The Naroda Assembly constituency in Ahmedabad has been a BJP bastion for over three decades and was back in the spotlight last week after the ruling party fielded the daughter of a convict in the Naroda Patiya riot case.In the Naroda Patiya neighbourhood, 97 people were killed by a rioting mob on February 28, 2002. The locality and the adjoining Naroda Gam form the constituency. In Naroda, 108 persons, most of them Muslims, were killed during the communal violence. The trial is on in the Naroda Gam case in which 11 people were killed, and among the accused is former state minister Maya Kodnani, who was the Naroda MLA in 2002. She stands acquitted in the Naroda Patiya case, which has been described as “the largest single case of mass murder” during the riots. The violence erupted following the burning of the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express in Godhra a day earlier, killing 59 people, mostly kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya.For many voters in the area, including those from the minority community, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is the choice against BJP candidate Payal Kukrani, an anaesthetist whose father Manoj Kukrani was among the 32 people convicted in the Naroda Patiya case by a special court in Ahmedabad in 2012. He is now out on bail. AAP has fielded Omprakash Tiwari, a migrant from Varanasi and the party’s appeal lies in its message of welfare politics.Fifty-year-old Salma Bano is among the few who stayed back in Naroda Patiya after the riots. Outside her scrap shop, she says, “We have been voting for the Congress but the BJP always comes to power. This time, I am not sure who we will vote for, but prices are going up. We need someone to address that, and AAP is doing it. We may vote for them. There is no use talking about that (riots) now. We have always been scared in this area and even now we are scared.”The Indian Express also met some women at Hussainnagar, one of the neighbourhoods that bore the brunt of the 2002 violence. One of them said, “We will vote for the AAP this time. They are promising free electricity, good schools, and medical treatment for us. We want that, we will give them a chance. Earlier, we voted for the Congress, especially in the last Assembly elections. But, as always, the BJP came into power. But we will still vote for a better future.”The BJP has won Naroda since 1990 and has also represented the Naroda Patiya ward, one of the three in the constituency along with Kubernagar and Sardarnagar, for more than three decades. A 55-year-old home guard jawan in Hussainagar who says he was a year old when he came to Ahmedabad with his father and shifted to Patiya 31 years ago says, “I lost my mother in the butchering here. That does not mean that I would leave everything and run away, or resort to violence. We still have to take care of food, shelter, electricity bills, water supply, education and so on. I am on duty on days of polling, so my vote is taken separately on a ballot paper. It becomes difficult to vote as per your choice.”Naroda goes to the polls in the second phase on December 5.Asked about the release of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case and the Kheda flogging incidents, the jawan says, “I understand that probably the new party (AAP) is silent on this. It should ideally speak on these issues, but I think they are looking at the future … Both the riots in 1969 and 2002, happened because the BJP was either not in power (in 1969) or about to lose its hold (two decades ago). So, we will definitely vote for the AAP, or some may go for the Congress. But we want the BJP to be in power in the state for the sake of our safety.”AAP’s Omprakash Tiwari was earlier with the Congress. He runs his campaign out of the party office, which is an extension of his home in the Subhash Nagar locality. Tiwari says he was 14 years old when he arrived in Ahmedabad from Varanasi along with his father. “My father was a Chemistry graduate and after working here, which was a rural area at the time, went to work for a rubber factory in Malaysia. The rest of our family, my mother and siblings, stayed here. I completed my education in Ahmedabad,” says Tiwari, who is a former high school teacher and runs three schools in the area.Asked about the 2002 riots, he says, “All that is a thing of the past. People need development, good schools, hospitals, business and other facilities. Many schools were also burnt in those riots. So guarantees offered by Kejriwal on the issues are also the issues of the area. People of the constituency have voted for Modi on communal lines, but now they want development.”Tiwari joined the Congress in 1987 and actively participated in politics 2008 onwards. He won the corporation elections in 2010, his poll debut, and 2015. “After 38 years, I helped the Congress win the Corporation elections from the ward, removing the BJP. In 2017, I fought the Assembly elections but lost by a narrow margin.” This July, he moved to the Kejriwal-led party.Some residents of the Sindhi-dominated Kuber Nagar, which lies on the other side of the Naroda Patiya circle and across a railway line, also believe that the AAP stands a chance in the election. Vasudev Navlani, a 66-year-old garment hawker, says, “This time, there is a 90 per cent chance of the AAP coming to power, though we prefer the BJP’s rule in the area; they ensure peace. We really value and appreciate Tiwari’s work. This time, the vote might go to the AAP because of him. The AAP’s guarantees too are worth voting for, they have worked well in Delhi and Punjab.”Dhanraj Murjhani, 62, is another Kubernagar resident. He also feels that the AAP seems promising. “If they (the BJP) change the candidate, we will consider the party,” he adds. Asked about the BJP candidate’s father, Murjhani says, “We know her father Manoj Kukrani. He was convicted in the 2002 riots cases, and so were many of us. I, too, have been facing old charges. Three cases are going on against me. We were simply picked from the neighbourhood, as we were seen in some photos of the riots.”
