The metropolitan magistrate’s court on Saturday sent activist Teesta Setalvad and retired DGP R B Sreekumar in judicial custody after investigators did not seek further remand of the two.Setalvad was detained by the Gujarat ATS from her Mumbai residence last month and was brought to the city where she was later arrested by the crime branch, while Sreekumar was detained from his Gandhinagar residence and was arrested. Both were presented before the court which had granted the crime branch a remand till Saturday.As the remand period ended, the two were once again produced before the court of additional chief judicial magistrate. As the investigating team did not seek a further remand, they were sent to judicial custody.During the proceedings, Setalvad moved an application demanding protection within the jail premises where she also sought a separate cell stating that many of the 2002 riot accused, who are convicted due to the work by her NGO, are lodged in the Sabarmati central jail. The plea was opposed by public prosecutors citing that she is no extraordinary prisoner.Coming out of the court premises, Sreekumar showed the victory sign and Setalvad waved at the media persons shouting ‘Satyamev Jayate’.Earlier addressing press persons, officials of the crime branch had said that the two have not been providing any sort of support in the investigation, and the primary evidence against Sreekumar and ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt are the affidavits submitted by them before the SIT commission. The FIR filed by crime branch inspector Darshan Barad had mentioned observations in a judgment given by Supreme Court last month with respect to a plea filed by Zakia Jafri challenging the clean chit given to then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi.
Activist Teesta Setalvad and former DGP RB Sreekumar were sent in judicial custody by magisterial court of MV Chauhan upon completion of their police remand on Saturday.The Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) had arrested them last month just a day after the Supreme Court upheld the clean chit by the SIT to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots.Their judicial custody will continue until bail is granted. No bail application has been moved as of now.While both informed the magistrate of there being no ill treatment, Teesta, through her advocate SM Vatsa, submitted an application seeking protection within jail. She cited the ground that during her work through the NGO (CJP), many were convicted, several of them lodged at the Sabarmati central jail where she will be housed during her judicial custody, and thus she apprehends harm that she may have to face if protection is not granted.Prosecutor Mitesh Amin and Amit Patel opposed the application submitting that she is “not extraordinary prisoner”. Magistrate court has reserved order on the application, likely to be pronounced within an hour.Setalvad and Sreekumar were held on charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery and other Sections of the IPC on the basis of an FIR lodged in the DCB by Inspector Darshansinh Barad, which quotes extensively from the Court order. Also named in the nine-page FIR, filed on behalf of the Gujarat state, is former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who also faced strictures in the Supreme Court order. Bhatt is already in jail in connection with another case.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Saturday that the Narendra Modi government is spending six times more money annually on the railway network in Gujarat as compared to the previous UPA government.“The Congress government (UPA) in Delhi used to spend Rs 590 crore every year on the railway network in Gujarat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi increased this spending from Rs 590 crore to Rs 3,960 crore between 2014 and 2022,” said Shah, who was addressing a gathering at Chandlodiya locality of Ahmedabad.Pointing out that projects like Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and Sabarmati riverfront have been successful only in Ahmedabad, Shah said, “As far as development is concerned, PM Modi has done a lot of work for Ahmedabad. I have never seen a riverfront like this anywhere else in the country. Weddings, morning walks, boating, and picnics can all be done on the riverfront. Similarly, BRTS has not been successful anywhere else apart from Ahmedabad.”“The (Ahmedabad) metro project is also nearing completion. Once it finishes, people in the city will not have to burn petrol. Like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, they can simply hop on the metro and reach their workplace,” he said, speaking about Phase 1 of the project.On Saturday, Shah inaugurated projects worth Rs 33.29 crore carried out jointly by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and Western Railway. This includes improving the existing platform and building a new booking office at Chandlodiya station, a railway under bridge between Chandlodiya and Khodiyar and three waiting rooms and foot-over-bridge at Sabarmati railway station.In his speech, Shah said during the last three years, 10 over bridges or underpasses have been built in Sabarmati Assembly constituency (part of Ahmedabad city) and thus the government has eliminated the need for railway crossings. “From today, 10 trains, including Gorakhpur-Okha Express, Somnath-Jabalpur Express, Bandra-Veraval, Mumbai-Okha Express, Ahmedabad-Somnath Express, Vadodara-Jamnagar train, will have stoppages at Chandlodiya railway station,” Shah said.The Union minister also asked people of his Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency to plant trees. “There is no doubt in my mind that we will become the most developed constituency in the country. I have made a five-year plan. Covid-19 has punctured it a bit, but still development is on track,” he added.
Police recovered bodies of a 26-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl from the Sabarmati riverfront side in Ahmedabad on Thursday evening.According to police, the victims Kiranbhai Parmar, a resident of Geeta Mandir road in Kagdapith and a minor girl, had allegedly taken the extreme step on Thursday noon.“Around 12:30 pm, the two held hands and jumped into the Sabarmati river, near the walk way constructed at Ghat 11 near Sardar bridge at Riverfront west side. The reason behind the victims taking the extreme step remains unknown and we have not found any note from the spot. A case of accidental death has been registered,” said a police official at Sabarmati Riverfront West Police Station.
