, the panel said, adding that “technical modification in the existing pipeline” may be undertaken to ensure that treated wastewater does not get mixed with drinking water.
AHMEDABAD: Sola police on Friday arrested a 19-year-old man from Kalol for allegedly stalking, kidnapping and hurting a 16-year-old girl who lives in Kalol and studies in the Sola area of the city, on Thursday afternoon. According to an FIR filed with Sola police, the girl studies at a private school in Sola and goes home to Kalol around 1pm every day. On Thursday, she did not return till the evening and her parents began lookin gfor her. A classmate told her parents that a man had come to the school, made get get on to his motorcycle and taken her somewhere. Meanwhile, the girl secretly sent her current location to her father on WhatsApp. The girl’s parents followed her location and reached a place near the Narmada canal where they spotted their daughter with the accused, Mayank Patel, who is from their village. When her parents tried to approach him, he began driving to motorcycle away at speed and the girl fell and suffered injuries on her face. Patel managed to flee and her parents took her to a private hospital near the Vaishnodevi Circle. The girl suffered an injury and a fracture to her chin, said an officer of Sola police. The officer said that they later nabbed Patel from his house in Kalol and booked him for stalking, kidnapping a minor girl, rash driving causing severe hurt along with the charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Motor Vehicles Act. The officer said that Patel had been stalking and harassing the girl for around six months.
Gujarat Pharmaceutical Company Fire: The actual cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.Gandhinagar (Gujarat): A fire broke out in a pharmaceutical company in Kalol Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) on Sunday and about 10 firefighters have been deployed to put out the blaze.According to the sub fire officer of Gandhinagar Fire Service, A J Gadhvi, the fire spread due to the barrels of solvent present in the company.Gujarat | Fire breaks out in a pharma company in Kalol's GIDC, Gandhinagar dist; 10 firefighters presentAs per initial info, no workers were present at company premises at the time of the incident,but it can be confirmed only after fire is extinguished: Gandhinagar Fire Service pic.twitter.com/KO4YZoXll8— ANI (@ANI) May 22, 2022"As per the preliminary information, no workers were found at the premises, but it can be confirmed once the fire is brought under complete control," he added.The actual cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comMore details are awaited.
Four members of the Patel family had died of extreme conditions near US-Canada border. (File)Ahmedabad: The bodies of four members of a family from Gujarat's Gandhinagar district who died of the extreme cold near the Canada-US border would not be brought back to India, their relatives said on Friday.The Canadian authorities, who suspected it to be a case of "human smuggling", identified the dead persons as Jagdish Patel (39), his wife Vaishaliben (37), daughter Vihangi (11) and son Dharmik (3)."It is now confirmed that the family belonged to Dingucha village in Kalol taluka of Gandhinagar. The Indian embassy in Canada is in touch with their family members here for the next course of action," said Additional Director General of Police (CID-Crime) Anil Pratham.Following the confirmation of identity, relatives and some local women gathered at the Patel family's ancestral house at Dingucha to mourn the deaths on Friday.Villagers told reporters that other members of the family had shifted to Kalol town some time back.Jaswant Patel, a cousin of Jagdish Patel, said they had decided not to bring the bodies back to India."The entire family is in deep shock...As of now, we all have decided not to bring the bodies here for cremation. Last rites will be conducted in Canada itself," he said.Last week, Gujarat Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia had directed the anti-human trafficking unit of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) to probe the role of local agents in sending the family to Canada.Additional DGP Pratham said he was waiting for information from the Indian embassy in Canada to move ahead with the investigation."We can start our investigation only after knowing how many people were actually sent illegally and who helped them," DGP Pratham told reporters.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"If people have traveled there, the embassy will have their names and addresses. We can visit their villages and verify if people actually traveled to Canada, for what reason, and how much they paid the agents," he added.As per the Canadian authorities, the Patel family arrived in Toronto on January 12, 2022. From there they made their way to Manitoba and eventually to Emerson around January 18, a day before they tragically died near the border due to exposure to extreme weather conditions.
