Chitralekha Gujarati issue dated 3 October 2016

Is the Face of Rajkot Changing?

How come a town known for its fun-loving fondness is now seen to be hurtling towards an abyss of violence and crime? Why Rajkot that was once regarded as a happening place for all festivals like Navratri, Diwali etc is now fast degenerating into a hotspot of violence? In this cover story Jwalant Chhaya rues that if the present trend continues unabated, Rajkot will soon lose its benign identity it has cultivated over the years.

Of late the town has increasingly been witnessing a spurt in cases of murders, violence etc. Would we hold its police accountable for the changing law and order situation scene? Or its changing social values are responsible for its current predicament? Be that as it may, the fact is that Rajkot is fast emerging as a town which is no longer innocent and fun-loving it used to be in the past.

The city has grown and expanded but so have the contours of its crime landscape. Normally August and September are months known for religious festivals but what happened this year during this period has nothing religious about it. In the past 21 days that is up to 13 September, the city has registered not less than 10 cases of murders. For quite some time the police have been trying to get the people of Rajkot hit the beds early and avoid night-outs, but as the things stand today, the cops have lost their sleep over the series of crimes that has left them dumbfounded.

Take these two instances that reflect the changing face of Rajkot. One property estate broker was recently gunned down during the day. That one could be killed in broad day light with impunity drives home the unsettling truth that the perpetrators cared two hoots about the police. As the story goes, the property broker had borrowed money from persons with shady past and when the matter took turn for worse, he did tell the police that he apprehended threats from these people. His worst fears were confirmed when he was murdered by the criminals he had money transactions with. The whole incident showed the local police in a very poor light.

The second incident happened when a youth accosted a group of strangers loitering in the area, who were apparently there with a motive of robbery in their minds. However the young man had to pay a heavy price when he was knifed by these goons who did not like being accosted.

In other incidents, a policeman’s son was also killed over disputes in monetary transactions. An industrialist was murdered by his partner and a spurned lover killed the girl he loved and then committed suicide. The recent spate of such crimes makes you wonder: what has happened to Rajkot?

Of course, the spurt in criminal activities has to do with the economic growth of the city, as the property prices have skyrocketed, attracting land sharks to Rajkot. It was followed by several cases of land grabbing and such criminal activities. What is disconcerting is that young boys staying in hostel were lured into petty crimes over offer of money and soon the reputation of Rajkot was found to be in tatters.

One regretfully notes that the present scenario makes you believe that this city too has started straying into the Gondal and Porbandar way, the towns that have been notorious for their criminal activities.

In another related story Jitendra Radadiya focuses his spotlight on Gondal and Porbandar to get an update on their crime scenes. It is not that both these towns do not witness criminal activities any more, but going by the current situations, it appears that they are not as notorious as they were before.

Yet crimes do happen here and will not easily go, given the bloodied history of the towns. In its accompanying box, the story also reports on the crime scene in Junagarh where recently three murders were committed sending shock waves in the town.

However the worrying question is: will Rajkot regain its reputation or will allow itself to drift away along the crime path and lose its endearing identity?

Uri Terror Attacks: Is it the Payback Time?

Yes, says Hiren Mehta in this report filed on the aftermath of the dastardly attacks. However, the author suggests instead of going for a counter-offensive that has the potential to turn into a full-fledged war, India must adopt other ways to get at the jugular of Pakistan.

Giving a background of the place where four terrorists carried out their attacks in the wee hours and killed our Jawans in their sleep, the story outlines the significance of the place which has become a garrison town for the Indian army. The aftermath of the attacks has witnessed impatient voices emerging from India clamouring for a suitable counter offensive. The author says that instead of opting for ways that may soon lead to a war, India should reduce its trade commitments with Pakistan. Also, selective surgical strikes may also be considered.

However, it is a sad commentary on our intelligence gathering apparatus that our erstwhile prime minister I K Gujaral’s decision to dismantle it has harmed our forces more than anything else, notes the story.

Hans Dalal: Tiger’s Advocate

Samir Paleja comes up with a unique story of a young man who though afflicted with cerebral palsy has become a tiger conservationist crusading to save the tiger and reduce the man-animal conflict. The story notes that the disease may have tied him to a wheelchair, but it has failed to break his indomitable mental spirit.

In fact, the world came to know about Hans Dalal’s story when he shared it on the platform of Tedex Gateway. Chitralekha is giving a voice to this 36-year old young man, on the eve of the forthcoming World Cerebral Palsy Day.

The issue also carries a business story (by Jayesh Chitaliya) on the exciting piece of news that very soon BSE and NSE are coming up with their respective IPOs and both shares will be traded on each other’s exchange.

Also, there are Political & Humour columns, Palak, Cardiogram, Priyadarshini, first chapter of a new serialized novel, Health Helpline, Jalsaghar and Mukhwas

Ishita’s Elchi

Truth is greater than a saint, who is born from just a part of the truth..!!