ADVERTISEMENT

Gujarat

Cyclone Vayu likely to cross Gujarat coast early Thursday morning

Cyclone Vayu over the Arabian Sea is very likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm and cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva early in the morning of Thursday, June 13, the India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday.
(Image: IMD)
(Image: IMD)
Cyclone Vayu over the Arabian Sea is very likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm and cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva early in the morning of Thursday, June 13, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.
 
A bulletin issued by IMD at 0410 hours today said the cyclonic storm over Eastcentral and adjoining Southeast Arabian Sea had moved north-northwestwards with a speed of about 11 kmph in the last six hours.
 
It lay centred at 0230 hrs IST of today near latitude 14.2°N and longitude 70.6°E, about 410 km north-northwest of Aminidivi (Lakshadweep), 600 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 740 km nearly south of Veraval (Gujarat). 
 
"It is very likely to intensify further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during the next 24 hours. It is very likely to move nearly northward and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval & Diu region as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with wind speed 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph during early morning of 13th June 2019," the bulletin said.
 
Under the influence of the system, widespread rainfall, with heavy falls at isolated places, was likely over Kerala, coastal Karnataka and Konkan & Goa in the next two or three days.
 
In Gujarat, the IMD forecast rainfall at isolated places today; fairly widespread rainfall with heavy falls at isolated places tomorrow; widespread rainfall with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places over Saurashtra and Kutch on June 13; and widespread rainfall with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places on June 14.
 
In South Gujarat, there could be rainfall at isolated places today, fairly widespread rainfall with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places tomorrow; fairly widespread with heavy falls at isolated places on June 13; and rainfall at a few places on June 14.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The IMD said wind speed is very likely to increase gradually and become gale wind speed reaching 90-100 kmph, gusting to 115 kmph, over Eastcentral & adjoining Southeast Arabian Sea by today evening. It is very likely to be 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph over Lakshadweep area, Kerala, Karnataka & south Maharashtra coasts.
 
Tomorrow, wind speed is very likely to increase further becoming gale wind speed reaching 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph over eastcentral & adjoining northeast Arabian Sea by night. It is very likely to be 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph over Gujarat coast from tomorrow morning and become gale wind speed reaching 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph by 12th night. It is very likely to be 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph over Maharashtra coast.
 
Wind speed is very likely to decrease and become 100-110 kmph gusting to 125 kmph over north Arabian Sea and Gujarat coast in morning hours of June 13 and decrease gradually thereafter. It is very likely to be 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph over north Maharashtra coasts & northern parts of eastcentral Arabian Sea. 
 
The sea condition is very likely to be high to very high over eastcentral & adjoining southeast Arabian Sea today. It is very likely to become very high to phenomenal over eastcentral & adjoining northeast Arabian Sea & Gujarat coast from tomorrow evening and over north Arabian Sea on June 13.
 
"The sea condition is very likely to be rough over Lakshadweep area, along & off Kerala, Karnataka & south Maharashtra coasts today; rough to very rough along & off Maharashtra Coast on 12th; very rough to high along & off Gujarat, north Maharashtra coasts & northern parts of eastcentral Arabian Sea on 13th June.
 
Fishermen were advised not to venture into the sea in these areas and those out in deep sea were advised to return to the coast.
 
Storm surge of height of about 0.5 m above the astronomical tides was likely to inundate the low lying coastal areas of Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath and Amreli districts of Gujarat at the time of landfall, the bulletin said.
 
The IMD warned of possible major damage to thatched houses and huts in  Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath and Amreli districts, minor damage to power and communication lines, major damage to "Kutcha" and some damage to "Pucca roads", breaking of tree branches and uprooting of large avenue trees. 
 
Apart from total suspension of fishing operations, the bulletin said coastal hutment dwellers should be moved to safer places. People in affected areas should remain indoors, it added.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Modi inaugurates Global Trade Show in run-up to Vibrant Gujarat Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Global Trade Show at the Mahatma Mandir Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre in Gandhinagar on Thursday ahead of the 9th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit that he will open at the same venue on Friday.
 
Modi inaugurates Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Global Trade Show at the Mahatma Mandir Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre here today ahead of the 9th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit that he will open at the same venue tomorrow.
 
Mr. Modi will address the inaugural session of the summit aimed at giving a fillip to investments in Gujarat.
 
At the Global Trade Show, Mr. Modi went around the various pavilions and evinced keen interest in the stalls set up by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) and Khadi weavers, among others.
 
The stalls bring to the fore the Prime Minister's "vision of Make in India with an apt tagline- From Charkha to Chandrayaan," an official press release said.
 
He was accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and other dignitaries. 
 
The Global Trade Show is spread over an area of 200,000 sq. mts, with more than 25 industrial and business sectors showcasing their ideas, products and designs under one roof.
 
A series of events and programs have been organized alongside the summit. 
 
One of the major attractions today is the Ahmedabad Shopping Festival– 2019 which will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister later this evening. 
 
The mascot of the Vibrant Gujarat Ahmedabad Shopping Festival will be unveiled by Mr. Modi on this occasion. 
 
"Ahmedabad Shopping Festival 2019 is the first event of its kind in India and provides an opportunity for the enterprises from the city to showcase their products," it said.
 
In addition to the flagship events organized as part of Vibrant Gujarat, the 9th edition of the Summit will also witness the launch of a completely new set of forums aimed at diversifying the nature of knowledge sharing at the Summit, and intensifying the level of networking between participants.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Vibrant Gujarat Summit was conceptualized in 2003 by Mr. Modi, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat, to re-establish the state as a preferred investment destination. The Summit will provide a platform for brainstorming on agendas of global socio-economic development, knowledge sharing and forging effective partnerships.
 
Vibrant Gujarat 2019 will include a roundtable for opportunities in  Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education & Research in India. It will be attended by eminent educationists and key policy makers to prepare the “Roadmap for opportunities in STEM Education & Research in India”.
 
There will be an international conference on STEM,  an exhibition on Futuristic Technologies and Space Exploration which offers a vision of the future of space travel, a seminar on Port Led Development & Strategies to establish India as the Trans-shipment Hub of Asia, a seminar on Make in India to showcase the Success Stories of Make in India program and key interventions by the Government, and a seminar on Opportunities for Industry in Defence & Aerospace to sensitize participants about opportunities in defence and aeronautics in Gujarat, and to deliberate on a way forward for India and Gujarat to emerge as a manufacturing hub for defence and aeronautics.
 
