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Old 17th July 2012, 11:09   #61
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Default Re: Individual OTRs Kills team spirit

  • environmental changes
  • ignorance of governments towards Farmers many issues
  • harvesting problems
  • money problems
  • irrigation / drinking water problems
  • lack of farm labors / high labor pay
  • increasing investments
  • dirty politics
  • crop diseases
  • crop insurance
  • attitude of government officials
  • increasing expenditure to run his household (apart from farming)
  • education fees & donation for his children (for the institutes owned by politicians)
  • the list is end less
Last thing FARMERS want is a UNEXPECTED OTR EVENT with many 4x4 machines capable to destroy Farmlands & protected forests.

As a Farmer i know how many problems a farmer has to face each day.



Also some participants are saying that a particular offroader tipped the officials. Lol
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Its
not the first time & AFAIK some offroaders were warned last year too.

Then why make the same mistake twice ?

BTW why on earth they entered a FOREST , even a newborn baby knows they are not supposed to enter protected forests without proper permission. Lol

rgds,
Nikhil

Last edited by jeepster : 17th July 2012 at 11:10.
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Old 17th July 2012, 12:22   #62
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Hi,

There are a lot of rumours and whispers floating around. What I saw, heard and overheard during my 'walks' gave me the following impression. I could be wrong and am subject to correction.

1. Police were not involved.

2. The forest department had enough time to gather personnel from several districts and get them to the spot. This could have happened only if they had advance notice. A call from a local villager at 11.00 a.m. could not have precipitated action on the scale launched by the MFD (Maharashtra Forest Department).

3. The MFD guys were talking about looking for the jeeps since morning. (I have a rudimentary understanding of Marathi so could figure out what they were saying).

4. They saw one participant (bob-tailed Jeep) on the highway and asked him where he was going and where he was coming from. If they were rushing to the spot on definite evidence they would have ignored him or stopped him and impounded his vehicle.

5. If it was a call from a local - a few rangers / guards would have come directly to the spot first and then called for reinforcements if they felt the need. To rush over two dozen MFD personnel, they needed a co-ordinated operation with a very senior officer co-ordinating things.

6. The MFD guys were feeling let-down. They were expecting a 'shikar' with all the attendant paraphernalia of guns, shoots, kills, carcasses etc.

7. No one was injured. The reporter was talking through his hat. If even one feather was lost from a chicken, the MFD would have called in the police.

8. The pictures published, are of private land, there are fields, boundary markers and walls. The area is totally bereft of trees or vegetation other than some grass. Tree stumps can still be seen showing where they stood before they were felled. We might have passed through forest land to get to the private land but we followed the existing track through the forest land.

9. From what I could see, vehicles followed either existing vehicle tracks or water courses without changing the course of the nallahs. It takes heavy machinery to change those water courses, jeeps cannot move solid rock walls. Only one slope used did not have a previous track.

10. No vehicles were impounded. Not a scrap of paper was issued by the MFD other than a compounding receipt for entering forest land.

11. The MFD violated several laws. I do not see a mention of that in the newspapers.

12. We did see some cattle in the area. They were not disturbed. The question the presence of cattle raises is: If it was forest land, what were the cattle doing there? The Forest Act prescribes a higher punishment for entering into forest with cattle. The presence of the cattle itself is proof that the area used was private land.

13. There was a small stretch of forest (on one slope) thereafter there was private land and then there a dargah further up. Is using the track through the forest land (only access to the private land and the dargah) to get to them such a grave crime?

14. No one went to the dargah. So the comment about using the dargah for purposes other than religious is scurrilous writing with an eye on sensationalism at best or fomenting communal disharmony at worst.

15. Who brought the journalists? How did they have time to get them if they were acting on a phone call from a local? The tone of the news reports (using the terms news and reports loosely of course), shows a clever mix of "rich" (always good targets), "environment" (not something many people understand, but which they think they have to support), "Supreme Court" (now let the reporter try explain what the Hon'ble court said), "Injury to youth" (always a tear-jerker), "villagers" (every aspiring politicians favourite mantra). As far as I could make out the notification of the Matheran eco-sensitive zone is to regulate development in all areas falling within the zone.

