Navratri Competition beneath shadow

Vadodara: The complaint of cheating and fraud of Rs 2,654 crore against Diamond Power Infrastructure Ltd (DPIL) and its promoters may cast a shadow over the city’s second biggest Navratri as well.
The Vadodara Navratri Festival (VNF) is being organized jointly by a group of businessmen and the city police over last three years. Amit Bhatnagar, one of the promoters of DPIL, has been actively involved in VNF ever since it took off and he has been seen with several politicians during the festival.

In fact, VNF was brainchild of Bhatnagar, one of the key organizers, as he felt that the city should have more number of big garba venues. VNF took off at Navlakhi grounds in 2015 and then city police also joined in. The organizers promised big donation to the Vadodara Traffic Education Trust (VTET) that was formed to address traffic issues and managing traffic brigade in the city.

Last year, VNF gave a donation of Rs 50 lakh to the police but in 2016, the cops got just Rs 11 lakh as the organizers cited several expenses towards setting up permanent infrastructure. The police use these funds to improve its infrastructure and fund the traffic brigade expenses.

This year, though, the police department may exercise caution while dealing with VNF. City police commissioner, Manoj Sashidhar said that their association with VNF would continue.

“We are not dealing with any individual. VNF is a body that has been organizing Navratri in the city and the police department is associated with it. The association that shouldn’t be affected due to any individual,” Sashidhar said.

Senior police officials, however, said that the police department may ask the VNF to keep those associated with DPIL away from the festival during Navratri this year.

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