"Since its inception in 2003, Vibrant Gujarat Summit has played the role as a catalyst spurring several other states to come forward with such summits to promote trade and investments there," the release added.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Modi poised for huge win in Gujarat, Congress wrests Himachal from BJP

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi appeared set for a third straight term in office as the Bharatiya Janata Party headed towards a huge win in the state but it lost Himachal Pradesh to the Congress as counting of votes progressed in the Assembly elections in both States today.
 
Counting begins in Gujarat, BJP secures early lead

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi appeared set for a third straight term in office as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headed towards a huge win in the state but it lost Himachal Pradesh to the Congress as counting of votes progressed in the Assembly elections in both states today.

As results and counting trends became available for all the 182 seats in the Gujarat Assembly, the BJP had won 52 and was leading in 65 others, making for a total of 117 seats, the same number that it has in the outgoing house.
 
The Congress had won 27 seats and was leading in 32 others. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), an ally of the Congress, had won two seats while the Janata Dal (United), an ally of the BJP, was leading in one constituency. Other parties were ahead in three seats.
 
Adding to the Congress' misery in Gujarat, its state unit chief Arjun Modhwadia and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil lost their seats.
 
In Himachal Pradesh, the ruling BJP conceded defeat as the Congress won 34 seats in the 68-member Assembly and was leading in two others. The BJP had won 23 and was ahead in another three, while others had won four and were leading in two more.
 
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal admitted his party had lost and congratulated the winners. He said the reasons for the BJP's defeat, despite his government's good record of governance, would be analysed at party fora in due course.
 
In Gujarat, Mr Modi retained his own seat, Maninagar, bagging 120440 votes against 34097 secured by his nearest rival, Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
The controversial former Minister of State for Home, Mr Amit Shah of the BJP, won from Naranpura, garnering 103988 votes against the 40653 secured by his rival Jitubhai B Patel of the Congress.
 
In the Ellis Bridge constituency in Ahmedabad, Ms Jagruti Pandya, widow of assassinated former Minister of State for Home Haren Pandya, ended up in the third place. Ms Pandya, a candidate of the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) floated by former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, could muster only 9075 votes against Mr Raesh Shah of BJP, who got 106631 votes. Mr Kamleshkumar Shah of the Congress got 29959 votes.
 
Mr Modhwadia lost in Porbandar, getting only 60458 votes against the 77604 votes secured by Mr Babubhai Bokhiria of the BJP. Mr Gohil lost from Bhavnagar (Rural) to Mr Purshottam Solanki of the BJP. Mr Solanki got 83980 votes as against 65426 secured by Mr Gohil.
 
The BJP had won 117 seats in the Gujarat Assembly in the last elections in 2007, while the Congress had 59 seats.
 
Counting of votes began in both states at 0800 hours today and all the results are expected by this evening.
 
Elections to the 182-member Gujarat assembly were held in two phases on December 13 and 17, when a record 71.3 per cent of the 38 million voters had exercised their franchise.
 
Polling for the 68 seats in the Himachal Pradesh assembly was held in a single phase on November 4, and about 74.7 per cent of the 4.60 million voters had cast their votes.
 
The supporters of Mr Modi, who has been in office since 2001, are hoping that, with yet another big win, he would be propelled to the centrestage of national politics and become the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
 
Exit polls had predicted a huge win for Mr Modi again this year, while they had given a slight edge in a close contest in Himachal Pradesh.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Ginger opens its first Lean Luxe hotel in Sanand, Gujarat

Ginger, operated by Roots Corporation Limited which is a subsidiary of The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), has opened a Lean Luxe hotel in Sanand, Gujarat.
 
With this, the brand has a total of nine operating hotels in Gujarat, with two more in the pipeline, a press release from the company said.
 
Deepika Rao, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ginger, said, “We are excited to announce the opening of Ginger Sanand. Built around our Lean Luxe design philosophy of seamlessness, this hotel facilitates the ‘never stop’ lifestyle of the millennial travellers.”
 
"The hotel presents re-imagined spaces that blur the lines of work and play and creates experiences that are vibrant, quirky, intuitive and smart. Café Et Cetera, the all-day diner, will serve select Japanese cuisine and ‘glocal’ comfort food, doubling up as a personal workstation. With 104 well-appointed rooms, complimentary WiFi, a conference room and fitness centre, the hotel will offer guests a memorable stay," the release said.
 
Located 35 km from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, Ginger Sanand is based in the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation area which houses major industries such as Automobile, Pharma and FMCG. The National Highway-17 connects the city to a network of roadways, railways and ports, thus, making it highly accessible, the release said.
 
With the opening of this hotel, The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) will have fifteen hotels across its brands in the state of Gujarat, the release added.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Essar Ports’ Salaya Terminal registers 160% cargo growth in Q1

ADVERTISEMENT
Essar Ports today said that its 20 MTPA Essar Bulk Terminal Salaya Ltd (EBTSL), which operates the deepest draft terminal in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region, has clocked a cargo throughput of 1.3 MT (million tonnes) in the quarter ended June 30.
 
The performance marks not only a 160% growth in cargo handling over the corresponding quarter in the previous fiscal, but is also the best throughput achieved since the terminal’s commissioning in 2018, a press release from the company said.
 
With the terminal integrated 1,200 MW power plant (Essar Power Gujarat) resuming operations, EBTSL is hopeful of a significant boost to its topline and cargo throughput in the subsequent quarters this year. The integrated Salaya Power Plant requires about 4 MMT of coal every year.
 
The Salaya Port Terminal, the first deep-draft terminal in the Saurashtra region, has been designed to berth up to Capesize vessels with a vessel turnaround time benchmarked with the world’s best, thus offering a competitive advantage to the local industry of the region, the release said.
 
"It is an all-weather terminal and is already one of the most preferred destinations for shipment of dry bulk cargo in the Saurashtra region. It is capable of handling commodities like coal, bauxite, limestone, fertilizer, etc. and has the flexibility to both import and export cargo. The mechanised stockyard integrated with Salaya Port Terminal is 50 km from Jamnagar (towards Okha Highway) and is well connected with the Jamnagar-Okha State Highway," it said.
 