The Gujarat High Court Thursday refused to grant urgent hearing of a plea by state government before the HC challenging a sessions court order to drop IPC Section 130 charge against 24 accused booked for digging a tunnel in jail to escape.Among those accused of digging a 213-feet long tunnel inside the barracks of Sabarmati Central Jail in February 2013 were 14 accused in Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts case.Among the 14, 11 have been convicted in the blasts case , with nine of them getting the death sentence, while three others have been acquitted of the serial blast charges.A total of 24 undertrial prisoners were chargesheeted by the Ahmedabad crime branch, including under IPC section 130, which can attract a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. Section 130 IPC pertains to the offence of aiding escape of, rescuing or harbouring a state prisoner or prisoner of war from lawful custody.An Ahmedabad sessions court had ordered for deletion of the offence from the chargesheet in April 2016 and had observed that the trial is now “exclusively triable by the Court of First Class Magistrate”, remanding it to the magisterial court for trial.However, the state had challenged the sessions court’s decision before the HC and in June 2016, the Gujarat HC had stayed the order, thus effectively staying the trial in the case.Buy Now | Our best subscription plan now has a special priceSeeking priority for hearing of the matter, the accused’s advocate sought an early date of hearing, while adding that “the state is obliged to make an application for extension of stay, and the stay has expired on June 24…(Because of the stay on the trial) the bail applications are also not being heard on that account.”The court of Justice Nirzar Desai however remarked, “Let it (stay on trial) operate, it won’t be a priority.” while posting the matter next for August 10.
Raiskhan Pathan, who had submitted an affidavit alleging tampering of affidavits filed by victims of post Godhra riots by CJP (Citizen for Justice and Peace), will be called in by the Crime Branch to record his statement. It is worthy to note that a day after the Supreme Court had given a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the city crime branch had registered an FIR against Teesta Setalvad, ex-DGP R B Sreekumar and dismissed IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt based on the observations made by the apex court.Raiskhan worked as field coordinator with CJP in 2002. Teesta Setalvad, who was the CJP secretary during the same period and essentially ran it, was arrested from her residence in Mumbai while R B Sreekumar was summoned for questioning and then arrested.Investigators said they are probing every aspect of the post Godhra riot and pleas submitted by CJP on behalf of the victims and witnesses. “We are also investigating the funding aspect of the pleas submitted before different courts by CJP which is run by Setalvad. We are looking at the role of others who could be part of the conspiracy to keep the pot boiling. There could be more arrests in future,” the investigator added.A senior police officer privy to the investigation said Sanjiv Bhatt, who is currently lodged in Palanpur Jail, would be brought on transfer warrant after the Rathyatra. “We would also question him about his alleged role in concocting intelligence inputs while he was SP, intelligence, at the time of riots that broke out after burning of Sabarmati Express at Godhra.”Raiskhan’s affidavitKhan had stated in the affidavit that he was getting instructions from Setalvad over phone and e-mails on a day-to-day basis to contact victims and witnesses of riot cases spread in various parts of the state and also those who had shifted to other states.Khan had also mentioned in the affidavit that he was overall in charge of the entire operation of CJP and used to organise press conferences of riot victims on instructions of Setalvad.According to the affidavit, Setalvad used to call riot victims and witnesses to meet her and pay them travelling expenses on behalf of CJP.
The Gujarat High Court on Monday allowed an application filed by a couple seeking custody of their newborn baby girl from the surrogate mother. The court relied upon the agreement drawn by couple and the surrogate mother, before she conceived the couple’s child using IVF treatment, that the custody of the newborn will be handed over to them immediately after birth.The couple had approached the HC after the police arrested the surrogate mother and sent her to the Sabarmati jail for her alleged involvement in the abduction of a baby girl in February this year.The woman went into labour pain on June 20 at the Sabarmati jail and was shifted to the Civil Hospital where she delivered a baby girl on June 21.The jail authorities refused to hand over possession of the child to the couple and sought court orders. After all their efforts to convince the authorities failed, they approached the high court and filed a habeas corpus petition.
Gujarat High Court on Friday asked the state government to place the provisions of law that can allow custody of a girl born through a surrogate mother to her intended parents.Meanwhile, the surrogate mother filed an affidavit consenting to hand over the custody of the girl to the intending parents with whom she had drawn a contract of being surrogate mother. The court will conduct further hearing on the issue on Monday. The government submitted that it does not have any objection if the genetic parents meet the newborn.The couple had approached the high court as the Gomtipur police and Sabarmati jail authorities refused to hand over custody of the newborn to the genetic couple as per the agreement with the surrogate mother.Agreement & consentOn December 27, 2021, the couple drew an agreement with the woman who consented to conceive the child through surrogacy. She was to hand over the child immediately after the birth.The woman became pregnant and her treatment was going on at a well-known IVF centre in the city.However, events took a turn as the surrogate mother recently got arrested by Gomtipur police in an alleged offence of abduction of a girl in February. Her name was not mentioned in the FIR but it was allegedly revealed in the investigation.She was sent to Sabarmati jail after the interrogation. The woman had labour pain at the jail on June 20 and was taken to the Civil hospital, where she gave birth to the baby girl on June 21.
A couple has filed a petition before the Gujarat High Court seeking custody of their 48-hour-old baby girl born via surrogacy. The situation arose as the police arrested the surrogate mother and sent her to the Sabarmati jail for her alleged involvement in the abduction of a baby girl in February this year.The couple approached the high court as the Gomtipur police and Sabarmati jail authority refused to hand over custody of the newborn to the genetic couple as per the agreement drawn with the surrogate mother. The court will hear the matter on Friday. The couple is from a neighbouring state and filed the petition through advocate Poonam Mehta. They drew an agreement with the surrogate mother in December last year to give birth to their child. The surrogate mother conceived after IVF treatment.However, the surrogate mother was arrested by Gomtipur police in a child abduction case. Her name does not find mention in the FIR but got revealed later.She was sent to the Sabarmati jail where she went into labour pain on June 20. She was shifted to the Civil Hospital where she delivered a baby girl on June 21. The jail authorities refused to hand over possession of the child to the couple and sought court orders. After all their efforts to convince the authorities failed, they approached the high court and filed a habeas corpus petition.