On the BJP’s first list for the Gujarat assembly election, of the 160 candidates named, 14 are women, with diverse backgrounds such as doctors, two deputy mayors, and public figures. The youngest of them is Dr Payal Kukrani, 30, an anaesthetist, who has been given the ticket for the Naroda assembly seat in Ahmedabad city. This decision of the saffron party raised eyebrows, as Kukrani’s father has been convicted and sentenced to a life term in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case. When her name as the Naroda candidate was announced, BJP workers and supporters of Balram Thawani, the outgoing MLA, protested by closing shopsand establishments in Kubernagar. Kukrani, is a doctor at Civil Hospital and offers her services at various private hospitals. She lives in Kubernagar and has married a man from outside the Sindhi community. Her mother, Reshma Kukrani, is a BJP councillor from the Kubernagar ward. This is the third time a doctor has been given the Naroda BJP ticket. Former ministers Maya Kodnani and Nirmala Wadhwani were also doctors. Another doctor, Dr Darshita Paras Shah, a 53-year-old pathologist, has been given the Rajkot West ticket. She is the deputy mayor of Rajkot. On the BJP fielding her for the assembly seat, she said, “I got the ticket due to the blessings of God, the party, the people, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I have the experience ofworking in a municipal corporation, which I will use and achieve a grand success in the assembly election. ” Rajkot West is the seat from which former chief minister Vijay Rupani, who has been dropped this time, was elected. Without naming Rupani, she said, “I have the blessings of all our elders. ” A social worker and gynaecologist and director of various government bodies, Dr DarshanaDeshmukh Vasava, has the BJP ticket from the Nandod seat in Narmada district, which is reserved for a scheduled tribe candidate. Dr Darshana’s father, Chandu Deshmukh, was a heavyweight BJP leader and had defeated Ahmed Patel from Bharuch in 1989. She works as a gynecologist at the Rajpipla Civil Hospital. Thirty-twoyear-old Rivaba Jadeja, who is married to cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, has been given the BJP ticket for the Jamnagar North seat, replacing Dharmendrasinh alias Hakubha Jadeja. A mechanical engineer from Rajkot, she considers herself a social worker. Darshana Vaghela, 50, former deputy mayor of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and former chairperson of Gujarat Safai Kamdar Board, has been given the BJP ticket from Asarwa, replacing social justice minister Pradip Parmar. She is from the scheduled caste Valmiki community. “This time more women have been given the responsibility than before. There is a possibility of more women members joining the party for the other 22 seats,” said Gujarat BJP chief C R Paatil on Thursday.
AHMEDABAD: A 38-year-old woman, Prachi Ramchandani, a resident of Kubernagar, died after she was hit by a BRTS bus near Naroda Patiya on Thursday morning. A complaint in this connection was lodged with G Division traffic police by her husband Vinod Ramchandani. The accident took place when the driver was reversing the vehicle. Vinod, in his complaint, stated that his wife went for a walk after dropping their kids at the school bus stop. At around 7.30am he received a call from his brother-in-law, Deepak, who informed him that Prachi met with an accident with a BRTS bus.Vinod rushed to the spot. People gathered there told him that the driver was reversing the bus when it hit Prachi. Police have registered a case against the bus driver. tnn
AHMEDABAD: Two women on a scooter suffered injuries to the head and legs after a stray cow hit their vehicle near Ganpat Society in Shahibaug. The women were returning from a provision store late on Saturday evening when the accident happened. The woman riding pillion suffered head wounds, while the woman driving injured her leg. They were taken to Civil Hospital for treatment after passersby called an ambulance for them. This is the third such episode in the city since the high court cracked down on the civic authorities for the growing menace of stray cattle on the roads in the city. A few days ago, a man was killed in Kubernagar after his motorcycle was hit by a stray bovine. "For the last two days, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has gone slow in acting against stray cattle. Stray cattle have appeared back on Shahibaug streets after Friday afternoon," said Manoj Jetha Parmar, a provision store owner near Ganpat Society.