Essar Ports is one of India’s largest private sector port and terminal developers and operators. It has invested Rs 11,000 crore in developing world-class terminals in three Indian states. Its current operations span four terminals with a combined capacity of 110 MTPA, which is roughly 5 per cent of India’s port capacity. The company is a leader in the non-containerized bulk cargo space. Having clocked a throughput of 40 MT in FY19, Essar Ports is expecting to handle over 60 MT in the current financial year.
 
"All Essar Ports terminals use advanced cargo handling infrastructure and are equipped to double capacity in the near to medium term. The company is focussed on not only enhancing cargo throughput but also on ramping up capacity and contributing meaningfully to the Government of India’s ambitious target of developing 3,130 MT of port capacity in the country by 2020," the release said.
 
Outside India, Essar’s port assets include a liquid terminal in the UK and a coal terminal which is in development stage at Mozambique’s Beira port, it added.
 
NNN

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Relief to flooded Vadodara, 46% rainfall drenches Gujarat

ADVERTISEMENT
After the rain gods battered Vadodara and struck heavily in most of the parts of Gujarat, the state has registered over 46 per cent of the average monsoon rains so far.
 
After drenching Vadodara for more than twelve hours, the rains relented eventually, providing a major relief for the local administration. The torrential downpour, which continued from 6 a.m. on Wednesday till the evening, saw a record breaking 499 millimeters (mm) of rainfall in Vadodara city in just 18 hours.
 
The scale of the downpour forced a worried Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to hold an emergency meeting at the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) late night on Wednesday and instruct the administration regarding rescue and relief operations.
 
More than 5,000 people were rescued by the police, fire brigade and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams in Vadodara. All schools in the city were closed.
 
Meanwile, rains continued in other parts of the state with Kutch receiving 35.45 per cent of the average rainfall, Saurashtra 42.14 per cent, central Gujarat 38.43 per cent, north Gujarat 31.11 per cent and south Gujarat 60.58 per cent.
 
Out of the total blocks in the state, 238 tehsils have been received heavy rain, with 28 tehsils lashed with 4 to 8 inches of rain and 112 tehsils receiving one to four inches.
 
According to the SEOC data, Mahudha tehsil received 200 mm rain, Halol 189 mm, Dabhoi 187 mm, Khedbrahma 180 mm, Vadali 176 mm, Karjan 165 mm, Sankheda 162 mm, Tilakwada 147 mm, Vanthli 139 mm, Idar 126 mm, Sanand 132 mm, Umarpada 128 mm, Vaghodia 126 mm, Balasinor 122 mm and Himatnagar 118 mm.
 
Irrigation department official data states that out of the total 204 reservoirs in the state, two are filled hundred per cent, seven filled between 70 to 100 per cent of their capacity, 12 between 50 to 70 per cent and 38 between 25 to 50 per cent . 
 
The Sardar Sarovar Dam is filled up to 56.30 per cent of its maxmimum capacity owing to the good downpour in the catcment area in Madhya Pradesh.
 
The rains have resulted in an inflow of 19,494 cusecs water at the Sardar Sarovar Dam. The Ukai Dam's inflow is the maximum at 1,09,385 cusecs received daily. The Damanganga Dam has an daily inflow of 50,218 cusecs, Karjan Dam gets 19,690 cusecs and Dharoi Dam receives 11,390 cusecs.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Rain brings relief to water-starved Gujarat

ADVERTISEMENT
After playing truant for most of July, it rained in almost all the 33 districts of Gujarat in the last 24 hours with the water-starved northern areas recording heavy showers. The rest of the state received light to moderate rainfall.
 
According to the Meteorological Department, all 198 talukas witnessed rainfall till 6 p.m. on Monday due to three atmospheric systems. The state is likely to witness rain for the next four days, which will be a huge relief to farmers.
 
While Vav in the Banaskatha district recorded the highest 230 mm rain in the past 24 hours, Tharad received 171 mm, Deodar 102 mm and Umerpada in the Surat district 100 mm. As many as 168 talukas received rain till Monday morning.
 
Kaprada in Valsad recorded 128 mm, followed by Mangrol in Surat at 110 mm, Umerpada 103 mm, Dharampur in the Vaslad district 96 mm, Waghai 92 mm, Ahwa 90 mm, Ankleshwar 89 mm, Walai 85 mm and Netrang 82 mm. All these are in South Gujarat, which traditionally receives good rainfall.
 
Bavla in the Ahmedabad district recorded 75 mm and Abdasa in the water-starved Kutch district 30 mm. Ahmedabad city recorded 9 mm rain.
 
Dams and rivers have been receiving fresh water inflows.
 
IANS

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

BJP captures eighth municipal corporation in Gujarat

ADVERTISEMENT
The ruling BJP on Tuesday romped home with a thumping majority in the elections to Junagadh Municipal Corporation, thus continuing its rule over all the eight city corporations in Gujarat.
 
The BJP retained its rule, capturing as many as 54 seats in the 59-member Junagadh Municipal Corporation in the politically important Saurashtra region. The opposition Congress could manage only one seat, while the Nationalist Congress Party picked up four seats.
 
The State Election Commission announced the results on Tuesday.
 
After the Congress' Lok Sabha debacle when it lost all the 26 seats from the state to the ruling BJP for the second time in a row, the Junagadh result on Tuesday was the party's worst-ever performance in Gujarat.
 
Jubilant over the party's victory in the Junagadh Municipal Corporation, Gujarat BJP President Jitu Vaghani said it was the "beginning of the end of the Congress in Gujarat."
 
He claimed that the outcome in the Saurashtra city was a harbinger of yet another rout of the Congress in the 2022 Assembly election. "The Congress will be wiped out of Gujarat in the next few years," he asserted.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Alpesh Thakor joins BJP, says quit 'bad school to join Gurukul'

ADVERTISEMENT
Former Congress legislator and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor along with another rebel MLA Dhavalsinh Jhala eventually donned the saffron scarf at the BJP headquarters here on Thursday amid cheering crowds of the Thakor community.
 