The JP Road police in Vadodara began a probe into the alleged suicide of a 25-year-old woman who was found hanging in the bedroom of her shared rental apartment Monday.The police have also sent for forensic analysis a video purportedly made by the victim, Nafisa Khokhar, at Sabarmati Riverfront a week before her death in which she is heard speaking about her heartbreak and decision to end her life.Police Inspector RN Patel of JP Road Police Station, which has registered a case of accidental death, told this newspaper, “We have only received the case late on Thursday and begun the probe… Right now, we cannot verify the video that has gone viral but the woman in the video appears to be the deceased woman. Her friend Shabnam, with whom she lived, has told us that the victim had jumped into the Sabarmati River at the Riverfront in Ahmedabad about a week ago and was rescued. She returned home and hung herself a week later, her friend has said. We will approach theAhmedabad police to verify if they have noted this attempted suicide as it would have been recorded.”Patel added that Nafisa’s friend has told the police that the two girls watched a web series late into the night and retired to their rooms in a “normal mood”. “According to her friend, Nafisa may have taken the step between 3 am and 9 am on Monday… The two lived on different floors of the house. Nafisa’s father is said to be mentally unfit and her mother died a few years ago. She had briefly lived with her sister and then moved out independently… But she was unemployed. We are investigating the trigger that could have caused her to take the extreme step.”Police said the friend has also said that Nafisa had been disturbed after her long-time boyfriend, an Ahmedabad resident, refused to marry her. In the video, a crying Nafisa can be heard addressing her boyfriend by his name, saying, “You have done injustice to me… We promised to marry and you forged relations with me but you dumped, cheated and betrayed me because everyone knows about us now… I love you more than my family. It’s been four days I am in Ahmedabad looking for you and you have just left, your family says…”Declining to comment on the video, Patel said, “We have sent the phone of the deceased to FSL and the report of the analysis will take some time. Meanwhile, we are probing the allegations and recording statements of those who knew her…”In March 2021, a woman named Ayesha Khan jumped into the Sabarmati River after recording a video about dowry harassment by her husband and in-laws. The court had considered Ayesha’s video as a piece of important evidence in the case and convicted her husband of the charges.
The Vadodara police on Thursday evening began a probe into the alleged suicide of a 25-year-old woman, identified as Nafisa Khokhar, who was found dead in her rental apartment on Monday. The police have also sent for forensic analysis a viral video purportedly made by the woman at Sabarmati Riverfront a week before her death, in which she is heard speaking about her breakup and her decision to end her life.Police Inspector R N Patel of J P Road police station in Vadodara, which has registered a case of accidental death, told The Indian Express that they only received the case late on Thursday and have begun investigation.“Right now, we cannot verify the video that has gone viral but the woman in the video appears to be the deceased. Her friend Shabnam, with whom she lived, told us that the victim had jumped into Sabarmati river at the riverfront in Ahmedabad about a week ago and was rescued,” Patel said. According to Patel, Shabnam told them that Khokhar had returned home and killed herself a week later. “We will approach the Ahmedabad police to verify if they have noted this attempted suicide as it would have been recorded. It will help our investigation,” he added.Patel said that Khokhar’s friend has told the police that the two girls watched a web series late into the night and retired to their rooms in a “normal mood”. “According to her friend, Khokhar may have taken the step between 3 am and 9 am on Monday. The two lived on different floors of the house. Khokhar’s father is said to be mentally unfit and her mother died a few years ago. She had briefly lived with her sister and then moved out independently…but she was unemployed. We are investigating the trigger that could have caused her to take the extreme step,” Patel added.Police said that the friend also said that Khokhar had been disturbed after her long-time boyfriend, a resident of Ahmedabad, refused to marry her. In the video, Khokhar, who is crying, is heard addressing her boyfriend by his name, saying, “You have done injustice to me…We promised to marry and you forged relations with me but you dumped me, cheated me, and betrayed me because everyone knows about us now…I love you more than my family. It’s been four days. I am in Ahmedabad looking for you and you have just left…”.Refusing to comment on Khokhar’s video, Patel said, “We have sent the phone of the deceased to FSL (forensic science laboratory) and the report of the analysis will take some time. Meanwhile, we are probing the allegations and recording statements of those who knew her.”🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨Khokhar’s death is reminiscent of an incident in March 2021 when a woman named Ayesha Khan killed herself after recording a video about dowry harassment by her husband and in-laws. The court had considered Khan’s video as a piece of important evidence in the case that saw her husband being convicted for the charges.
An FIR has been lodged against a resident of the Sabarmati Ashram who allegedly threatened and verbally abused Ahmedabad district officials who were facilitating the rehabilitation of residents for Ashram redevelopment project.The officials of Ranip police station in Ahmedabad registered the FIR on June 22 on a complaint by a district official.Ashram resident, Shishir Dabhi, has been booked under IPC sections 186 (obstruction to public servant in discharge of public functions), 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 504 (intentionally insults provoking a person to break public peace), and 506 (1) (criminal intimidation).The complaint by Vadaj circle officer Kaushikkumar Solanki states that as per instruction from the executive committee constituted by the state government for Ashram redevelopment project, he was at the site for survey work pertaining to rehabilitation of residents along with other officials when around 6 pm, the Shishir came on his bike and started “verbally abusing” the team members.According to Solanki’s complaint, the accused threatened the officials and behaved rudely in the presence of a woman official, as a result of which the survey team had to return to the collectorate office without completing the day’s work.The state government is expected to rehabilitate or relocate 263 families who have been living in the Gandhi ashram premises as part of the Gandhi Ashram Precinct Development Project,with residents being given the option of accepting a one-time settlement amount of Rs 60 lakh for vacating their residence on the Ashram premises or a choice to be rehabilitated to a property offered by the Gujarat Housing Board.