The Ahmedabad crime branch nabbed a 32-year-old resident of Kubernagar involved in a loot of Rs 26.70 lakh at Navrangpura. Siddharth Indrekar (32), alias Narsimha, and his friends had followed an angadia employee on a two-wheeler and had looted Rs 26.70 lakh from his car on the pretext of an accident. Earlier, two accused, Pratik Bajrange alis Langdo and Indrekar had been detained for the crime. Indrekar was arrested for six crimes of thefts of valuables by the Vastrapur, Ellisbridge, Bapunagar and Madhupura police stations.
AHMEDABAD: The city crime branch arrested one Siddharth Indrekar, 32, a resident of Kubernagar, for his alleged involvement in a case where an angadia worker was robbed of Rs 26.70 lakh in April. The robbery had taken place on CG Road. A crime branch team of H M Vyas got a tip off about Indrekar's movements and during surveillance he was arrested at Nobelnagar Crossroads. On April 22, two men on scooter forced a car to stop on CG Road in Navrangpura. The men started fighting with the driver, claiming that the car had hit them. One of the accused, in the commotion of the fight stole a bag containing Rs 26.7 lakh. A case was registered at Navrangpura police station. Two days after the robbery, a crime branch team arrested Pratik Langdo, 32, a resident of Kubernagar and seized a Rs 8 lakh cash from him. Indrekar was wanted in the case and was finally arrested by city crime branch on Thursday. Police said Indrekar has six offences registered against him at Ellisbridge, Vastrapur, Bapunagar and Madhavpura police stations. Indrekar was allegedly involved thefts from cars.
AHMEDABAD: Four men from the Meghaninagar area of the city late on Friday night killed a 65-year-old man during a loot. The elderly man died when the four men, aged between 20 and 25, hit him and he fell on the ground during which he suffered skull injuries and died in Kubernagar. According to the police officers, the four men were short of money to hold a party for which they killed a man identified as Rajkumar Bhumihar from Chharanagar. Three of them were arrested on Saturday by city police. Police said that the accused were identified as Mayur Sindhi, Sunil Yadav, Sahil Salwani and Jatin Jaglani, from Kubernagar. While investigating the death of Bhumihar on Friday, police were told by a witness that he had seen four youths beating Bhumihar. Police, with the help of CCTV footage and technical surveillance, identified the accused persons. Sindhi, Yadav and Jaglani were arrested while Salwani was still on the run. During primary questioning, the accused persons had admitted to the police that they had planned to party, but were running short of money and so decided to rob someone. When they saw Bhumihar, they stopped him and robbed him of his wallet, cell phone and started beating him when he resisted. When the youths saw gold chain around his neck, they tried to pull it off and as one of them pushed him, Bhumihar fell on ground, suffered a head injury and died, after which the four fled. They were charged under murder and loot.
Gandhinagar: A statement issued on Saturday by the Gujarat state election commission (SEC) said that recounting of votes for ward no 14 – Kubernagar of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation — the election for which was held in 2021, will be taken up on May 7.A petition had been filed in the Supreme Court, which directed on April 26 that recounting of votes for the ward should be taken up within 14 days.Recounting will be done at LD Engineering College from 9am on May 7, the SEC release said.