"I've quit the school (Congress) with poor teachers and got myself admitted to a 'Gurukul' having scholars. Sometimes we get misled by lavish furnishings and good looks of a school building, but later realise there is little to learn there," Thakor told reporters.
 
During the press briefing itself, Thakor and his aide Dhavalsinh Jhala were welcomed in the BJP by state President Jitu Vaghani with saffron scarves.
 
The induction of both the Congress turncoats was turned into a big fanfare by the BJP as thousands from the Thakor community gathered at the BJP headquarters here.
 
Both the former legislators had tendered their resignations as MLAs to Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi on July 5 after casting their vote in favour of the BJP's Rajya Sabha nominees, S. Jaishankar and Jugal Kishore Thakor, who were contesting the two seats left vacant by Union ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani.
 
"Everybody knows about the infighting in the Congress. But I continued in the hope that one day they will reform. But all they are interested is in attaining power. There is no ideology in Congress. Whereas, the BJP is a cadre-based, disciplined party propagating nationalism," Thakor said.
 
He even alleged that instead of working constructively, the Congress had a "destructive" agenda. "I was shocked that one national (Congress) leader had said that in order to make the agitation against NDA government's 'Bharatmala' project more effective, it was necessary to make it aggressive," he said.
 
"Relationships do not nurture where there is no warmth and affection. BJP is like a family where I experience these sentiments. Under the BJP, we'll shortly have a 'Maha Sammelan' for the Thakor community," the OBC leader said.
 
Thakor and Jhala had resigned from the Congress on April 10 in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections claiming that they had been "insulted" and "deceived" by the party leaders, but they did not quit as MLAs.
 
"As an individual I was never insulted personally in the party, they wouldn't dare. But my community members were insulted time and again. And their insult was my insult," he added.
 
Thakor had joined the Congress during the December 2017 state Assembly elections and won from Radhanpur seat in North Gujarat on a party ticket, along with Jhala from Bayad in Aravalli district.
 
Among several other things, Thakor was made Secretary in-charge of Bihar affairs of the party along with senior leader Shaktisinh Gohil, also from Gujarat.
 
IANS

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Syria hold India to 1-1 draw in final Intercontinental Cup match

ADVERTISEMENT
India were held to a 1-1 draw by Syria in their final Intercontinental Cup match in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. Narinder Gahlot (18) scored in the 51st minute while Syria struck back with skipper Firas Al-Khatib converting a penalty in the 78th minute.
 
Having lost both their previous matches to Tajikistan and North Korea, India were already out of contention for a spot in the final while Syria needed a win to get there. 
 
India played much of the game with more cohesion than they showed in the previous two matches, both of which exposed defensive frailties for new coach Igor Stimac to solve. The two sides traded blows for what turned out to be a goalless first half. 
 
In the 51st minute, Anirudh Thapa sent in a corner kick from the right. Gahlot rose above the rest and headed the ball in and scored his first goal in his second international outing. 
 
India looked to be on top after that. While chances were few and far between, India dominated possession in midfield and kept the pressure on the Syrians. However, this changed after a rather rash tackle by Jerry Lalrinzuala, who had replaced Mandaro Rao Desai only a few minutes earlier, forced the referee to give Syria a penalty. Firas stepped up and made no mistake with the spot kick. 
 
India lived dangerously after that and saw off waves of Syrian attack to win a point at the end of the game. 
 
IANS

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Acharya Devvrat shifted to Gujarat, Kalraj Mishra is new Governor of Himachal Pradesh

ADVERTISEMENT
President Ram Nath Kovind today transferred Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat as the new Governor of Gujarat.
 
A press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan also said that former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra had been appointed as the new Governor of Himachal Pradesh.
 
"The above appointments will take effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices," the communique added.
 
NNN
 
 
 
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Freak roller-coaster ride collapse claims three lives in Ahmedabad

ADVERTISEMENT
In a freak accident, at least three people were killed and 30 others injured when a roller-coaster ride collapsed at the public park around the sprawling Kankaria Lake here on Sunday evening.
 
Officials said there were around 40 persons on the 'Discovery' ride in Kankaria Adventure Park when it collapsed, minutes after it went up. The park is in the Maninagar area of the city.
 
The 65-feet high joy ride, which swings up to 30 feet on two sides, came unstuck from its hinges and heavily hit the ground with three people dying on the spot by the impact. Municipal officials, who rushed to the spot, denied that the ride collapsed because of overloading.
 
Officials said at least 15 of the over 25 people who were admitted to the nearby Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation LG Hospital, were reported to be critical.
 
Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra, who reached the spot immediately on knowing about the incident, told reporters that the injured persons would be provided the best possible treatment.
 
He, as well as Mayor Bijal Patel, said a detailed investigation would be carried to ascertain the reason for the accident and strict action would be initiated the private company, which operated the joy ride if necessary. 
 
Nehra added that it would be inquired if the cause of the accident was poor maintenance of the amusement ride.
 
Police officials, led by Ahmedabad Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 6, Bipin Ahire, who reached the spot, said it was not immediately clear if the welded part that held the ride from its hinges on the top gave away or its nuts and bolts were loose leading to the roller coaster come crashing on the ground.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Rahul Gandhi granted bail in Gujarat defamation case

File photo of Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
A court in Ahmedabad on Friday granted bail to Congress President Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case filed by the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank in which Union Home Minister Amit Shah is a director.
 
The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for September 7.
 
The defamation suit relates to Gandhi's Twitter message last year which was then reposted several times during the April-May Lok Sabha election, alleging that the bank had swapped Rs 750 crore worth of old currency notes with valid tender within five days of demonetisation on November 8, 2016.
 
Gandhi appeared in the court of Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court Judge Nirali Munshi and pleaded not guilty on charges of defamation.
 
The counsel for the bank contended that Gandhi must seek bail, while the Congress leader's advocate Pankaj Champaneri argued that no bail was required since he had appeared promptly on the court's summons.
 
After the court rejected this plea, Gandhi moved the bail application, which was granted on a personal bond of Rs 15,000 with Gujarat Congress chief Amit Chavda standing as his guarantor.
 
Gandhi is facing a slew of defamation cases for his statements against the BJP and its leaders in several states, including Bihar, Maharashtra and three in Gujarat.
 
