1. Excluded From Panel on Atrocities Against Dalits, Jignesh Mevani Calls It Prejudice
Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani, who represents the Scheduled Caste reserved constituency Vadgam, on Tuesday, 18 June wrote to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, objecting to being excluded from the Gujarat government’s high power committee on prevention of atrocities on Dalits and tribal people in the state.
He attributed his omission from the panel to alleged prejudice against him. The committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, 19 June.
Under provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, each state government constitutes a high power State-level vigilance and monitoring committee for effective implementation of the Act.
The Committee, headed by the chief minister, can have a maximum of 25 members, including the leader of the opposition, the state’s chief secretary, director general of police, the minister for social justice & empowerment and MPs and MLAs representing the SC and ST communities.
(Source: Indian Express)
2. Gujarat High Court Wants Govt to Clarify on Manual Scavenging
The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday sought a reply from the state government by 25 June on whether manual scavenging is still prevalent in the state or not, and what actions have been taken by it to curb the inhuman practice.
The reply was sought by the division bench of Justice SR Brahmbhatt and Justice AP Thaker during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a community-based organisation Manav Garima working for the rights of manual scavengers in Gujarat.
Counsel for the petitioner organisation Hirak Ganguly pointed out the recent death of seven persons on 15 June inside a septic tank of a hotel in Dabhoi taluka of Vadodara due to asphyxiation, while cleaning it.
Ganguly pointed out that manual scavenging has been banned in India and the Supreme Court has issued several guidelines for the state government for the rehabilitation of manual scavengers and to put an end to the inhumane practice.
3. SMC Officials Held in Surat Fire Tragedy Grilled in Assets Case
The Surat Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Tuesday, 18 June, questioned three municipal corporation officials arrested in the Takshashila Arcade fire case, under suspicion of amassing wealth disproportionate to their known source of income.
These officials have been lodged in Lajpore Central Jail in Surat since their arrest following the fire that claimed the lives of 22 students on 24 May.
Surat police Crime Branch has arrested 10 persons — Surat Municipal Corporation Junior Engineers V K Parmar and H D Singh, Deputy Engineers P D Munshi and Jayesh Solanki, then fire officer of Kapodara station Kirti Modh and his deputy S K Acharya, apart from three builders and a coaching class owner in the fire incident.
The ACB began an investigation into disproportionate assets against the arrested SMC officials on the direction of Gujarat ACB Director Keshav Kumar.
(Source: Indian Express)
4. Kutch Doctors Demand Gun Licence for Self Defence
In the wake of protests by doctors across the country against the assault on two junior doctors in Kolkata last week, the Mandvi town faction of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in Kutch has requested gun licences.
The doctors had participated in the nationwide protest under the IMA on Monday, 17 June. “We have demanded that an act be brought by the Union government, where the safety and security of doctors are ensured while they are on duty,” Dr Punit Khatri, a gynaecologist and president of the Indian Medical Association, Mandvi, said. “If the government is unable to do that, they should provide us licences for weapons so that we can defend ourselves.”
Over 60 doctors are part of Mandvi IMA. The doctors said they were considering sending mass applications for the licences to the Kutch collector, even as junior doctors in West Bengal called off their week-long strike after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee agreed to their demands on enhancing security for doctors.
(Source: Indian Express)
5. 167 Talukas in Gujarat Receive Ample Rain
The return of Cyclone Vayu to Gujarat has proved to be a blessing as most of the 251 talukas of the state received rains. The weather department said that Wednesday onwards (19 June), the rains will decrease across the state. As many as 167 talukas witnessed rains on Wednesday, revealed State Revenue Department data.
According to the data provided by the State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC), the state had received 28.21mm average rains until Tuesday morning (18 June). This is 3.39 per cent of its 30-year average rains of 816mm. Overall, 251 talukas witnessed rains because of cyclone Vayu. The Saurashtra region witnessed a maximum of 56mm average rain, followed by north Gujarat (23mm), south Gujarat (18mm), east-central Gujarat (9mm) and Kutch (9mm).
According to the India Meteorological Department ((IMD), rainfall occurred at many places across the state on Tuesday. According to SEOC, by 6:00 pm, 167 talukas recorded rains. Una received a maximum of 70 mm rain, followed by Lodhika (47 mm), Gir Gadhada (46mm), Sutrapada (46mm), Vadgam (45mm), Kodinar (42mm), Siddhpur (41mm) and Kalol (40mm).
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