A large number of people from Dingucha are settled abroad, mainly in the US, Canada, Australia (File)Dingucha (Gujarat): Lack of quality job opportunities is driving residents of this village in Gujarat to pursue their dream of migrating to the US and other developed countries for a better future and that urge is so strong that some of them do not mind taking the illegal route and endangering their lives in pursuit of their goal.Dingucha village in Gandhinagar district is under international spotlight after a family of four - a couple and their two children - froze to death in Canada while allegedly attempting to cross over illegally to the US. It is believed the family belonged from this village though there has been no conformation of this yet.A large number of people from Dingucha are settled abroad, mainly in the US, Canada and Australia and they have generously donated money for construction of the panchayat building, a school, temple, health centre and a community hall, among others, in the village, said local residents.Many more keep looking for an opportunity to move abroad in search of better opportunities, they said.On entering Dingucha, one gets the feeling of being in a town and not a village.A wall painting advertisement right across the panchayat building at Dingucha promises enrolment to a university in the UK or Canada "with or without IELTS" -- the English proficiency test required for admission to universities in these countries.A few other hoardings about "study in Canada and US" in the village, located some 40km from Ahmedabad, target the youth in the village who always dream of moving abroad in search of better opportunities.It is the lack of opportunities here that is driving people to go abroad, said Amrut Patel, a man in his late 60s who had himself migrated to the US 33 years ago before taking his family there."Not just Dingucha, I'd talk about the entire Gujarat. People are not getting salary befitting their education, so they think, why not go abroad and earn more?" said Mr Patel, who runs a restaurant near Baltimore in the US with his son. His three daughters are also married there.As per the locals, a married couple and their two children from the village, who had recently left for Canada on a visitor's visa, have gone missing.Villagers apprehend they might be the same family who froze to death while trying to illegally enter the US through Canada, especially since there is no official confirmation yet on their identities."People are looking for opportunities in the US or Canada, because there is a lack of opportunity here... Since not everybody can go abroad legally, they are looking for ways to enter illegally - something that this ill-fated couple (who were found dead) were doing with their children," said Mr Patel, who visits his native village for a few months every year.For one to migrate to the US or Canada illegally, all one needs is a strong connection among the NRI (Non-Resident Indian) community, Mr Patel said."You do not need to be affluent to go abroad. In fact, affluent people do not need to go abroad in search of opportunities, taking so much risk. If you are financially weak, relatives and friends who are settled there will help with money. They can provide lakhs of rupees to facilitate your journey," he said.Ever since the news report reached here last week of the bodies of four members of a family found frozen on the US-Canada border, the village has been rife with a sense of foreboding.Jagdish Patel, his wife and their two children, who are missing, belong to an average middle-class family of farmers with a limited landholding, and they had recently left for Canada on a visitor's visa, said village talathi (revenue official) Jayesh Chaudhary."Jagdish Patel is a native of Dingucha. His parents lived in the village, while he resided in the nearby town of Kalol. Some two years ago, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he relocated to the village with his family. Three to four months ago, he again left for Kalol," said Mr Chaudhary.According to his relatives, Mr Patel supported his father in farming and even worked briefly in a school. Mr Chaudhary said, "He used to sell clothes in Kalol for a brief period during the Diwali festival."There has been no official confirmation on the identities of the couple and their two children, including an infant, who were found frozen to death while trying to illegally enter the US through Canada.In the absence of an official communication from authorities, neither the family members nor the villagers are able to outright reject the possibility of the dead persons being Jagdish Patel, his wife Vaishali and their two children.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"I had no idea they were leaving for abroad. When I last met my cousin a few days before they left, he said he had obtained a visitor's visa and was going to Canada with his wife and children. We have not been able to contact them since the news reached us last week," said Jaswant Patel, his cousin who lives in the same village.The family of four tried to cross the US-Canada border along with seven others who were caught by US authorities. However, these four could not reach the border and froze to death midway, according to reports.
AHMEDABAD: A 54-year-old man from Kalol town in Gandhinagar district, on Thursday filed a complaint with police alleging that an unknown man while pretending to help him switched his debit card at an ATM and withdrew Rs 1.55 lakh from his account on Wednesday and Thursday. Ramesh Barot, 54, is a resident of Jeevanprakash Society in Kalol and works as a security guard. In his FIR, he said that he had gone to an ATM on Wednesday evening to withdraw cash. As he was unable make the withdrawal, a man of around 45 came up to him and offered help. Barot handed him his debit card and shared his ATM pin, who pretended to be trying to make the withdrawal. He later told him that the machine had a problem. He then handed a different ATM card to Barot and returned home. Barot then began receiving messages from his bank informing him of withdrawals. He said the man withdrew a total of Rs 1.55 lakh, in eight transactions on Wednesday and four on Thursday.