|2006-12-31||Cattle rule in UMC|
The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) is famous for its complete failures on many key fronts, including controlling the spread of illegal construction and provision of basic civic amenities. Another aspect where the corporation has miserably failed despite the fact that it has the facility and budgetary provision and also the chance of earning revenue. This aspect is controlling the spread of stray cattle and pet animals on the city roads. The corporation has not seized even a single animal from its roads and public places for the last twelve years in a row. Thousands of motorists and lakhs of citizens of Ulhasnagar are paying the price for this apathy of the civic authority.
Stray cattle on the city roads and important city junctions are a common sight, all over the territory of the UMC. These bulls, buffaloes and pigs, block the smooth movement of traffic on such roads. People are tired of complaining about this menace to the civic authorities and have just accepted this situation.
It has to be noted that the roads of this highly congested business city are already congested and too small to accommodate the growing number of vehicles. To add to this, the presence of hundreds of stray cattle on the roads has further complicated the problem. It is not just traffic congestion that such stray animals cause but also fatal and serious road accidents. Sometimes the stray animals occupy long stretches on roads and junctions where streetlights are not switched on in the evenings. In such situations, motorists run the chance of running into them due to poor visibility and this can cause accidents. After these kinds of accidents, there’s a bit of a hue and cry but the city slips back to ‘normalcy’ soon after and everything is forgotten.
here are fans and there are fans, Dr Prabhu Ahuja is the type any artist would be privileged to have. Salim Dolare gets the low down on how Ahuja expresses his devotion for Rafi’s music.
Rafi’s fans celebrated his 82nd birth anniversary on December 24. The Rafi fan club of Ulhasnagar presented a live program to pay tribute and love to this legend and his golden voice at Town Hall in Ulhasnagar. The theme of the program was Mohammad Rafi sings for Shammi Kapoor. The program was convened by Dr Prabhu Ahuja, a surgeon and a great fan of Rafi. Ahuja has been organising this program since last eight years.
Ahuja is an ardent Rafi fan. So much so that he has purchased a flat and named it Rafi Hall. Ahuja has also got a road sanctioned from UMC and named it as Padmashri Mohammad Rafi Marg. All the Rafi fans meet every Wednesdays and Fridays after 9 pm and sing Rafi’s songs alongwith the musical instruments, sound equipment and also a classical teacher to teach the fans to sing the songs sung by Rafi in fine tune as rendered by the artist himself.
“ Tum mujhe yun bhoola na paoge, jab sunoge tum a geet mere sung sung tum bhi gun gunaoge is a haunting melody, I feel as if Rafi sahib is somewhere around singing for me. I was a great fan of Rafi since my childhood, I once went to attend Rafi’s birth anniversary at a club in Ulhasnagar but I found everyone drinking and eating.
There was no sign of any tribute to this great person, I was so annoyed that I told them from next year I’ll conduct the programme and since last eight years I am doing so. Every year the theme and songs are different, we never repeat the songs, and only Rafi fans are allowed to sing,” says an emotional Ahuja.
|2006-12-24||RKT College celebrates 30 years of debating|
Over the years the topics and the number of students participating in this annual event may have changed but the spirit remains the same, observes Rajesh Jagtap
A recent inter-collegiate debating competition in Ulhasnagar’s R K Talreja College saw the energised participation of students from colleges in Mumbai and the central suburbs.
The two-day competition organised in memory of Seth Paromal Parasmal received a decent response from students of junior college as well as their seniors in Degree College. While the juniors talked about the parent-child relationship, the topic for the Degree College students was the expectations that parents have from their offsprings. The participants however presented their skills in four languages viz. English, Hindi, Marathi and Sindhi.
|2006-12-24||UMC Neglecting handicapped voters|
The elections to the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) are hardly a month away but the civic administration is ’handicapped’ over following the model code of conduct guidelines in the wake of the civic polls. The handicapped voters from the area are up in arms over violation of the electoral code of conduct guidelines in the process.