Ahmedabad: Despite the ban on purchase of Chinese manja, the sale of the deadly nylon thread continues not just in markets of the city but online too. The ban is not found effective, with sale shifting under the counter instead of over the counter across certain select markets in the city.While Ahmedabad city police officials seized a stock of Chinese manja available in Sarkhej last week, TOI reporters who ventured out looking for Chinese manja in Delhi Darwaza and Kubernagar kite markets found at least a couple of dealers dealing in Chinese manja, albeit under cover.At the Sindhi market in Kubernagar area of the city, Chinese manja is available in the range of Rs 200 to Rs 700. On the contrary, the conventional manja is available for Rs 350 for a small reel.Until two years ago, before the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese manja was available for as low as Rs 100-150 a reel – even cheaper than the conventional manja.“Yes Chinese threads are banned but they continue to be in demand right? So they will sure be available. A lot of things are restricted and yet they’re available. It’s festival time and those who want Chinese manja will diligently come looking for,” said a dealer in Kubernagar area, as he pulled out a reel of Chinese manja from a nylon sack placed near a shop in the area.Yet another dealer who operates in Delhi Darwaza area, also assured to fetch more reels based on requirement. “With increased restrictions, wholesalers and retailers don’t keep stocks at all due to repeated checking by police officials. However, independent sellers do keep the stock at their residence or other places and retail these items based on orders,” he said.Clearly, wholesale and retail kite and manja sellers at other markets namely Jamalpur, Kalupur and Raipur areas of the city, dealers tend to outrightly deny availability. Mohammed Ashrat, wholesaler at the kite market in Jamalpur, said, “Around 80% of the wholesalers are aware of the ban and do not sell Chinese manja. We are here to do business and nobody wants to mess with the law and pay hefty penalties. Many youngsters still come looking for them and they do manage to find the Chinese manja with some effort.”The Chinese manja is banned for use in kite flying. However, given its strength and durability, it is widely used for industrial purposes and even by decorators.“Therefore, the manufacturing continues to take place round the year. Even before the ban, the sale widely took place around Makar Sankranti festival simply because of its easy availability,” Ashrat added.Sources said that Chinese manja is often procured from Indore and Dehgam and are largely available in Kubernagar, Sarkhej and Delhi Darwaza markets of the city.
Ahmedabad: The city crime branch has nabbed a man from Kubernagar who had 59 Chinese manja spools in his possession. The sale and use of Chinese manja has been prohibited by the city police commissioner because it is deadly to humans and birds.Sub-inspector Aniruddh Jebalia of the crime branch and his colleagues were on a patrol when they learnt that a man from Kubernagar was bringing the prohibited manja from Dehgam.Cops were deployed at Hanspura ST bus stand near Dehgam and they stopped an autorickshaw in which the accused Pradeep Moolchandani was traveling. On checking him, the cops found the spools. Moolchandani told the cops that he had bought the spools from a man called Ketan Bintu in Dehgam. Police seized the spools worth Rs 17,700 and also the autorickshaw worth Rs 80,000. The crime branch has charged Moolchandani with violating a notification issued by the police commissioner.
Ahmedabad: The health department of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Tuesday vaccinated 50,164 school students, under its Covid-19 vaccination drive for the 15 to 18 years age group which began on Monday. Vaccination was carried out at 80 urban health centres and 80 municipal and private schools that have been identified for vaccination camps. The most vaccinations were administered in the city’s North West and North Zones. In the North West Zone, which covers Ghatlodia, Thaltej, Gota, Bodakdev, Chandkheda and Bopal, 9,138 teens received vaccine shots. “In the North Zone, which covers Sardarnagar, Krishnagar, Saijpur, Naroda and Kubernagar, some 9,106 teenagers were vaccinated on Tuesday,” said an AMC official.
AHMEDABAD: On the first day of the Covid vaccination of 15-18 years age group, Gujarat inoculated 4.94 lakh teens till 5 pm. As the state has about 30 lakh beneficiaries in the age group, the state achieved about 16% coverage of the population on the first day of vaccination. Meanwhile, the daily Covid cases continued its upward climb - in 24 hours ending 5 pm on Monday, Gujarat added 1,259 cases, the highest in the past 215 days. It was a 30% spike compared to 968 cases on Sunday. Out of total, 631 or 50% cases were recorded from Ahmedabad city alone. The active cases crossed the 5,000-mark after over seven months at 5,858. Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel started the vaccination drive in the state from a school in Koba near Gandhinagar on Monday morning. "Across Gujarat, over 700 schools carried out the camps for inoculating students," said a senior state health department official..
Ahmedabad: The civic authorities on Saturday said a vaccination drive will begin on Monday which will include teens between 15 and 18 years, and will cover about 2.5 lakh persons in the city its periphery.“A meeting of DEOs identified children primarily from 700-odd schools for vaccination. The city mayor will kick-off the vaccination campaign from a private school in Chandkheda on Monday morning,” said a senior AMC official.Manoj Aggarwal, ACS (health), on Saturday announced that there would be a mega drive on January 7, to vaccinate teens eligible for vaccination. “Our focus will be on-the-spot registration at schools and designated vaccination centres so we can cover both school-going and non-school going teens. Vaccines will be administered at 3,500 centres,” said Aggarwal, adding that the state has adequate vaccine doses.Health department officials said that about 36 lakh teens will be covered and vaccinators will also hold camps with organizations working on disabilities, observation homes and ITIs. The sessions for teens will also be longer than the existing times of 9am to 6pm for maximum coverage in the least possible time, they added.Aggarwal added that 13-14 lakh persons in the state will get booster doses from Jan 10, for which preparations are complete.
