GUJCTOC amendment Bill passed: Over 740 arrests, drugs worth Rs 6,500 cr seized last year, says Sanghavi

The Indian Express | 5 days ago | 22-09-2022 | 03:35 am

GUJCTOC amendment Bill passed: Over 740 arrests, drugs worth Rs 6,500 cr seized last year, says Sanghavi

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

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7 inmates consume chemical in Vadodara jail
Times of India | 4 days ago | 22-09-2022 | 11:39 am
Times of India
4 days ago | 22-09-2022 | 11:39 am

VADODARA: Seven undertrials allegedly consumed chemical substance in Vadodara central jail on Wednesday afternoon. All of them were rushed to SSG Hospital where their condition was reported to be stable. Senior police officials reached the hospital and took stock of the situation. However, no FIR was filed by the police till late on Wednesday night. “The undertrials who included an accused in Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GUJCTOC) Act consumed some substance in the jail. The jail authorities learnt about it when they began vomiting. All of them have been admitted to SSG Hospital,” said Megha Tewar, ACP (C division). “Their medical test will reveal what substance they had consumed. We are investigating the case,” Tewar told TOI. The prisoners while lying on the hospital bed alleged that they were being mistreated by authorities in the jail and their movement was restricted inside the jail. A police official, however, said that some of the undertrials wanted to stay in the same barrack but the jail authorities did not allow it due to security reasons. The undertrials include Harshil Limbachiya who was arrested by the crime branch in May this year. He is accused of duping dozens of persons by promising them jobs and collecting lakhs of rupees from them. Limbachiya is a notorious criminal who has been booked and arrested in 11 offences registered against him in the past. He is a professional conman who has been booked for cheating in Uttar Pradesh as well. He used to pose as a cop too. The other six undertrials are Shoaib Qureshi, Khalid Qureshi, Majid Rafiq, Salman Pathan, Abhi Anand Jha and Akaash Wadake.

7 inmates consume chemical in Vadodara jail