The interesting situation came to light when one Shanker Salve, a handicapped social worker from the town alleged that civic commissioner is himself responsible for the violations. In a letter sent to the Secretary, Urban Development (UD) Department and the State Election Commission (SEC), the handicapped social worker has pointed out that the UMC has not met its electoral responsibilities towards the handicapped voters as per the guidelines.
Salve claims that the former SEC Nand Lal had issued an order in 2004 to all corporations in the state urging that the civic bodies should issue appeals to the eligible handicapped persons to get their names enrolled in the voting list before the polls. He also informed that all wards having fifteen or more handicapped voters should provide ramp and other facilities for such voters and their booths should be at the ground floor only.
"The UMC has not appealed to the handicapped to get their names enrolled as per the guidelines and thereby have violated the guidelines," Salve says. He further added that the UMC has kept the voting list of all of its 76 wards on the second floor terrace of its headquarters due to which the handicapped persons cannot easily reach the spot to register their objections and suggestions. Hence the voting rights of the disabled community have been infringed upon.
|2006-12-24||Ban Six-Seater Autos|
On December 20, rickshaw drivers from the suburbs of Dombivli, Kalyan, Badlapur, Ambernath and Ulhasngar staged a morcha at the RTO office in Kalyan. The morcha was led by Chalak Malak Rickshaw Association president Prakash Penkar and Pramod Thore..
Around 800 drivers participated in the strike. Rickshaws stayed off from the road in the morning from 11 am to 4 pm.
|2006-12-24||UMCs poor show|
The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) is well known for its serious administrative lapses as far as the spread of illegal constructions are concerned. A recent application under the Right to Information Act (RTI) has exposed another serious lapse in the civic corridors that is resulting in poor development of the city’s infrastructure.
Naresh Tahilramani, a member of the UMC School Board used to complaint of lack of basic civic amenities to the lakhs of citizens of the city but each time he got the reply that the civic administration was short of funds. The officials complained that they were not getting taxes from the masses so there were no funds to carry out public developmental works.
At this juncture, the school board member decided to check out what was wrong with the tax collection department by using the RTI Act. The civic authorities at first tried to persuade Tahilramani into retracting his application but soon yielded to his demands with a reply that was more shocking than expected. In the reply, the officials admitted that there was only around 26 percent of tax collection every year.
The UMC reply claimed that there were 1,48,765 assessed properties for under its jurisdiction. Out of this around 1.2 lakh were residential and the rest commercial. These properties collectively owe the civic tax department around Rs 76.44 crores till the end of March 2006.
Of the total taxable properties, around 74 percent do not pay their taxes on time and the civic administration gets taxes of only the remaining 26 percent on time.
Tahilramani is one of the tax payers who pay his tax on time.
The civic authorities informed that around 1,10,269 of the assessed tax payers are defaulters who have not paid their taxes for the past several years. Amongst the defaulters include 342 properties and each owes more than Rs one lakh to the UMC by way of assessment tax. These 342 defaulters collectively owe the corporation around Rs 45.89 crores by way of the taxes.
Interestingly, amongst the major defaulters are big private companies, state and central government installations as well as some top level present and past politicians of Ulhasnagar. Together these 342 properties owe around Rs 12.70 crores to the UMC tax collection department every year.
|2006-12-23||No Such Welcome sight|
What started as a process of beautification has become an eyesore. The old welcome gate to Ulhasnagar on Kalyan-Badlapur road was demolished more than two years ago to be rebuilt.
The project was started with an estimated cost of Rs 18 lakh and the contract was awarded to the Ulhasnagar-based G S constructions. Two years have passed and the project is not only incomplete but is adding to the discomfort of the commuters.
"The construction of this gate has been long pending. If they couldn’t finish it, why did they break the old one at first place? The remaining road is also in a very bad shape. They should do something about it before a serious accident occurs," observes Raju Ailani, a frequent traveler from through the road.
The road is the only connecting link between Kalyan, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath and Badlapur by road and therefore has a heavy flow of heavy vehicle traffic. Ulhasnagar’s old welcome gate near the Sai Baba temple was built in 1989-90.
|2006-12-23||Resident to file PIL to curb pollution in Ambernat|
Every suburb has its own set of problems, civic issues and pollution taking up the major chunk. General public blame one another and also the local bodies for a while and then the spirit dies down.