16. Trees felled, saplings uprooted, littering etc. the absence of photographs is telling. These things did not happen. Most participants were scrupulous about not littering. Any litter dropped by careless participants was picked up by the O team.

I have no clue about what happened in other places but, in Hyderabad and now MH, it was a clear case of harassment by the forest and police acting on a tip-off with an eye on fame, glory and maybe some money. Like all motorsport, they see OTR enthusiasts as idle rich and therefore easy pickings. If we are not wary, they will destroy all motorsport in India including OTRs. It is time to close ranks, put aside any rivalry and work together in the interest of motorsports.

Cheers,
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Old 17th July 2012, 13:12   #63
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Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
Also some participants are saying that a particular offroader tipped the officials.
It was not Participants who have mentioned this but an "O Team" member.


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Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
Its not the first time & AFAIK some offroaders were warned last year too.Then why make the same mistake twice ?
Maybe some people think they can get away with things and they are above the law.

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Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
BTW why on earth they entered a FOREST , even a newborn baby knows they are not supposed to enter protected forests without proper permission. Lol
Sir Participants were informed by a member of the O Team during his briefing speech, that all permissions that is forest, Police and land owner permissions were taken by them, participants went by the O Teams word.

Last edited by speedy : 17th July 2012 at 13:15.
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Old 17th July 2012, 13:31   #64
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The Land around NCR mosts belongs to villagers.

Northern India Offroad Club (NIOC) has grown in size since 2008. Prior to that it was a very small group led by 3 senior guys who has very good relationship with the locals.

On one OTR I was shocked to find put that an old villager standing alone and talking to one of the NIOC mods owned all the land we we did our OTRs on in the Badshahpur trail. He had no issues with us offroading there.

Another OTR - past the 2nd gunhill on the Behrampur trail we came to a lake which we usually attempt to cross with our jeeps. It was peak summers. Another old villager came running to stop us from entering the lake. He asked to Mods not to do it as there was no water available anywhere else for his cows. Again, amazingly this fellow owned this land and the lake land. But he was very reasonable and not angry at us. Later we asked him to share our food and he refused saying "you guys have come from far, so eat well, my home is nearby so I can eat anytime".

Not sure how relevant my banter is... but sometimes we misunderstand the villagers. And sometimes they misunderstand us too..

Cheers
Ankit

Last edited by GoSlow : 17th July 2012 at 13:32.
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Old 17th July 2012, 13:32   #65
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Hi,

There are a lot of rumours and whispers floating around. What I saw, heard and overheard during my 'walks' gave me the following impression. I could be wrong and am subject to correction.
Are you from the O team & talking on behalf of them ?? with such Authority & who are the other O team members ?

Quote:
1. Police were not involved.
being from AP how do you recognize the MH police ( particularly plain clothed )

Quote:
2. The forest department had enough time to gather personnel from several districts and get them to the spot. This could have happened only if they had advance notice. A call from a local villager at 11.00 a.m. could not have precipitated action on the scale launched by the MFD (Maharashtra Forest Department).
Quote:
5. If it was a call from a local - a few rangers / guards would have come directly to the spot first and then called for reinforcements if they felt the need. To rush over two dozen MFD personnel, they needed a co-ordinated operation with a very senior officer co-ordinating things.
They planned their raid as you planned your event --- this cuts off the Tip theory or the Tip was given since you started planning the event -- then why didn't any other dept took action ( for entertainment Tax etc )

Quote:
6. The MFD guys were feeling let-down. They were expecting a 'shikar' with all the attendant paraphernalia of guns, shoots, kills, carcasses etc.