The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a plea filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging a clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and several others in the 2002 Gujarat riots.Ehsan Jafri, a former MP, was among 68 killed at Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002, a day after a coach of the Sabarmati Express was burnt at Godhra, killing 59 people and triggering riots in the state.Here’s a timeline of the events:February 27, 2002On the morning of February 27, 2002, a coach of the the Sabarmati Express — Coach S6 — was set ablaze and 59 passengers travelling in that coach were charred to death. The train had arrived at Godhra station in Gujarat just then. The victims included 27 women and 10 children. Injuries were suffered by another 48 passengers in the train.The train burning incident had within hours triggered violent riots across the state. The riots broke out on the evening of February 27 and continued for 2-3 months across the state. The Centre in 2005 informed Rajya Sabha that the riots claimed the lives of 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims. A total 223 people were reported missing. Tens of thousands were rendered homeless as well. The details were later published at the recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission.March 2008The Supreme Court constituted a Special Investigation Team to investigate the incident that caused the riots.June 1, 2009Trials in the case started over eight years after the incident on June 1, 2009.March 1, 2011A special SIT court convicted 31 people on March 1, 2011,out of whom 11 were awarded death sentences and 20 life imprisonment. The court also acquitted 63 people in the case. The SIT court concurred with the charges of the prosecution that this was not an incident of unplanned mob outrage and rather it involved conspiracy. The 31 convicts were convicted under the Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy, murder and attempt to murder.September 12, 2011The Supreme Court refused to pass any order on Narendra Modi’s alleged inaction to contain the 2002 riots and referred the matter to the concerned magistrate in Ahmedabad for a decision.February 8, 2012SIT filed a closure report in the Supreme Court giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 63 others, out of which many were senior government officials. The SIT said there was “no prosecutable evidence” against them.January 9, 2014Protest petition by Zakia Jafri against SIT’s clean chit to Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat communal riots was rejected by an Ahmedabad court. Jafri said she was not disheartened after the verdict and would appeal against it.June 2, 2016A special SIT court in Ahmedabad on Thursday convicted 24, including a VHP leader, in the 2002 post-Godhra Gulberg society massacre, which left 69 people including the former Congress MP dead. Thirty six others were acquitted.Zakia Jafri expressed her discontent at the special court verdict in the Gulberg Society case.October 5, 2017The Gujarat High Court upheld the judgment of a metropolitan court that accepted a clean chit to the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 60 others in connection with the 2002 post-Godhra riots, and rejected Zakia Jafri’s allegations that the riots were part of a “larger conspiracy”.November 19, 2018In 2018, Zakia Jafri filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the High Court’s October 5, 2017 order rejecting her plea against the decision of the SIT. The Supreme Court decided to take up the petition on November 19, 2018. The plea also maintained that after the SIT gave a clean chit in its closure report before a trial judge, Zakia Jafri filed a protest petition which was dismissed by the magistrate without considering “substantiated merits”.October 26, 2021The Supreme Court said that it wanted to see the closure report filed before a Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Ahmedabad by the SIT, giving a clean chit to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 63 others.Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal who appeared for Zakia Jafri, told the Bench, which included Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and C T Ravikumar, that the SIT and the courts did not look at Jafri’s complaints and other relevant facts. He submitted that Jafri’s complaint was not limited to the Gulberg Society violence in which her husband was killed, and the SC-appointed SIT “ignored” evidence;October 27, 2021The Supreme Court-appointed SIT denied contentions by Zakia Jafri that it had not gone into all the facts related to the communal incidents, stating that it had “faithfully investigated everything”.“We will show you that we have faithfully investigated everything,” Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the SIT, told a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar.November 11, 2021Zakia Jafri demanded that the Supreme Court-appointed SIT, which gave a clean chit to then chief minister Narendra Modi in its closure report, itself “should be investigated”.Appearing for Jafri, Kapil Sibal told Supreme Court bench that the “SIT was concluding contrary to facts. In fact such SITs should be investigated”. Sibal recalled that the SIT was set up because the National Human Rights Commission moved the SC, saying that the local police were not investigating properly. But the SIT also did not investigate as it should have, he said.November 16, 2021The Supreme Court asked Zakia Jafri how she could say the SIT “collaborated” with the accused when the team had filed chargesheets that ended in convictions in riot-related cases.“You are attacking the manner of investigation done by SIT. It is the same SIT that had filed chargesheet in other cases, and they were convicted. No such grievance in those proceedings,” the court told Kapil Sibal.The remarks came when Sibal said there is “glaring evidence of collaboration. The political class became collaborators. This is the stark story about collaboration with accused.”November 24, 2021The SIT told the top court that it had not shielded anyone and ruled that “uncharitable” remarks were being made against it. “We were not shielding anybody,” senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi told the Supreme Court.November 25, 2021The SIT termed as “absurd” the contention that burning of coach S-6 of Sabarmati Express train that led to the riots was “orchestrated” by Hindutva groups.“The allegation is (that) even before the incident, there were arms pile-up before February 27. It boggles my mind. Say I am a radical Hindu member of VHP and I am keeping arms on February 25 without knowing the date of the train burning incident, that makes no sense…” senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi told the Supreme Court.“Or you are saying this train burning was also orchestrated? That can’t be (true), because the train was delayed by five hours and was only going to stop for two minutes,” he submitted. “They could not have known…It’s absurd. There is a limit to what is being said here.”December 8, 2021Zakia Jafri told Supreme Court that she had not spoken about her allegations of a larger conspiracy behind the riots while deposing in the trial of the Gulberg Society killings case, as she was only a prosecution witness and not complainant in that case.Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared for Jafri, told a bench that being a prosecution witness, she had to confine her statements to what she knew about the particular case.“She appeared as a prosecution witness in 2010…. She was not a complainant in the Gulberg trial and was required to give evidence only regarding what was needed to be proved…” Sibal said.December 9, 2021The Supreme Court had reserved its order on the appeal on December 9, 2021 after hearing all sides.June 24, 2022The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal by Zakia Jafri challenging the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi — who was then chief minister of the state — and others in connection with the riot-related cases in Gujarat.The SC bench upheld the decision of the Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate to accept the closure report submitted by the SIT – which was appointed by the top court – and reject the protest petition filed by Jafri against accepting the report.The Supreme Court held that Zakia’s appeal was “devoid of merits and deserves to be dismissed”.