He told reporters outside the court premises, "I am thankful to my opponents in the RSS and the BJP for providing me with opportunities to take my ideological battle against them to the public."
 
He added that the more severe the attacks against him, the more resolute would be his fight. "I am not going to be cowed down by such attacks that may make me run from pillar to post. I will fight it out," he asserted.
 
After landing in Ahmedabad, Gandhi tweeted, "I'm in Ahmedabad today, to appear in another case filed against me by my political opponents in the RSS/BJP. I thank them for providing me these platforms & opportunities to take my ideological battle against them to the public. Satyameva Jayate."
 
He was accompanied by veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel, the Congress' Gujarat affairs in-charge Rajiv Satav, former state president Arjun Modhvadia, and others.
 
The small courtroom with a capacity to accommodate just about 30 people was crammed with around 100 people standing on their toes to hear Gandhi.
 
When he landed, Gandhi was welcomed by scores of Congress workers at the Ahmedabad airport. Many others waited on the route and near the court premises.
 
Later, he had several meetings with Gujarat Congress leaders as well as an interaction with the party's legislators. He is learnt to have told the leaders to try and check party MLAs from leaving to join the BJP.
 
In Gujarat, eight legislators have deserted the Congress since the December 2017 Assembly election.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Rahul Gandhi to appear before Ahmedabad court on Friday

ADVERTISEMENT
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will travel to Ahmedabad on Friday to appear before a court in a defamation case filed by the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank and its chairperson.
 
Gandhi last week appeared before a court in Mumbai in response to a defamation suit regarding the murder of journalist and writer Gauri Lankesh for which he had blamed "BJP-RSS ideology".
 
On July 6, he was at a Patna court in connection with a defamation case filed by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi for his comment "why all thieves" were called Modi.
 
According to Congress leaders, over 20 cases have been filed against Gandhi in various courts around India by RSS or BJP workers.
 
IANS

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Gujarat gifts seven lions to Uttar Pradesh

ADVERTISEMENT
The Etawah Lion Safari Park in Uttar Pradesh is preparing to welcome seven lions from Gujarat. Three of these lions will later be shifted to the proposed Gorakhpur Zoo.
 
Initially, eight lions were to be sent to the safari park but a team of two vets that recently visited the Junagarh zoo and examined the big cats found one female to be suffering from neurological issues. 
 
The others, including two males, have received a medical clean chit and their health certificates have reached the state government. 
 
Director of Etawah Safari Park V. K. Singh said: "We are expecting seven lions, five of them females, from Junagadh zoo very soon." 
 
The extra precaution of getting the lions medically examined in their parent state before bringing them to Uttar Pradesh has been taken after the embarrassment the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government had faced when five out of the 10 lions brought from Gujarat between 2013 and 2015 under an animal exchange programme died between 2014 and 2016. 
 
The big cats had contracted the canine distemper virus, which attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems in domestic and wild animals.
 
This time, the lions from Junagadh are a gift from the Vijay Rupani government, which passed on their custody to Uttar Pradesh on June 11.
 
The safari has since been sanitized against the contagion, with a vaccine provided by the San Diego zoo in the US.
 
Sources said that the lions were initially set to reach Etawah by May 22, but the blistering heat forced the forest department to postpone the plan.
 
The decision for medical check-up further delayed their arrival. 
 
Now, the lions are likely to reach Etawah by the end of July. Four safari keepers have been to Junagadh zoo twice to spend time with the lions to understand their behavior, habits and needs. 
 
The lions will be quarantined for 21 days at the safari before being shifted to their new home, the Gorakhpur zoo, which is likely be ready for them only by November. The fact that the zoo can house only three lions indicates that the rest may stay back in Etawah.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Gujarat law to prevent transfer of properties in communally sensitive areas made stricter

ADVERTISEMENT
The Gujarat Assembly on Monday passed a bill on amendments to the Disturbed Areas Act with the ruling BJP introducing more stringent provisions in it against the transfer of properties in communally sensitive areas, contending that this was needed to plug loopholes in the law.
 
The bill was passed by the BJP majority in the House while the Congress MLAs opposed it, arguing that the ruling party was targeting a certain community.
 
The Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Property and Provision for Protection of Tenants from Eviction from Premises in Disturbed Areas Act, 1991, better known as Disturbed Areas Act, bans the sale of property by the member of one religious community to that of another without the approval of the district collector.
 
This Act is in force in places notified as communally sensitive areas in the state, including in Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
 
The amendment bill, moved by in-charge Revenue Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, provides for expanding the word "transfer" to include sale, gift, exchange, lease or taking possession of the property by way of power of attorney.
 
Chudasama insisted that there was no political motive behind this amendment bill. He said many people with "mala fide intentions" were found to be unlawfully acquiring properties in disturbed areas through power of attorney or by adding their names in the revenue records without taking consent of the collector as mandated by the Act.
 
"By adopting illegal methods, many people were found to be forcibly getting lawful residents to sell properties out of fear or pressure. We want to stop this," he said.
 
The Minister said besides ensuring that transfer of property was fair and with proper consents, the District Collector could also check if there was any "likelihood of polarisation", "disturbance in demographic equilibrium" or any "likelihood of improper clustering of persons of a community" if the transfer took place.
 
According to the amendment bill, the collector can reject the application of transfer after making assessment on these grounds and the aggrieved person can now file an appeal with the state government against the collector's order. This provision was not there in the existing Act.
 
The bill proposes imprisonment between three and five years along with a fine of Rs 1 lakh or 10 per cent of the value of the property, whichever is higher, to prevent the illegal acquisition of properties in such areas. 
 
Besides, the government could constitute a Monitoring and Advisory Committee to keep a check on the demographic structure in the disturbed areas.
 
The committee can also advise the collector about various issues regarding the implementation of the Act.
 
"The bill allows forming a special investigation team (SIT) to assist the state government in deciding any area to be notified a disturbed one. It will also assist the Monitoring and Advisory Committee in gathering necessary information," Chudasama added.
 
Congress MLAs, led by Imran Khedawala from Ahmedabad, opposed the amendment bill alleging that it aimed at targeting people from a certain religion.
 
"The Disturbed Areas Act is similar to Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir where outsiders could not buy property. On the one hand, the BJP is keen to repeal Article 370, but here it makes it more stringent. Why this double standard," Khedawala asked.
 