Quote:
10. No vehicles were impounded. Not a scrap of paper was issued by the MFD other than a compounding receipt for entering forest land.
Be Sure abt what you are saying -- A RTI may reveal the truth -- you can file it too

Quote:
11. The MFD violated several laws. I do not see a mention of that in the newspapers.
Get a Lawyer today & sue them

Quote:
12. ==If it was forest land, what were the cattle doing there? The Forest Act prescribes a higher punishment for entering into forest with cattle. The presence of the cattle itself is proof that the area used was private land.
We are supposed to be more educated & mature than the common farmer who takes his cattle in forest , yes he needs to be Punished equally--- Two wrongs dont make one right thing

Quote:
13. There was a small stretch of forest (on one slope) thereafter there was private land and then there a dargah further up. Is using the track through the forest land (only access to the private land and the dargah) to get to them such a grave crime?
please get a Lawyer & clear the position about the use of Private Land in midst of forest



Quote:
15. Who brought the journalists? How did they have time to get them if they were acting on a phone call from a local?
Is this SO important ? Just ask them ??

Quote:
The tone of the news reports (using the terms news and reports loosely of course), ==
Can anyone control that ? Particularly the accused ones ??

Quote:
As far as I could make out the notification of the Matheran eco-sensitive zone is to regulate development in all areas falling within the zone.
Better have a Map & the copy of the notification --- remember what I told you on the phone your perception about the law can be dangerously wrong

Quote:
I have no clue about what happened in other places but, in Hyderabad and now MH, it was a clear case of harassment by the forest and police acting on a tip-off with an eye on fame
O team can Sue them , can they ?

When someone Plans such event , is he liable to pay any entertainment tax ?? Also can the revenue dept demand such if I organize something on my own Land ?? Just a doubt -- may be the O team Knows as they have gone through all necessary paperwork .

Sudarshan

Last edited by Sudarshan : 17th July 2012 at 13:43.
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Old 17th July 2012, 13:50   #66
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Default Re: Individual OTRs Kills team spirit

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Get a Lawyer today & sue them
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
please get a Lawyer & clear the position about the use of Private Land in midst of forest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
remember what I told you on the phone your perception about the law can be dangerously wrong
I thought he is a lawyer, no?

Last edited by Samurai : 17th July 2012 at 14:54. Reason: added quotes
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Old 17th July 2012, 14:05   #67
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I thought he is a lawyer, no?
I dont know , but they really need a Lawyer -- these laws are so complicated , Additionally they can file RTI for each of their grievances just to get their position clear

I am not treating the O team as a guilty party here ,but the action taken on them certainly needs some hard facts to be present .

Officials these days don't act on hearsay tips , as the People are aware of their rights more these days --- there is always a danger of getting it backfired --
So here I am wondering as to how they kept 50 odd educated people restricted in a compound ( hotel ) for 24 hrs & by which means they got all their papers in custody , only to be let off the hook after paying personal bond & fine

Dear O team , I could be wrong here please accept my apology in advance & correct me if needed .

Sudarshan
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Old 17th July 2012, 14:06   #68
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Are you from the O team & talking on behalf of them ?? with such Authority & who are the other O team members ?
Hi,

Let me answer you point wise:

No, I am not from the O team and am not talking on behalf of anyone, much less a team. My opening sentence did state that it was my impression (could be wrong), from my observations.

Every uniform had "MFD" on the shoulder tabs not "Mh. Po." (in Marathi) on the shoulder tabs. Even if most policemen were in plainsclothes, there would have been at least one or two in uniform. All personnel there reported to the forest officials only.

I was there, I spoke to several participants. No one got any scrap of paper other than what I mentioned. If vehicles are impounded, a receipt has to be given, a panchnama has to be made noting the fact that the vehicle is impounded. Vehicle that is impounded has to be kept in safe custody / handed over to the police for the same.

Please note that my remark about the presence of cattle is not in isolation but is in conjunction with the presence of fields, walls etc which lead to the conclusion the area was private land.

I am sorry, I do have a terrible memory but for the life of me I do not remember having a telephone conversation with you. There is an outside chance that you have me mixed up with someone else, there are too many of us floating around with "Ravi" for a name! In case I am wrong and we did talk on the phone, please forgive me and refresh my memory.

I do intend to get in touch with a colleague in MH to pursue matters against the MFD, the journalists and publications. I would be happy if you can refer some good lawyers. The problem is that it is a thankless task and the cost to benefit is way too skewed towards the cost.