The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a plea filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging a clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and several others in the 2002 Gujarat riots.A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar and also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheswhwari and C T Ravikumar, was hearing Jafri’s appeal challenging the October 5, 2017 Gujarat High Court order upholding the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Magistrate Court’s decision to accept the SIT’s closure report, which gave a clean chit to then Gujarat chief minister Modi and 63 others in riots-related cases.Ehsan Jafri, a former MP, was among 68 killed at Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002, a day after a coach of the Sabarmati Express was burnt at Godhra, killing 59 people and triggering riots in the state.On February 8, 2012, the SIT had filed a closure report giving a clean chit to Modi, and 63 others, including senior government officials, saying there was “no prosecutable evidence” against them.In 2018, Zakia Jafri filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the High Court’s October 5, 2017 order rejecting her plea against the decision of the SIT. The plea also maintained that after the SIT gave a clean chit in its closure report before a trial judge, Zakia Jafri filed a protest petition which was dismissed by the magistrate without considering “substantiated merits”.Her plea also said the Gujarat high court “failed to appreciate” the petitioner’s complaint which was independent of the Gunbarrel Society case registered at Meghaninagar Police Station. The high court, in its October 2017 order, had said the SIT probe was monitored by the Supreme Court.It, however, partly allowed Jafri’s petition as far as its demand for a further investigation was concerned. It had then said the petitioner (Zakia) can approach an appropriate forum, including the magistrate’s court, a division bench of the high court, or the Supreme Court seeking further investigation.– With PTI inputs
An under-trial prisoner at Sabarmati Jail accused of attempt to murder his live-in partner’s son died by suicide in jail. He hanged himself with T-shirts used for cleaning floors in the washroom on Tuesday afternoon.Deepak Ahir, 33, the inmate in barrack number 2 at Sabarmati Jail was arrested for attempt to murder his live-in partner’s son. A note left behind by him alleges that his live-in partner was having an affair with someone and so had made a false accusation of attempt to murder against him.He hanged himself by tying two T-shirts, used to clean floors, in the bathroom of barrack 2.A note left behind by Ahir accuses his live-in partner of having an affair with another man which led to a complaint filed against him with Vatva GIDC police station. According to sources, family members of the victim have alleged that Ahir was harassed by his live-in partner and another person. She had falsely accused him of attempting to kill his stepson.Ranip Police Inspector P B Khambhala said, “Ahir and his live-in partner are from Jalgaon and had run away from their homes and were in a live-in relationship for the past seven years. His note accuses her of having an affair which led to the complaint filed against him. We are investigating the same.”
A woman who died by suicide at her residence on May 20 in Vadodara has left behind a video addressed to her boyfriend detailing the reasons that allegedly drove her to take the extreme step. The case is reminiscent of the suicide by Ayesha in Ahmedabad in which she left behind a heart-wrenching video explaining why she chose to die.The woman, Nafisa Khokhar, 25, a resident of Noorjahan Park on JP Road in Vadodara hanged herself at her home. She has left behind three videos in which she is seen at the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad.Nafisa came to Ahmedabad to meet her boyfriend who had promised to marry her but later declined. She initially tried to jump into the river but could not muster the courage and made the three videos while she was at the riverfront. The videos are addressed to her boyfriend Ramiz in which she is sobbing. She tells him that she loved him the most and he had betrayed her.“I thought you were different but I was wrong. Even when the world came to know of our relationship you did not acknowledge it. Your family says you are untraceable but I saw your clothes on the clothesline outside your house,” she said inthe video.She further said that Ramiz promised to marry her but did not turn up even though she kept looking for him for four days. “You should not have done this. You have left me alone in this world. Ramiz you have betrayed me,” she said in the video. Nafisa later returned to Vadodara and hanged herself.Sub Inspector A U Chaudhary of J P Road Police station said they have recovered Nafisa’s mobile and have registered a case of accidental death.
A woman filed an FIR against her husband who beat her up over an affair he had with a woman neighbour. THe couple Jyoti (36) and Hiren (names changed) had shifted to a new flat in Sabarmati. About 10 months ago, a woman named Ragini (name changed) came to live in the neighbouring apartment. Over time, Hiren developed a relationship with her. He would also visit Ragini’s home when she was alone at home and talk to her for a long time on the phone. When Jyoti protested, he would abuse and beat her. A few days ago, she came across a letter written by the woman to her husband. When she confronted him, he bashed her up badly. Ragini allegedly also joined in bashing up Jyoti. She filed an FIR at Sabarmati police station.