The Congress lawmaker went on to assert that this legislation was made out of fear that the population of one particular religious community will outgrow the others.
 
"This Act violates our constitutional right to buy property anywhere we want," he added.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Football: Tajikistan beat India 4-2 in Intercontinental Cup opener

ADVERTISEMENT
India squandered a 2-0 first-half lead to lose 2-4 against Tajikistan in the opening match of the four-nation Intercontinental Cup here on Sunday.
 
In what was a game of two halves, Sunil Chhetri's brace put India in the driver's seat in the first half before Tajikistan scored four goals after the breather to win the game. 
 
After Tajikistan squandered a number of chances in the first half, Komron Tursunov opened the scoring for the visitors in the 56th minute after his initial shot was blocked by Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. 
 
India could have restored their two-goal lead in the very next minute if it wasn't for an uncharacteristic miss by skipper Chhetri. Udanta Singh made a low cross from the right and set up a tap-in for Chhetri but the 34-year-old ended up hitting it over the cross bar. 
 
Tajikstan levelled the score in the minute after that. Mandaro Rao Desai squandered possession in a dangerous area and young Narender Gahlot could not anticipate the cross that ended with Sheriddin Boboev scoring the goal. 
 
Tajikstan dominated play after that and in the 71st minute, Muhammadjon Rahimov raced past Adil Khan and put the ball between Sandhu's legs into the goal. Three minutes later, Samiev scored the fourth. India were completely out of the match after that as Tajikistan saw off the game. 
 
The first half was quite a different story though. Though Tajikistan enjoyed more possession and took more shots at the goal, six as opposed to India's three, only one of those was on target. That was a free-kick by Ehson Panjshanbe in the 28th minute which went straight into the hands of Sandhu. 
 
On the other hand, all of India's three attempts were on target and two of them led to goals. Lalianzuala Chhangte earned India a penalty in the third minute when he was fouled by Siyovush Asrorov at the end of a nicely built counter-attack involving Mandar and Sahal Abdul Samad. Chhetri stepped up and chipped the ball into the goal as the Tajikistan goalkeeper went the other way. It was Chhetri's 69th goal for India. 
 
His 70th came in the 41st minute when he managed to get to the end of a cross from Udanta Singh. Some loose defending from Tajikistan gave Chhetri enough time inside the box to find his spot and he made no mistake with the shot. 
 
The visitors could have restored parity just a couple of minutes after Chhetri converted the penalty had it not been for some poor finishing by Sheriddin Boboev. Muhammadjon Rahimov sent in a cross from the left and Narender Gahlot seemed to have arrived in time to nip the ball away before Boboev got to it. But he was too early and Boboev only had the keeper to beat. However, his shot however rolled past the far post and India were let off. 
 
Syria will clash with North Korea in the second match of the tournament on Monday.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

BJP's Jaishankar, Jugalkishor win Gujarat Rajya Sabha bye-elections

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was on Friday evening elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat along with BJP's OBC Cell member Jugalkishore Thakor, defeating Congress candidates on two seats that fell vacant after Union Ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani won the April-May Lok Sabha polls.
 
According to the Election Commission, Jaishankar bagged 104 votes, four more than the 100 BJP legislators in the State, while one vote was declared invalid. He defeated Congress' Gaurav Pandya, a protege of party veteran Ahmed Patel, who polled 70 votes, including one of Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani.
 
Two rebel Congress MLAs, Alpesh Thakor and his close aide Dhavalsinh Jhala, cross-voted for the BJP, while two lawmakers of the Bharatiya Tribal Party and one of Nationalist Congress Party exercised their franchise for the ruling party. Thakor and Jhala subsequently resigned as MLAs.
 
Similarly, Jugalkishore Thakore defeated Chandrika Chudasama of the Congress, getting 105 votes against 70 of the latter. No vote was rejected in this case.
 
Polling, which began as scheduled at 9 a.m. in the State Assembly complex, concluded at 4 p.m.
 
Voting took place at a single polling booth with separate divisions for the two seats, since elections were held separately for the seats as decided by the Election Commission.
 
Since these were bye-elections and Amit Shah and Irani had resigned on different dates, the elections to both the seats were conducted separately. The Congress had challenged this decision in the Supreme Court demanding joint elections, but was turned down.
 
After this, on the basis of its strength of 100 MLAs, the victory of both the BJP candidates was a foregone conclusion. If the elections were held together, the BJP and Congress would have got one seat each on the basis of first preference votes of their MLAs voting only once. In the present situation, the legislators voted twice. 
 
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani claimed the BJP also got votes of the only Nationalist Congress Party MLA Kandhal Jadeja as well as two of the Bharatiya Tribal Party, including its leader and former Janata Dal-United strongman Chhotubhai Vasava. Vasava had snapped ties with the JD-U of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after he joined hands with the BJP.
 
After casting his vote, Rupani had told reporters: "We have adequate strength and I'm sure both our candidates will win comfortably." Asked about allegations of horse-trading, he ridiculed the charge, saying: "It is the Congress which has all these fears as they have lost the trust of their MLAs and had to take their members to some resort. We have no worries, we have the numbers. We never indulge in horse-trading."
 
Fearing horse trading and cross-voting, the Congress had taken as many as 60 of its 71 legislators to a luxury resort in Palanpur in North Gujarat, instead of Mount Abu in Rajasthan as planned earlier. A bus-load of Congress MLAs arrived around noon to cast their votes. All voted for the party candidates.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

SC restores conviction of 12 in Haren Pandya murder case

The Supreme Court on Friday restored a trial court order convicting 12 persons in the murder of former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya in 2003.
 
Pandya was shot dead in Ahmedabad on March 26, 2003. According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), he was killed to avenge the 2002 communal riots in the state.
 
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran upheld the Gujarat trial court verdict in the case, setting aside the 2011 Gujarat High Court order that acquitted the 12 accused of the murder charges.
 
The top court restored the conviction of nine convicts under provisions of the now-repealed Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and charges of conspiracy to murder Pandya. They were sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial court.
 