The 79-year-old Sanatbhai Chhaya has been at war with the administration for their general apathy towards civic issues. A few years ago, Chhaya filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) at the Mumbai High Court regarding the pathetic condition of Ambarnath’s heritage monument, the Shiv Mandir.
Last year, the HC ruled that restoration work must be carried out to the temple within six weeks. However, according to the activist, no progress has been made since then. Chhaya, President of the Nagrik Seva Mandal, an NGO, now plans to move the court once again.
This time, it is the rising pollution level that he is concerned about. He says that the local civic bodies and the citizens are overlooking such an important issue. He tried to raise the topic in local newspapers and through letters to various civic authorities.
He says that the diesel crematorium was installed at the insistence of Chhaya as he was against the use of wood for cremation of bodies. "If now he says that even diesel is a problem, we cannot do anything," says Raut.
He says that the nallah in Gaikwadpada near Shiv Mandir falls under the jurisdiction of the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC). The chief pollutants in this site are the denim workshops in the area.
|2006-12-23||Accused attempts suicide in police custody|
A 35-year old accused in police custody at the Central police station tried to commit suicide on December 18. The incident took place when the accused suspected that he might have to live in police custody for several days.
The accused Munna alias Sunil Johnson, a resident of barrack 707 in camp 3 of Ulhasnagar was arrested by the local police while he was attempting to rob a rickshaw driver in the city. He was kept in the lockup after the arrest.
The man tried to commit suicide by piercing a sharp edged stand of mosquito coil into his hand. "He attempted suicide while we were taking him to the custody room of the police station," says investigating officer PSI Tadvi.
|2006-12-23||Kalani and his men burned the train|
BJP’s state president Gopinath Munde was in Ulhasnagar on Decmber 18 to kick-start his party’s election campaign for the Feb 1 civic poll.
He addressed a meeting at Gol Maidan.
During his speech, he charged that Kalani and his men were responsible for the burning of Decaan Queen train recently at the Ulhasnagar railway station.
He urged the government to take strict action against them.
|2006-12-23||Thousands of citizens ran the Half-Marathon|
Last Sunday was unforgettable for the Std XI student Harsha Borse of Ambernath. It was the day when this slim and quiet daughter of a head constable ran 10 km, and most important for her, won second place in that category, despite stiff youthful competition. Harsha Borse was not alone in her flight on that crisp morning.
There were thousands of other equally excited people who also ran on that memorable Sunday. In fact, on December 17, 350 cities and towns across Maharashtra participated in Maha Marathon conducted by Maharashtra Olympic Association. First time in Thane, it conducted a 41-km long marathon.
A half-marathon was simultaneously held for various age groups in Dombivli, Kalyan, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath and Badlapur, at the same time. "The various categories of the half-marathon got inaugurated separately by the ex-minister Nakul Patil and the mayor Pundalik Mhatre at Bhaji Prabhu Chowk at 8: 35 am.
|2006-12-23||A tale of 17-year old battle with the UMC|
For the past 17 years the Budhwani family in Ulhasnagar has been fighting with the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) to get their rightful compensation. In 1989, the UMC razed a structure from which the family used to run an eatery, as the corporation wanted the plot of land for road widening purpose. The hotel was the only source of income for the family. However, all these years, the family has neither been given compensation for the loss nor provided with alternative land for the hotel.
The owner Ramchand Budhwani tried asking for compensation or alternative land but in vain. In 2004, Budhwani expired, and his son Ashok Budhwani (43) decided to apply for a change of name in the property papers and thought all troubles could be put to rest. But he was proved wrong.
To his shock, no records could be found with the UMC. Budhwani says that initially, the officers denied having done any such demolition and called Budhwani’s claim baseless. However when the latter returned with original property papers, the officials changed their stand.
The UMC then forwarded the matter to the Sub-Divisional Officer and told Budhwani that his problem would be solved there. They too denied any knowledge of the issue. However, when Budhwani produced the original papers, sub-divisional officer’s office recovered his papers from old files.