I am not aware of a personal bond. No one was bailed out, a bond amount is deposited only in case of bail.

I cannot understand your comment about the accused controling the tone of publication. It has no basis in either jurisprudence or journalistic ethics. I do think that it is every individuals duty and obligation to make authorities and journalists (who claim to be the fourth estate or pillar of government) accountable. Incidentally, I was never an accused (an RTI application will reveal that). I do not want to enter into a debate about good reporting and journalists' ethics here as it would be OT, so let us just agree to disagree.

Finally, it was not my event. I did not plan it. I did not organise it. You are perhaps confusing me with one or more of the organisers. I posted because it pains me to see the authorities do everything they can to strangle motorsport. First it was rallies, then drag-racing, then TSD events, now OTRs soon we will be left with only PS3, Xbox etc.

Cheers,

Last edited by GTO : 18th July 2012 at 16:56. Reason: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting an entire long message inconveniences our mobile users
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Old 17th July 2012, 14:44   #69
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Hi,

Let me answer you point wise:

No, I am not from the O team and am not talking on behalf of anyone, much less a team. My opening sentence did state that it was my impression (could be wrong), from my observations.


I am sorry, I do have a terrible memory but for the life of me I do not remember having a telephone conversation with you. There is an outside chance that you have me mixed up with someone else, there are too many of us floating around with "Ravi" for a name! In case I am wrong and we did talk on the phone, please forgive me and refresh my memory.

Finally, it was not my event. I did not plan it. I did not organise it. You are perhaps confusing me with one or more of the organisers. I posted because it pains me to see the authorities do everything they can to strangle motorsport.

Cheers,
First of all please accept my sincere Apology for the following

1) I did confuse you with some 'R' who tried to convince me on Phone abt the events

2) secondly , you came to our state & get harassed for no fault of yours , its a Shame to all of MH people , we could not treat you better


I am not giving reasons but this confusion was caused by the points you presented being very close with the person to whom I talked with , I thought how a person could twist things we talked just hours back --- great confusion by similar names , Sorry for that

No Hard feelings , good you spoke --- so let the others too

Sudarshan
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Old 17th July 2012, 14:54   #70
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Call me a chatter box - but being from a rural area and close to farmers and shepherds I know a thing or two about agriculture and farming. So whenever a simpleton with 2 cows and a 6 foot bamboo stick gazes at me (around my town) I walk upto him and explain myself and ask where is his house and what crop he has sown this time of the year... who is the local MLA and what party rules his panchayat etc etc... get the drift? Also I steer the talk towards saying dont try these in your sumo's and trax's - and of course share some water on a hot day with them... They love camera's - a couple of pics with them doesnt hurt egos and they instantly recognize me the next time I go there!
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Old 17th July 2012, 15:03   #71
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Hi Guys, let me add my two bits as I was there too. I agree with Ravenndrra.

One thing is that whatever is said in the press is all rubbish. There was no person injured, not even a fly. Might have been a stray incident by another Jeep. Infact i saw a horrific accident on the way back where a youth on a bike had crashed headon into a Maruti Van and was covered with blood. I stopped to help but they saw my vehicle had no place to put the poor guy lying down and the people also thanked me for stopping and asked me to move on. I pray that the guy survived.

Anyways coming back to the nitty gritty. On sees trial by media every day and this is a classic example of that.
The facts are below

1) No one entered the restricted land on purpose. I was informed that the owner of the private land had given his permission to use his land, which was a meadow type, slushy land, devoid of any real vegetation except grazing grass, leave alone trees or even bushes.

2) The only animals i saw were a few crows, disappointing at not finding scraps to pick on as each and every participant was very aware of not littering. Besides the crows a few cattle were seen grazing around and far of into the horizon, some accompanied by grazers and most unaccompanied.

3) There were people on motor bikes on the trail

4) There was no board or signage anywhere on the trail and i mean anywhere so no one could dream of it being as a restricted land. In fact care was taken to ensure that only private land was entered upon. Unfortunately all of us realized that a certain part of the trail leading to this land was not private and that caused the problem

5) The officials told us that they had a tip off from higher ups that there was a hunting party entering into the areas and that is the reason so many of them had turned up on a holiday. They were of course relieved and a bit miffed at not having found real culprits or poachers but what looked like a band of people out with their spouses, women and children for a day out in the open in brilliant weather. They were also visibly relieved that we were not a hunting party.