The number of LED billboards in the city is on the rise as A’bad tries to upgrade itself to be a smart city. However, the billboards that display digital advertisements in video format are blinding the commuters literally.The bright lights of the billboards make it difficult for commuters to drive particularly at night. Take the case of Lalit Shah, 67, a resident of Sabarmati who said he usually avoids driving in the evening due to such billboards.“Sometimes I have to venture out during the night. At that time the bright lights from the digital billboards bother me a lot. There is this one particular billboard at the Nehrunagar crossroad which throws light all around blinding us. I get nervous driving a two-wheeler at night due to such billboards. Such billboards should be removed,” said Shah.Meanwhile, Vejalpur resident Neha Doshi said the billboards can be a terrible distraction while driving. “One is tempted to look at them during the night as the bright lights are very attractive. It is dangerous for commuters who drive at night as vehicles often go at high speed during the time and there is a fear of collision,” said Doshi.Naranpura resident Samir Patel said the billboard near Navrang circle is a nightmare for him. “The bright lights on the billboard create a blind spot and driving is too risky at the spot. Since the billboard is also placed low it affects commuters. The police or AMC should do something about such billboards,” said Patel.AMC Smart City DyMC Praveen Chaudhary said they have received several complaints about the billboards at particular junctions. “The billboards have a facility to reduce the intensity of the light and we reduce it at junctions where we receive complaints,” said Chaudhary.
Ahmedabad police launched the Thrill Addict programme in the city’s Thaltej area on Sunday to promote ‘Fit India’ campaign and encourage youth to adopt a healthy lifestyle by abstaining from drug usage.The event was part of Azadi ka Amirt Mahotsav, celebration of 75 years of independence. During the event live stunts were performed by the commandos of National Security Guard (NSG) and state police’s Chetak commando force.“This is the first phase of performance by our Chetak forces who today exhibited their abilities parallel to the national force of NSG. The core of their excellence lies in the fitness which the youth should learn from them. The next phase will be held at the Sabarmati Riverfront,” said the Ahmedabad city police commissioner, Sanjay Srivastava.He discouraged the use of drugs and encouraged the younger generations to become “addicted” to the thrill that comes from leading a healthy life rather than drugs.🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi conveyed their messages on the occasion through letters.“The youth should not only study but also give some time to physical activities. Through the performance today by our national and state forces, we try to encourage our youth to participate in such courageous activities and also spread awareness about our counter-terror forces and their importance,” the CM stated.Sanghavi asked the youth to stay away from drugs and stay fit, by drawing inspiration from security forces.This was the first time the NSG exhibited their skills in the city. The commando forces performed four types of rappelling – long ceiling rappelling, wall walk rappelling, surprise rappelling and head down rappelling, during the live stunt.
Even as Amdavadis look forward to crossing the first iconic foot overbridge across the Sabarmati River, the civic body which is awaiting its grand inauguration, has decided to levy entry fees if one wishes to step onto the bridge. The Kite-themed foot overbridge which was completed a month ago has not yet been thrown open to the public as the city fathers have invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate it.Meanwhile, Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd (SRFDCL) has decided to levy a fee if you want totake the overbridge to cross the river. The fee would be fixed at a meeting of the corporation soon, a senior AMC official said.The reason to collect fees is to restrict unwarranted people who might roam about on the bridge even during night hours. The bridge is one-of-its kind and will be a major attraction of the city, which needs to be maintained, he said.Even as Amdavadis look forward to crossing the first iconic foot overbridge across the Sabarmati River, the civic body which is awaiting its grand inauguration, has decided to levy entry fees if one wishes to step onto the bridge. The Kite-themed foot overbridge which was completed a month ago has not yet been thrown open to the public as the city fathers have invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate it.Meanwhile, Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd (SRFDCL) has decided to levy a fee if you want totake the overbridge to cross the river. The fee would be fixed at a meeting of the corporation soon, a senior AMC official said.The reason to collect fees is to restrict unwarranted people who might roam about on the bridge even during night hours. The bridge is one-of-its kind and will be a major attraction of the city, which needs to be maintained, he said.he official said that fees can range from Rs 10 to Rs 25. About inauguration, he said that it might take another month once the PM gives the go ahead. The 300-metre long and 14-metre wide bridge is located between Sardar Bridge and Ellis Bridge on the river. The bridge can be approached from both the upper and lower promenades. The tubular, steel superstructure has three spans. Inspired by a kite, the structure has been built at a cost of Rs 74 crore.The project was approved in March 2018, but was delayed due to Covid pandemic. Now the work is complete and the bridge is ready, the official said.
More than 7,500 people will join to celebrate International Yoga Day on June 21 at Sabarmati Riverfront. The theme for this year is ‘Yoga for Humanity’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual address of the Yoga Day celebrations which willbe broadcast live at all places at the same time.At a meeting held by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, it was decided that this year’s Yoga Day will be celebrated at a total of 75 iconic places in Gujarat as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. Yoga Day will be celebrated at 17 religious places including Modhera Sun Temple and Ambaji Temple, 18 historical places including Dada Harini Vav and Dandi Smarak, 22 tourist spots including the desert of Kutch, 17 natural beauty sanctuaries including Mangarh Hill and Saputara Hill and at Science City, Principal Secretary to Sports, Youth & Cultural Activities Ashwini Kumar said.He said that the State government plans to boost tourism in the state this year by linking yoga with tourism. The state level programme of Yoga Day will be held at Sabarmati Riverfront in the presence of the Chief Minister, Union Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad and others.More than 1.25 crore people from the state level to the district, taluka and village level will be connected through the programme. Yoga Day will be celebrated in the state at district, taluka and municipal levels as well as in schools, ITIs, health centres, police stations and jails.