The document with the SDO office clearly states that 166 sq yards opposite the Ulhasnagar railway station in camp number 4 belongs to Ramchand Budhwani.
|2006-12-22||BSNLs Consumer Aversion|
The telecom giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) these days is aggressively promoting an image makeover through its glossy brochures and multicolor slim pamphlets via its customer-care centers. The reality on ground level, however, does not match.
On Saturday, December 16, the office of the area manager of the BSNL, which looks after Ulhasnagar and Dombivli, organized an 11 am to 1 pm open house (Khula Adhivashen) at the TRC hall situated in the third floor of the telephone exchange building in MIDC, Dombivli East. The open house session intended to address the grievances of consumer. However, hardly there were a dozen consumers to attend the meeting.
Visibly, the marketing guys of the state-run telecom company forgot one essential point of this PR drive. They failed to inform its consumers through advertisements about the open house session. The end result was pathetically tame. Like other such previous sessions, this one turned out to be a farce. There was more in-house staff than the consumers occupying the plastic chairs in the large hall.
|2006-12-18||Rating Your MLA|
During 2004 Assembly elections, many promises were made by the respective MLA candidates contesting from the central suburban constituencies like Ulhasnagar, Kalyan and Ambernath. Now after two years’ of their tenures, DK+ Team spoke to the MLAs Suresh (Pappu) Kalani of the Republican Party of India in Ulhasnagar, Kisan Kathore of Nationalist Congress Party in Ambernath and Harishchandra Patil of Bharatiya Janta Party in Kalyan, to find out what happened to their promises
Regularised unauthorized structures: “Unauthorized construction is not only there in Ulhasnagar, but is there all over India. I mooted a new bill to regularise the unauthorized structures in Ulhasnagar.”
Getting conveyance deeds to slums dwellers: “The problem has been solved as per a new act of the state government but many citizens are unaware of the ways to get the ownership of lands. The rate of land is very high as per the act, which is difficult for the slum people to pay. Within A short period, I will try to solve this problem.”
To provide employment: “Planning three projects worth Rs 250 crores, which will employ 7,000 people.”
Infrastructure development: “Infrastructure development is one of the issues in Ulhasnagar. For Infrastructure development we need money in huge amount and everyone knows that the budget of corporation is not allowing the fund for the development.”
Water Supply: “It’s a major problem in Ulhasnagar. The UMC spends huge money on water supply because of which other developments get delayed. Now we have designed water supply scheme worth Rs 108 crore and will be built on Built Operate Transfer (BTS) system.
|2006-12-17||Mayor, Secretary Row In Umc|
The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) has once again assumed statewide dimension due to a row between the Mayor and the municipal secretary. Political bosses from either side are flexing their muscles behind the curtain to ensure that their side prevails over the other.
On the other hand the state government has intervened on the subject even though it has no time to take up issues of larger public interest in the refugee township.
The controversy pertains to the suspension of Prakash Kukreja, the municipal secretary. The secretary had allowed the General Body (GB) meeting of September 28 to proceed even after the four subjects on the agenda was over and Jyoti Kalani, the Mayor had declared the meeting duly over. Civic officials including commissioner Sadashiv Kamble left the meeting but Kukreja stayed behind to allow the Shiv Sena, BJP, Congres and the two dozen NCP rebels to continue the meeting. The opposition discussed and passed four resolutions in the illegal meeting attended solely by Kukreja.
|2006-12-17||Colleges Go On One-day Strike|
On the chilly morning of Thursday, December 14, many degree colleges in Thane district remained deserted and eerily silent as teachers and non-teaching members went on a day’s pre-planned nationwide strike for a common list of 16 demands prepared by the trade unions.
“The most important of these demands is the immediate grant of the right to strike by the aggrieved employees, which is a fundamental right in every democratic country,” says Alexander Verghese, a senior teacher with the RKT College, Ulhasnagar.