On the main accused Mohammad Asghar Ali, it said that in view of overall evidence available against the accused, he was "rightly held guilty by Trial Court for offence under section 3(1) and section 3(3) of Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) as well as under section 120B (conspiracy) and section 120B read with section 302 (murder) IPC for murder of Haren Pandya. The conviction and sentence imposed by the trial court is restored". 
 
Those nine convicts are Ali, Kalim Ahmed, Anas Machiswala, Mohammad Yunus Sareshwala, Rehan Puthawala, Mohammad Riyaz, Mohammad Parvez Sheikh, Parvez Khan Pathan, and Mohammad Faruq.
 
Other two accused - Mohammaad Abdul Raouf and Shahnawaz Gandhi - were sentenced to five years jail under provisions of the POTA while Mohammad Shafiuddin was awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment under charges of criminal conspiracy and attempt to murder. 
 
As they have completed the sentence fully awarded to them, the top court said that no further interference is made against them and disposed of the case. 
 
Hearing the CBI appeal against the state high court judgement, the Supreme Court in January reserved its verdict on the appeal.
 
On Friday, the top court also dismissed a petition filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) seeking a fresh probe into the case and slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on the NGO.
 
While delivering its judgement, the court relied upon the statement of eye witnesses, particularly handcart puller Anil Yadram Patel, who had identified Asghar Ali, as well as medical evidence.
 
"Entire incident was witnessed by Anilram Yadram Patel (PWA55), who identified AA1 (Asghar Ali), whom he saw firing at Pandya from firearm and he had narrated the entire incident in his deposition and fully supported the version of the prosecution," the bench noted.
 
The court said that there was no inconsistency in the eye witness' statement or medical evidence, saying the high court was "confused" as to the number of injuries as there were seven wounds while five bullets were fired.
 
The court also relied upon on confession statements of convicts including Asghar Ali, saying: "Confession of Asghar Ali has been supported by various other evidence on the record like phone calls, recovery of the weapon, vehicle, hiring of rooms, etc."
 
Asgar Ali has disclosed that he was given a loaded revolver by Machinswala and he fired five bullets on Pandya, who was in a car, from the window on the driver's side and fled away on Yunus' motorbike. 
 
Initially, the local police began investigating the Pandya murder case, but after two days, the state government handed over the matter to the CBI. 
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Maverick Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor, his protégé quit after cross-voting for BJP

ADVERTISEMENT
Rebel Congress legislators Alpesh Thakore and his protégé Dhavalsinh Jhala resigned as MLAs on Friday after cross-voting in favour of the BJP candidates in the Rajya Sabha by-elections, which were held earlier in the day.
 
Thakor and Jhala had quit all posts in the Congress in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in April, alleging ill-treatment by the party leadership.
 
With their votes, the BJP got two more than its strength of 100 MLAs, besides three others -- one of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and two of Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), thus polling 105 for its candidates, Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and OBC Cell member Jugalkishore Thakor.
 
After cross-voting by Thakor and Jhala, Congress got 69 votes besides one of Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani.
 
Giving clear indications, Alpesh Thakor said: "I have given my vote to a honest national leadership that wants to take the country to new heights. I went by my conscience."
 
The victory of the BJP candidates against Congress' Chandrika Chudasama and Gaurav Pandya was a foregone conclusion, on the basis of the party's own strength in the House of 182.
 
Alpesh Thakor, who is an OBC leader, said he and Jhala had quit the Congress over the unfair treatment meted out to them in the party. He had joined the Congress ahead of the 2017 state Assembly elections and won for the first time from the Radhanpur seat on the party's ticket.
 
Without giving more details, he told reporters: "I joined the Congress because of my immense faith in Rahul Gandhi, but unfortunately he couldn't do much. I came to work for the poor but did not get to do much. Instead, I only got mental stress in the Congress. I am free from the burden."
 
Dhavalsinh Zala said: "We were humiliated over and over again. The senior leaders simply ignored smaller ones. Because of these reasons, I have resigned from my position. I also stated this in writing but to no avail."
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Brisk voting on for bye-elections to 2 RS seats from Gujarat

ADVERTISEMENT
Polling for the two Rajya Sabha seats vacated by Union Ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani continued at a brisk pace here on Friday with 90 ruling BJP legislators and around 25 of the Congress having cast their vote by early afternoon.
 
Polling began as scheduled at 9 a.m. at a single polling booth with separate divisions for the two seats, elections to which were being held separately as decided by the Election Commission (EC).
 
On the basis of its strength of 100 MLAs, both the BJP candidates, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and OBC Cell member from North Gujarat Jugalkishor Thakor, are likely to sail through. Congress has fielded senior leader Chandrika Chudasama and Gaurav Pandya from South Gujarat.
 
After casting his vote, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani told reporters: "We have adequate strength and I'm sure both our candidates will win comfortably."
 
Asked about allegations of horse-trading, Rupani ridiculed the charge and said: "It is the Congress which has all these fears as they have lost the trust of their MLAs and had to take their members to some resort. We have no worries, we have the numbers. We never indulge in horse-trading."
 
Fearing horse trading and cross-voting, the Congress took as many as 60 of its 71 legislators to a luxury resort in Palanpur in North Gujarat, instead of Mount Abu in Rajasthan as planned earlier. 
 
A bus-load of Congress MLAs arrived around noon to cast their votes. Rebel Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor, who had quit all party posts in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, also cast his vote but it was not known which party he had voted for. 
 
Nationalist Congress Party MLA Kandhal Jadeja, one of the two from the party in Gujarat, refused to say which party he had voted for and only stated: "I have the party's mandate and have voted accordingly. I can't disclose the details of the mandate."
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

SC convicts 12 persons in Haren Pandya murder case

ADVERTISEMENT
The Supreme Court on Friday restored a trial court order convicting 12 persons in the murder of former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya in 2003.
 
Pandya was shot dead in Ahmedabad on March 26, 2003. According to the CBI, Pandya was killed to avenge the 2002 communal riots in the state.
 
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra upheld the Gujarat trial court verdict in the case, setting aside the 2011 Gujarat High Court order that acquitted the 12 accused of the murder charges.
 
The CBI had appealed against the Gujarat High Court judgement. The Supreme Court in January reserved its verdict on the appeal.
 
The top court dismissed a petition filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) seeking a fresh probe into the case and slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on the NGO.
 