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Tuesday issued notice to the state government, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and other trusts linked to the Gandhi Ashram, in response to a PIL filed by the great grandson of the Mahatma, Tushar Gandhi, taking exception to the government’s plan to revamp the Ashram. As the petitioner’s advocate was on leave, the court adjourned the hearing till August. However, the advocate general later insisted that the hearing be kept early. To this, the chief justice told the government law officer, “You give an undertaking that you won’t touch the Ashram.” The HC issued notice after the lawyers for Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust, which looks after the ashram premises, brought to the court’s notice that there are many respondents in this case, but the court has not issued notice. They urged the court to issue notices. The court issued notices to all the parties including the trust, Khadi Gramodyog Prayog Samiti, National Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Harijan Ashram Trust, Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala Trust, Harijan Sevak Sangh, and Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd. The court posted a hearing for July 5. Earlier, the HC disposed of the PIL on the state government’s assurance that it is not going to change the core structure of the Sabarmati Ashram, but will upgrade facilities around it. The petitioner approached the Supreme Court, which asked the HC to hear the PIL on its merits. The Gujarat government informed the HC that the Ashram’s present condition does not provide for adequate information about it and the philosophy propounded by the Father of the Nation. The development project would highlight the Gandhian ethos of frugality and simplicity.
The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the state government, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation among others in response to a PIL filed by Tushar Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson, challenging the revamp of Gandhi Ashram under the Gandhi Ashram Memorial and Precinct Project. The court will hold further hearings next month.Earlier the HC had junked the PIL, but the Supreme Court has asked it to hear afresh on merits when the decision was challenged before it. The HC had dismissed the PIL by recording the statement of the state government that it is not going to touch the original Gandhi Ashram, museum and Mangal Kutir that are located in the one acre area while the development is proposed on 55 acre land surrounding it.Advocate General Kamal Trivedi had submitted to the court that an impression was created in the media that an amusement park was being created in the name of the project, but in the wildest imagination the government is not going to do that.The state government issued a resolution on March 5 to build a Gandhi Ashram Memorial and Precinct Project at the site of Sabarmati Ashram.Tushar Gandhi’s lawyer Bhushan Oza submitted that the project work will change the entire character of the historical monument. Another area of concern is the idea to attract tourists of the type who are not interested purely in the history and freedom struggle, he stated. Scholars visiting Gandhian organisations may find the new set up is very different from what was existing, Oza stated.
A division bench of the Gujarat High Court (HC) on Tuesday issued notice to National Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Khadi Gramodyog Prayog Samiti, Harijan Ashram Trust and Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala Trust in a public interest litigation (PIL) by Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, who is opposing the revamp of the Sabarmati Ashram.The notice issued to other respondent parties — the state government, Sabarmati Ashram Preservation Memorial Trust (SAPMT), Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) — were accepted by their respective legal counsels on Tuesday.Tushar, in his PIL, has challenged the proposed redevelopment of the Gandhi Ashram by the government, both central and state, primarily on the ground that it is “diametrically opposite to the Gandhian ethos of simplicity and frugality, that the Ashram embodies,”His plea also states that redevelopment plans are contrary “to the conscious decision taken by erstwhile Governments in state and the centre to keep all monuments associated with the father of the nation strictly apolitical and completely free of Government control or interference.”The state in an earlier affidavit in April had submitted that four trusts which manage ashram precincts at present — SAPMT, Khadi Gramodyog Prayog Samiti, Harijan Ashram Trust and Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala Trust — have “graciously accorded their consent to the proposed project”The state also claimed that the four have even nominated three trustees who have been inducted in the Governing Council of the newly constituted trust — Mahatma Gandhi Sabarmati Ashram Memorial Trust (MGSAMT).
Soon people will be able to enjoy cruise at Sabarmati Riverfront. The Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd (SRDFCL) has issued work order for cruise/ floating restaurant on both the sides. This River Cruise/Floating Restaurant will have fun-filled activities on board along with food while sailing and would become a good leisure travel. Akshar travels has been awarded the work for provision, operation, maintenance and management of Floating Restaurant/River Cruise on both the sides of riverfront, an official release said.
The annual ‘Jal Yatra’ of Lord Jagannath was held at Jagannath temple in Ahmedabad. Devotees carried vessels filled with holy water from the Sabarmati river. The water vessels were also carried on the backs of elephants to perform ‘abhishek’ of the deities, Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. Mahant Dilipdasji, Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi, former deputy CM Nitin Patel and former minister Pradipsinh Jadeja along with trustee Mahendra Jha performed rituals at the Sabarmati, ahead of the 145th annual Rath Yatra.
AHMEDABAD: About 28% of the cameras installed under the civic body and traffic police's joint project, Safe and Secure Ahmedabad (SASA), are nothing more than road furniture. These cameras do not see and capture anything as they are not connected to the monitoring centre. Under the Rs 314 crore SASA project, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has installed 6,200 CCTVs on major roads, of which 855 cameras are yet to be connected to the Integrated Control and Command Centre (ICCC) that monitors and stores footage on its servers. According to AMC officials, most of these defunct CCTVs are in areas such as SP Ring Road, Ashram Road, the road from Chandkheda to Sabarmati powerhouse and 132 Feet Ring Road. In many cases, when a fatal road accident occurs and city police asks the ICCC for CCTV footage, the civic body is unable to provide it because of the defunct cameras.
Ahmedabad: The countdown for the 145th Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath began on Tuesday with the Jal Yatra being held on the Jagannath temple premises in the Jamalpur area of the city.The yatra involves drawing water from the Sabarmati and performing ‘abhishek’ of the deities in the temple. The Jal Yatra is a precursor to the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, brother Balbhadra and their sister Subhadra.After the restrictions imposed in the wake of the pandemic left the yatras devoid of devotees in the past two years, this year’s Rath Yatra will be held with the participation of the devotees. In 2020, the Rath Yatra procession was cancelled and it was held without devotees in 2021.Minister of state for home, Harsh Sanghavi said that this year people, sadhus and akhada groups along with a large convoy of vehicles and elephants will participate in the Rath Yatra.The police have already begun foot patrolling on the route of Rath Yatra to ensure that no untoward incident takes place, said Sanghavi.Jagannath temple priest Dilipdasji Maharaj and trustee Mahendra Jha also participated in the Jal Yatra.