He is also an active member of the prestigious BUCTU (Bombay University College Teachers’ Union). The union is one of the seven constituent units of CCTOB (Coordination Committee of Teachers’ Organisations Bombay) and is leading the teachers’ front in this national strike.
|2006-12-17||Thane District Football League at Ulhasnagar|
A District level Football Championship has been organised for the open category players by Thane District Football Association (TDFA), the championship started on 10th December, and will continue till March 2007.
The 3 to 4 month tournament will take place at various college grounds in the Thane district with the help of college authorities. Participants in the tournament include various sports clubs, college teams and also senior citizen groups. Twenty teams from rural and urban areas of Thane district have participated in it.
"Our motive behind organising this tournament is to promote football in college students and to provide a platform for the rural students to compete with their counterparts from the urban college and to compete with their seniors to gain more experience and show their skills", said Mohammad Salim Khwaja, assistant secretary of TDFA.
"Most of the football championships are organised by District Sports Officer at school level and is mainly called ’knock out’ tournament, where if one team fails to overcome the other, they lose the game and have to wait for next year to play again.
|2006-12-16||Major fire doused, but mystery remains|
A major fire that engulfed a commercial unit in the heart of a residential area at Ulhasnagar on Tuesday afternoon was completely doused within a few minutes but the incident has left behind a cloud of thick-black smoke of suspicion about the cause of the fire. The three victims, their family members, the police and the fire brigade personnel have kept mum on the incident leading to rumours flying around in all directions.
According to sources the fire brigade received a telephone call from one Manoj Pandey at around 12.30 pm. The caller informed that a major fire had engulfed the Paramount Mechanical Private Limited, a packaging company in Krishna Palace building in the thickly populated residential area of Khemani in Camp 2.
Four fire engines and a police van rushed to the spot within a few minutes but by then a group of local residents had done the bulk of the rescue and relief work. The fire was doused to a great extent.
|2006-12-16||The guilty will be punished?|
On December 9, Sanjeev Dayal, Director General of Police was in Ulhasnagar. He has been given the charge to investigate the burning of the Deccan Queen train at the Ulhasnagar railway station during a rail roko by RPI activists who were protesting the desecration of Ambedkar statue. While addressing the media, Dayal said the investigation is on and till date, based on media clippings and pictures, the city Police have arrested 70 people and GRP have arrested 43 people.
|2006-12-09||The day of mobocracy|
What started of as a run-of-the-mill bandh on Wednesday November 29, escalated into mayhem by the next morning. Hundreds of people formed directionless mobs and plundered shops and establishments in Ulhasnagar. The mobs even targeted homes and vehicles parked inside compounds.
At one hand the station along with several bogies of Deccan Queen and local trains were torched, on the other, crores of property was destroyed and burnt to ashes. According to sources approximately 500 shops, vehicles and temples were broken during the riots.
There was a strong presence of police in the town since morning. However, they failed to prevent the vandalism that unfolded through the day. Now, the police are being accused of not doing enough by the people who have suffered heavy losses. People claim that the police came unprepared and were silent spectators to the riots. Further, the police failed to get enough women constabulary in time.
|2006-12-09||Probe begins in Deccan Queen burning case|
The probe in the November 30 riots in Ulhasnagar where a few compartments of Deccan Queen and a Karjat suburban train were torched by a mob began on Saturday with Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Sanjeev Dayaal visiting the spot.
The riots took place after a statue of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was vandalized in Kanpur.
Taking the incident seriously, the government had set up a special inquiry committee under Dayaal.
Dayaal visited the spots of riots and walked a distance of one kilometer on the railway tracks from Ulhasnagar station to MP gate in Ambernath.
Dayaal told HT that this was his first visit after the riots. He said that post riots the force was busy in bandobast for December 6, the anniversary of Babri masjid demolition
|2006-12-05||Deccan Queen was masterminded by a set of educated|
The recent violence in Maharashtra may have taken the state government by surprise, but students leading the Dalit movement say given the increasing militant nature of the Dalit movement post the Ambedkar era, the attacks were just a matter of time.
Khandala: Bhai Vivek Chavan leads a double life, juggling between being a practicing advocate in the Pune courts and the leader of a militant Dalit outfit - Bharatiya Dalit Cobra. Currently he is on a walkathon from Pune to Mumbai - on a mission to convince Dalit and Muslim youth to act now.