Citing the testimony of Azam Khan, a witness in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in which BJP President Amit Shah was arrested before being absolved of all charges, the CPIL contended that a fresh probe was imperative in the case.
 
The petition said that Khan during his examination before the trial court on November 3, 2018, claimed that "Sohrabuddin had told him that a contract to kill Haren Pandya had been given to him by a Gujarat cadre IPS officer, D.G. Vanzara, and that Sohrabuddin's associate Tulsiram Prajapati along with one Naeem and Shahid Rampuri had murdered Haren Pandya in pursuance of that contract."
 
Pandya was shot dead in Ahmedabad on March 26, 2003. According to the CBI, Pandya was killed to avenge the 2002 communal riots in the state.
 
Asghar Ali, Mohammad Rauf, Mohammad Parvez Abdul Kayum Sheikh, Parvez Khan Pathan alias Athar Parvez, Mohammad Farooq alias Haji Farooq, Shahnawaz Gandhi, Kalim Ahmed alias Kalimullah, Rehan Puthawala, Mohammad Riaz Sareswala, Aniz Machiswala, Mohammad Yunus Sareswala and Mohammad Saifuddin were facing trial in the case.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Ex-Gujarat cop Sanjiv Bhatt gets life in 1990 custodial death case

Sanjiv Bhatt
Sanjiv Bhatt
A Gujarat court on Thursday sentenced sacked IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt to life imprisonment in a three-decade-old custodial death case, finding him guilty of murder.
 
Jamnagar District and Sessions Court Judge D. M. Vyas also awarded similar penalty to police constable Pravinsinh Jhala.
 
The verdict came after the Supreme Court last week rejected Bhatt's application seeking fresh examination of witnesses in the case, contending that this was key to arrive at a proper judgment.
 
The ex-officer had challenged a decision of the Gujarat High Court against this plea. The state government had meanwhile submitted in the Supreme Court that the trial court had reserved its verdict for June 20.
 
Bhatt was an additional superintendent of police in Jamnagar district when the incident occurred in 1990 in Jamjodhpur. He had detained one Prabhudas Vaishnani along with 133 others for rioting and other offences during a bandh call given by the BJP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in the wake of arrest of BJP leader L. K. Advani during his Ayodhya Rath Yatra.
 
Vaishnani, who was allegedly severely beaten up in police custody, later succumbed to his injuries days after his release. His brother Amrit Vaishnani had lodged a complaint against Bhatt and five other policemen. The trial started in 2016.
 
The former police officer is at present lodged at Palanpur sub-jail in North Gujarat in connection with an alleged case of framing a lawyer for possession of drugs when he was Superintendent of Police in Banaskantha district.
 
Bhatt was arrested in September 2018.
 
Bhatt, who has always been at loggerheads with the BJP government in Gujarat, had deposed before various inquiry commissions after the post-Godhra riots of 2002 against then Chief Minister Narendra Modi. However, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) had given a clean chit to Modi.
 
The controversial officer was first suspended in 2011 for remaining absent from duty without proper permissions and subsequently sacked in 2015. Before his arrest last year, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation had demolished a portion of his house in Ahmedabad declaring it illegal.
 
His wife Shweta Bhatt had contested the 2012 Assembly election against Modi from Maninagar constituency in Ahmedabad and lost.
 
IANS

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

SC to hear on Wednesday Congress plea on Rajya Sabha bye-elections

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a plea by the Gujarat Congress seeking direction to the Election Commission (EC) to hold simultaneous polls for two Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat. The court has listed the matter for a hearing on Wednesday.
 
Pareshbhai Dhanani, Congress MLA from Amreli and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, had moved the top court against the EC decision to conduct separate bye-elections for the two Rajya Sabha seats.
 
Filed through advocate Varun K. Chopra, the petition sought an early hearing on the matter as the EC has already scheduled the elections for the two seats on July 5.
 
The notifications will be issued on Tuesday and elections and counting of votes will be held on July 5, the Commission said on Saturday.
 
The seats fell vacant after BJP leaders Amit Shah and Smriti Irani were elected to the Lok Sabha in the recently-held general elections.
 
In the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 100 MLAs, Congress has 71 while seven seats are vacant.
 
"Separate elections for the two Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat would upset the scheme of proportional representation as mandated under the Representation of People's Act (RPA), 1951," said the petition.
 
It also contended that the representatives of each state in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) shall be picked by the elected members from the Legislative Assembly of the state "in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote."
 
The petition said the basic principle, both under the Constitution and the RPA, was that the elections be held together so that the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote can be applied.
 
Dhanani urged the apex court to quash the EC order and declare it "unconstitutional, arbitrary and illegal."
 
The EC shall not exercise a free hand on the issue, specifically with respect to vacancies in the Rajya Sabha, urged the petition, claiming that if separate elections were held, it would result in actual abuse of power, as the party in majority would make arrangements to achieve the maximum seats.
 
IANS

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

BHEL wins Rs. 800 crore EPC orders for 200 MW solar power plants

ADVERTISEMENT
The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited’s (BHEL) Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) portfolio has surpassed 1 GW with the company winning two EPC orders for setting up SPV plants with a cumulative capacity of 200 MW.
 
Valued at over Rs. 800 crore, the orders have been secured from NTPC Ltd. and Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Ltd (GSECL), reinforcing the company’s position as a leading EPC player in the solar industry, a press release from the company said.
 
The NTPC order envisages setting up India’s largest floating SPV plant of 100 MW capacity at NTPC Ramagundam in Telangana, while the GSECL order involves setting up a 100 MW ground-mounted SPV plant at Raghanesda Ultra Mega Solar Park in Banaskantha district of Gujarat. 
 
The release said BHEL is offering EPC solutions for both off-grid and grid-interactive SPV plants at various locations in India including the Lakshadeep islands and has now established its prowess in contributing significantly towards green energy for the country. 
 
"This is evident from its current portfolio of more than 1 GW of SPV plants, of which nearly 500 MW have already been commissioned," the release added.
 
NNN
 
 
 
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Syndicate content
© Copyright 2012 NetIndian. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of NetIndian content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of NetIndian Media Corporation. Write to info[AT]netindian[DOT]in for permission to use content. Read detailed Terms of Use.