Ahmedabad: In its drive against buildings that do not have valid building use (BU) permission, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) sealed 12 residential property units on Wednesday. The sealed houses are near Al Mubarak Residency in Danilimda. The civic body’s town planning and estate department also sealed 37 commercial units in areas such as Kubernagar, Odhav and Shahpur.Estate department teams also demolished 4,710 square feet of illegal construction on Wednesday.In May, the AMC began a sealing drive in response to a high court’s judgment, sealing 2,516 structures, mostly commercial complexes that did not have BU approval.The high court had ruled on November 29 that the authorities should demolish a few structures to set an example, stating that it is preferable to evict people from their homes than to watching them burn to death. The civic body has so far demolished 3,12,648 square feet of illegal construction and sealed 626 commercial and 370 residential units.
Ahmedabad: In its drive against buildings without valid building use (BU) permission, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation sealed 16 commercial property units in Navrangpura and Lambha on Friday. The town planning and estate department teams sealed 14 commercial properties in Mansuri Estate as well as Lime Tree Café and Skier Lounge Café in Navrangpura. The civic body also demolished 65,493 sq feet of illegal construction that include 3,600 sq feet in Sona Park Complex in Chandkheda and 1,800 sq feet construction in Nishant Status in Ranip. In the recent drive against illegal construction and those without a valid BU permission, the estate department has demolished 2,26,797 sq feet of illegal construction and has sealed 565 commercial as well as 338 residential properties tnn.
Ahmedabad: The civic body on Thursday snapped 12 new industrial drainage connections that were diverting their effluent to the municipal sewage treatment plant, which is not designed to deal with chemical effluents. The drainage connections were in India Colony, Kubernagar, Behrampura, and Odhav. The AMC has disconnected 345 connections of private industrial estates in the city. These estates, each housing an average of 40 units had permission to direct sewage into the AMC sewage treatment system while they had to drain their trade effluents into CETPs. Over time, the AMC officials say, these estates began directing effluent into the domestic sewage system.
Ahmedabad: Teams of the health department of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) carried out random checks for Covid-19 vaccine certificates at party plots and community halls where wedding gatherings were held and vaccinated 121 people. “We carried out random checking at 16 party plots and community halls where wedding ceremonies or gatherings were held. We found 121 people who were either not vaccinated or were yet to take their second dose. Our teams administered vaccines to them at the spot,” said an AMC health department official. The highest number of people administered vaccines at such gatherings was in the North Zone of the AMC, which comprises areas such as Sardarnagar, Krishnagar, Saijpur, Naroda and Kubernagar. “We vaccinated 40 people in the North Zone, 29 people in the Central Zone and 17 each in the South and West Zones,” the official said and added that the civic body will continue checks at weddings. From January 16, the start of the AMC’s vaccination drive, the civic body has administered a total 79,96,297 doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
Ahmedabad: City crime branch on Monday arrested a 57-year-old woman from her home in Kubernagar for possessing a revolver and nine cartridges, which she had been given to guard jewellery and other valuables worth Rs 11 lakh, which had been stolen by her brother-in-law, who died around a decade ago. According to crime branch officers, they got an input that Dhanlakshmi Parmar possessed an imported revolver and cartridges without having a gun licence. Police raided her house in Silver Jyot Society on Monday and found a revolver worth Rs 60,000 and nine cartridges kept in a leather bag. Police also found seven mobile phones and jewellery worth Rs 11.46 lakh. TNN
Ahmedabad: Revenue and tax department officials of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) carried out checks at 246 bank premises on Friday and found 77 bank employees who were not fully vaccinated. The teams checked 2,082 employees. “Of these, 2,005 employees were fully vaccinated while 77 are awaiting due date for their second dose,” an AMC official said. The AMC teamed checked the most branches, 166, in the North Zone which includes areas like Sardarnagar, Krishnagar, Saijpur, Naroda and Kubernagar. Meanwhile, the civic body administered a total 20,354 Covid doses on Friday, of which 4,117 were first doses while the remaining 16,237 were second doses. AMC has so far given over 77.93 lakh total doses.tnn