"Please, stand up, awake and fight. This is the basic principle that I walk on. It was the principle of Babasaheb Ambedkar from whom we get our energy. This is his advice," says Chavan.
Ulhasnagar: Experts say that the torching of the Deccan Queen was not entirely the fallout of mob frenzy. They allege it was masterminded by a set of educated leaders who motivated the masses to implement it.
|2006-12-05||Ulhasnagar staring at demolitions|
Almost a year after the Maharashtra Government promulgated an ordinance to regularise over one lakh illegal structures in the far-eastern Sindhi dominated suburb of Ulhasnagar, the Urban Development (UD) Ministry has once again raised the spectre of demolitions due to widespread lapses in the regularisation process and the ineffectiveness of the local civic body.
“Only 15 of the 1, 50,017 structures that have been sent notices have paid compounding fees for regularisation till date. And since people are not cooperating with us, the structures will have to be demolished and action taken immediately,” said Ramanand Tiwari, UD secretary, in a statement issued from Mantralaya over the weekend.
After the ordinance, which was promulgated on January 14 for Ulhasnagar as a special case _ the suburb was a refugee camp for those who migrated from Sindh during Partition_ Thane district collector Nandkumar Jantre had been appointed to execute the regularisation process, namely issuing notices to the illegal structures.
|2006-12-03||Ulhasnagar on a ‘Swabhimaan bandh|
On Saturday, all the 25,000 shops and establishments and schools in Ulhasnagar observed a ‘Swabhimaan’ bandh to protest the ‘unwarranted violence’ that broke out on Thursday.
In 1992, local MLA Pappu Kalani was arrested, and shops were closed to protest that. “On Saturday, we repeated history to make sure Kalani is arrested. He is an RPI MLA, but he allowed things to get out of hand,” says Ved Prakash Rohra, president of the Adaarsh Panchat.
“On Friday, several members of the shopkeepers’ association, private bus operators and members of the auto rickshaw union met and decided on the bandh,” says Bachho Roopchandani, president of the Vyapaari Mahamandal. He said the bandh was to protest police inefficiency.
Roopchandani says that when the mob went on rampage, the police were mute spectators. They also damaged property even after shops had pulled down their shutters, he said.
Also, a statue of Swami Shanti Prakash, a renowned Sindhi saint, in Camp no. 4 was desecrated. A temple in Camp no. 3 was also damaged.
Interestingly, Ulhasnagar is mainly a community of businessmen who, under no circumstances, would call for a strike that would damage their earning.
|2006-12-02||UMC Celebrates 31 Days|
The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) has been a failure on several fronts. It has consistently failed to meet targets in several areas including tax collection and octroi collection. However, in the current year, the UMC made a remarkable achievement in one front. The corporation has successfully celebrated all the days dedicated to historical personalities in the state.
Unlike many other civic bodies in the state, in 2006, the UMC celebrated all the twenty-five days dedicated to important persons in the country.
Till the year 2005, the UMC would celebrate nine such days apart from the six public holidays on account of the Independence Day, Republic Day, etc. However, this year being an election year, owing to pressure from various political parties, the UMC administration decided to add more days to the list. "Members of all political parties are followers of some or the other national heros. They began demanding that the UMC commemorate their favoured historical figure’s death and birth anniversaries. So we had to increase the list," explains an official on condition of anonymity.
|2006-12-02||The Great Dalit Divide: Who dunnit?|
The alleged defacement of a statue of Dalit messiah and the author of Indian Constitution B R Ambedkar in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur snowballed into a raging mob violence in Maharashtra, that killed three people and damaged public property worth crores.
"It was a spontaneous movement, this is against police brutality," said BRP Bahujan Mahasang President Prakash Ambedkar.
Six people have so far been arrested for torching two trains in Ulhasnagar on Thursday.
According to sources, most of the arrested are connected with local RPI leader Pappu Kalani. However, quite shockingly, many of the arrested are non-Dalits.