AHMEDABAD: A special court in Ahmedabad has granted permission to Fulabhai Vyas, an accused in 2002 Naroda Gam massacre case, to leave Gujarat and participate in a religious event to be held in Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Vyas filed an application and requested the court to modify a bail condition imposed during his arrest and release in 2008. The court had restricted his movement to the state of Gujarat and he was prohibited from leaving the state without prior permission from the court. Vyas is one of 84 persons who are put on a trial for killing of 11 Muslims in Naroda area of the city on February 28, 2002, a day after 59 passengers were killed by a mob of members of the Muslim community in S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express near Godhra station. In his application, Vyas informed the court that he is a life-time member of Gayatri Parivar and is frequently required to attend religious programmes organised by the organisation at Haridwar and at other places in the country. If his bail condition is modified or suspended temporarily, he could leave Gujarat and attend the religious programme. The special prosecutor did not raise any objection to Vyas’s request and left it to the court’s discretion. It was submitted that Vyas was granted the relief in the past on 20 occasions, and the trial is at the stage of final hearing at present. After hearing the bail plea, designated SIT judge Shubhada Baxi suspended the bail condition restraining Vyas’s movement outside Gujarat in abeyance for six months. He will be able to travel outside Gujarat from July 1, but will have to inform the investigator in this case 24 hours before his departure and within 48 hours after his visit about his arrival. The trial of Naroda Gam massacre is the only trial pending among major 2002 riots cases, which the special investigation team (SIT) was tasked to probe and prosecute by the Supreme Court in 2008-09.
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on Monday stayed the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) move to evict 142 families from the riverbed at least for a day when the residents filed a PIL and sought protection from demolition of their huts without granting them an alternate accommodation. Petitioner’s advocate Aftab Ansari requested the high court for an urgent hearing claiming that the civic authorities would come for demolition on Tuesday morning and the residents have been given a very short notice for eviction. It was submitted that the motive behind the eviction was construction of a riverfront for beautification. The lawyers submitted that people have been living in the Jangaleshwar area for decades and they have been paying taxes as well. The RMC’s counsel appeared before the court and submitted that the eviction of people from the Aji riverbed is not to make way for the riverfront project, but the eviction is aimed at saving these people from possible floods as the monsoon is approaching. When the civic body contended that the hutments are unauthorised construction, the bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri questioned how the unauthorised construction came up at the first place. “What were your engineers doing? Since the construction was on a riverbed, so you kept quiet? What action did you take against your engineers? You only allowed multiple floors to come up,” the chief justice questioned. When the petitioners’ advocate submitted that there were no multi-storied structures, but only kucha houses, the court insisted on recent photographs of the existing construction. The petitioners have been asked to produce photographs by Tuesday morning, and till then the civic body has been stayed from initiating the eviction drive. While adjourning the hearing for a day, the chief justice told RMC, “Even if the construction is illegal, you cannot remove it without following the due process of law.” The high court also suggested the civic body to emulate the model adopted by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in construction of riverfront, where many of those living on the Sabarmati riverbed were shifted to a couple of housing schemes put up for them in different areas, albeit not without the high court’s order.
AHMEDABAD: The life-convict in the anti-hijacking laws, for grounding a Mumbai-Delhi flight by planting a threat letter, Birju Salla, has once again moved the Gujarat high court seeking a four-week furlough so that he could attend his ailing father and stay with his family in Mumbai. Justice Nikhil Kariel admitted Salla’s application and issued a notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which had probed the case and posted further hearing on June 20. The judge felt the requirement to seek the version of investigation agency after it was submitted that the NIA and a deputy commissioner of police in Mumbai had given their negative opinion with regard to Salla’s furlough leading the Sabarmati jail authorities to reject his furlough request. Salla has been behind the bars since October 2017 and he was punished with life imprisonment in September 2019. After his conviction, he was granted interim bail for five days, the only occasion on which he came out of jail in last five years. Salla’s request for furlough was accepted in September 2020, but his insistence to stay in a five-star hotel in Mumbai led the inspector general (prisons) to cancel of his furlough leave on the ground that the address mentioned in his application was changed at a later stage. The high court also rejected his petition in December 2020, and Salla approached the Supreme Court, which ordered Salla to present his case again before the HC and jail authorities. He filed another application on January 28, 2021, but it was not considered by the jail authorities. He applied again on January 12, but rejected again on basis of negative opinions. Meanwhile, Salla’s appeal against his conviction was heard by a division bench in HC. But with elevation of one of the judges to the Supreme Court, the case will be heard once again.
Ahmedabad: A car driver successfully averted hitting a cyclist on the Sabarmati Riverfront East road but his vehicle turned turtle after hitting another car. Two persons suffered injuries in the accident on Thursday. According to the Traffic Police, the luxury car was in speed and it hit the road divider as the driver tried to save the cyclist. “The car jumped over the divider and collided with another car, a hatchback, which was moving on the other side of the road,” said a police officer.The cops said that Tanmay Shah, the driver of the luxury car, suffered injuries in the accident and was rushed to a hospital by the 108 paramedics. The driver of the hatchback was also rushed to hospital but he was discharged as he did not have any major injuries. Police said the cyclist managed to escape unhurt and was not traceable. tnn