6) Even they were not clear as to what part is private and what part is not but were certain that there were some access areas which were not and to get to that private land one could not drive through. This was news to all of us.

7) The corresponding fines were worked out and were paid on the spot no argument, what was wrong was wrong and they also realized, it was not done on purpose.

8) Had there been anyone hurt (even amongst us) or any plant damaged, they would have swooped down on us. I must say every participant took utmost care that this did not happen. It only shows with time awareness growing.


9) A fellow participant and a dear friend Jeeper (name withheld and will not be revealed so kindly those who know about it, also keep mum on the identity) was also stopped at the Kolhapur border as there was a tip off from the headquarters of that area with the Jeep make, colour, description and registration number to stop and strip search his vehicle. It was supposed to have been carrying weapons and bombs!! The poor guy was troubled no end till the officials realized this as being a false alarm and swore to trace the guy who tippped them off wrongly.

Now would you all still laugh at this as a stray incident and say that people are imagining? This certainly cannot be the work of a villager. Not wanting to probe,lest some real muck comes out, i have ben disillusioned by the general attitude and blame game that prevails. I guess we should work on getting this corrected first.

Now we can all sit down and either criticize why anyone went into non private land and all that and whose fault it is and begin with "I told you so". The fact is that this should be taken as a learning case and not something to point fingers at. No one is stupid to put others into trouble knowingly. I would say it is unfortunate and we should learn from it so that in the future we are more careful in being hoodwinked by fly by wire operators and middlemen.

I appreciate the concern as we are all share the same passion for the sport. No one has done this purposely, it is just unfortunate that it happened and we had to turn back from the trail. Maybe if we had not turned back, we may have violated some more laws so one should be thankful that whatever happened, did not blow out of proportion. I wouldnt give so much emphasis on the papers, they always write what they feel as they know no one will take them head on. Same with the authorities. It is an unfortunate truth in our country that they get away with whatever they say not realizing the damage they may have caused to others. History is full with examples.

My plea is that let us not get into that mode. Instead of bouncing this issue, lets learn from it and make amends. This had taught us what not to do in the future. If you will read my last post on this thread, before this one, i have clearly advocated that all sorts of permissions be taken before. The unfortunate part is that no one realized that this is non private land else im sure no one would have ventured even close to it. I think it is time our community becomes a strong pillar in support of the environment rather than be seen as a villain and against it. We can start Green Otrs and for that i suggest the next OTR, wherever taking place, the participants please ensure from within yourselves to start by obtaining a PUC certificate for you vehicles. A small step but lets start!

I hope i am not going to be hounded for my post, not intending to displease anyone but please please lets stop the dissection of the unfortunate event and lets get on. A lot of people have undergone a lot of undue and uncalled for stress over the last few days. No one is going to gain from pointing fingers. Instead lets upload pics of Automission (i believe some real great pics are there) along with a report for all to see. Lets start this way.

Sorry of ive offended someone, just couldnt see this bitterness anymore.

Last edited by V-16 : 17th July 2012 at 15:07.
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Old 17th July 2012, 15:46   #72
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Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
Hi,

There are a lot of rumours and whispers floating around. What I saw, heard and overheard during my 'walks' gave me the following impression. I could be wrong and am subject to correction.
Quote:
Originally Posted by V-16 View Post

I hope i am not going to be hounded for my post, not intending to displease anyone but please please lets stop the dissection of the unfortunate event and lets get on. A lot of people have undergone a lot of undue and uncalled for stress over the last few days. No one is going to gain from pointing fingers. Instead lets upload pics of Automission (i believe some real great pics are there) along with a report for all to see. Lets start this way.

Sorry of ive offended someone, just couldnt see this bitterness anymore.
Guys all I want to know is did MCUBE 2012 ever happen? All the crux of the history is begin pulled up, so I am really curious to know if at all the event got conducted.
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Old 17th July 2012, 15:56   #73
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. . . .