However, the state police are maintaining a guarded silence over the issue. "We are investigating the matter," said Railway Police Commissioner Suresh Khopade
|2006-12-02||14 held for Deccan Queen fire|
At least 14 persons have been picked up by the Railway Police for allegedly setting afire the Deccan Queen Express and other two local trains on Thursday. Six of the 14 accused, including a Class 10 student, were produced in court on Friday and remanded in police custody till December 3. They are: Namdev Shelar, a student, Krishna Naidu,23, Sachin Gaikwad, 22, Santosh Hotkar, 19, and Rahul Mirke, 23, and Amaresh Singh.
Relatives of Naidu, Gaikwad, Hotkar and Mirke accused the police of falsely implicating them in the case and denied their kins’ involvement in the case. The driver of Deccan Queen Express was present at the station, claiming that he could identify the real culprits and said some of the arrested were infact helped him in getting out of the burning train.
|2006-12-01||When trains burnt Ulhsngar did not had firebrigade|
The satellite township bore the brunt of Thursday's violent protests, with teenagers pulling frightened commuters out and setting fire to three trains.
Violence erupted in the morning and as it fanned through the city, protesters began to stop trains at the station. The Mumbai-bound Deccan Queen, which ferries hundreds of daily commuters to the city every day, arrived around 11.30 am, almost two hours behind schedule as protesters had stopped all suburban trains on the track.
Frightened commuters got off the train and many were pulled out. The mob's next step took everyone, including the heavily outnumbered railway police, by surprise — they set the train on fire.
Since the Central Railway authorities were not prepared for such an incident, seven coaches of the Deccan Queen were burnt to ashes in no time. The Ulhasnagar civic authorities did not have provisions for a fire brigade, said sources.
Almost half an hour later, a local from Ambernath to CST was also set on fire in the same area.
Once again, CR officials did not have any provisions for dousing the fire and waited for fire brigade vans from the Kalyan Dombivli municipal corporation. Even while attempts were being made to control the blaze on the up train, a down service coming from CST to Ambernath also met with the same fate near Ulhasnagar.
Significantly, mobs burnt all the first class coaches on both the up and down suburban locals.
|2006-12-01||Dalit organisations call a bandh on Friday also|
Police in Kanpur have arrested a man they suspect of vandalising the statue of B R Ambedkar.
Arun Valmiki, a resident of Sarojini Nagar, has allegedly confessed to damaging the Ambedkar statue in Kakadeo area along with two associates on Tuesday.
The incident sparked off a violent outburst of Dalit anger across Maharashtra on Thursday.
Various towns in the state, including Mumbai, had Dalit protestors taking to the streets and clashing with police.
Dalit emotions, already simmering since the murder of a family in Khairlanji Bhandara, simmered over to result in a day of clashes, burning trains and broken buses.
Three people died in the protests and Congress President Sonia Gandhi spoke to Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who is rushing back from Singapore.
Meanwhile, Dalit organisations have called a bandh on Friday in Ulhasnagar, Kalyan, Dombivili and Parbhani, but Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar, President of the Bharipa Bahujan Party, has appealed to protestors to maintain peace.
|2006-12-01||3 trains burnt, Ulhasnagar station vandalized|
Between 3,000 to 5,000 Dalit protestors set fire to three trains at the Ulhasnagar railway station on Thursday to protest against the alleged desecration of Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue at Kanpur on Tuesday.
After setting fire to eight bogies of the Deccan Queen travelling from Pune to Mumbai in the early afternoon, protesters turned their ire on two local trains - both Mumbai-Ambernath locals. Passengers in all three trains were asked to get down from their bogies, after which protestors started destroying seats, gates and windows.
A few miscreants also gutted the engine after pouring kerosene in the bogies and then setting them on fire. Some vandals ransacked the Ulhasnagar station, including the ticket-booking office, announcer’s office, food stalls, indicators, lights and technical equipment at the railway office.
Most protestors were residents of slums that run along the Ulhasnagar station and areas such as Forwar Lane, Chopra Court and Khemani. GRP, RPF and SRPF officials restrained many agitators by firing 16 rounds in the air at around 2:30pm and throwing tear gas to disperse the mob.