Not sure how relevant my banter is... but sometimes we misunderstand the villagers. And sometimes they misunderstand us too..

Cheers
Ankit
Very true and as others have pointed out - if we introduce the 'human touch' things do go smoothly.

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Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
First of all please accept my sincere Apology for the following

1) I did confuse you with some 'R' who tried to convince me on Phone abt the events

2) secondly , you came to our state & get harassed for no fault of yours , its a Shame to all of MH people , we could not treat you better

. . . . . .
No Hard feelings , good you spoke --- so let the others too

Sudarshan
No need for an apology, it was simple case of mistaken identity. I am glad that it is out of the way now.

I have nothing against MH or people of MH. Having gone to college in Pune, I have several friends in MH. It is not Maharashtra's or Maharashtrians' fault that some people in authority behave badly. Petty officials are the same everywhere in India. I can recognise a guy who normally wears 'khakhi' instantly anywhere in India, the swagger, the sneer, the pompous attitude is shared by all paandus, khatmals, maamma, etc. etc. the local lingo has different names for them but they are the same everywhere. I guess petty politics too is the same everywhere.

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Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
Call me a chatter box - but being from a rural area and close to farmers and shepherds I know a thing or two about agriculture and farming. So whenever a simpleton with 2 cows and a 6 foot bamboo stick gazes at me (around my town) I walk upto him and explain myself and ask where is his house and what crop he has sown this time of the year... who is the local MLA and what party rules his panchayat etc etc... get the drift? Also I steer the talk towards saying dont try these in your sumo's and trax's - and of course share some water on a hot day with them... They love camera's - a couple of pics with them doesnt hurt egos and they instantly recognize me the next time I go there!
I agree Sir. Even this time, as we stopped in the village, the villagers came out and started chatting with us. We talked to them as best as our different language let us. One lot who speak an universal language are children, I always engage with children in my travels, this time too we spoke to the kids, engaged them and shared some fruit with a lill one. They waved us off cheerfully with the elders looking on kindly.

Villagers get mad if we drive fast in the village, thrash their roads, splash stuff all over, run over boundaries or heaps of material. If they see that we are respectful of their place and space, they quite love the visitor and often can go out of their way to help "dumb city slickers" like us. Out of state guys have a huge advantage as the average villager loves to strike up a conversation with people from far away. They are often well informed and always have interesting questions to ask particularly about lifestyles, customs, food, crops, weather, politics, power supply, water, etc.

@Twinn: Yes, MCube 2012 did happen. First day's gymkhana went off brilliantly. On the second day, the pre-lunch part of the trail too was completed successfully before the mischief started.

Cheers

Last edited by Ravveendrra : 17th July 2012 at 16:07.
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Old 17th July 2012, 17:17   #74
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Default Re: Individual OTRs Kills team spirit

I was there at the event and it was my first OTR as a participant with my own vehicle. It was very well organised. Day 1 and I believe, 70% of Day 2 was smooth sailing. There were repeated instructions by the O team to maintain discipline and respect the environment and everyone adhered to it. There was no littering and no nuisance by anyone, let alone damage to the trees or the landscape. And I could see many jeepers smiling and waving at the villagers on the route to the trail.

I am sure the organisers did their best in getting all permissions and protocols in place before the event. No one would risk doing a half baked job before organising something like this. Unfortunately for us and the offroading community things took an ugly turn. Who started it (villager/ some insider/ forest dept official/ press) we might never know. But I do know now how facts can be distorted by the media.

Though this will stay in memory for a long time I hope one day this incident is behind us and we can enjoy many more OTRs in the years to come.

'O' team - great organisation, great food, great accomodation, great trail.. bad luck!!..
nitin_80 is offline   (13) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th July 2012, 17:37   #75
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Default Re: Individual OTRs Kills team spirit

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin_80 View Post
'O' team - great organisation, great food, great accomodation, great trail.. bad luck!!..
I agree .
I had a awsome time on the first as well as the second day.
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