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Shimla Gangrape: City in shock, police still clueless

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sketch of shimla gangrape accused

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Recent incident of gangrape in Shimla has posed a big question mark on the safety of females in once safe and peaceful capital city. The police is clueless even after four days, annoyed HPU SCA and students staged a protest against the Shimla police outside the Boileauganj Police Station, While Shimla MC leaves Summerhill roads in pitch black darkness, unsafe without street lighting.

SHIMLA- Last Friday, on May 17 , a minor girl student was raped by two unidentified men somewhere at Summerhill’s jungle near 103 railway tunnel in Shimla. Four days passed after the registration of the case, but still Shimla cops are struggling to get any clue regarding the identity of these men. The victim could recall the face of one of the two men and a sketch was prepared based on the description she gave. The sketch was circulated by the Shimla Police with a request to the public to help tracing the culprits.

sketch of shimla gangrape accused
On Monday, HPU students had gathered outside Boileauganj Police Station and protested against the inability of police department to get any clue of the accused men even after four days.

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The students alleged that the police action is much quicker when it’s about student protest at HPU, and that excess of policemen and Rapid Action Force is deployed on VC’s single call, but when it comes to the safety of females in the city, the cops are clueless and non-serious in investigating the case. The students also alleged Shimla Police for not considering their earlier complaints regarding eve-teasing and some incidents where girl students were either chased by miscreants or harassed in one way or other. The students also stated that a verbal request was already passed to the SP.

shimla jungle gangrape case

In Shimla, there is a rise in the cases of crime against women. But, this case raises a big question on the safety of females in once safe and peaceful capital city. In the present case, the victim had come to collect a B.A.LL.B prospectus at School of Legal Studies Avalodge campus. A male friend accompanied her on the way back from the institute when two men approached them, told them that the police has raided the place, and that they should not be there. The men offered them a safe place and made them to run towards the jungle. The male friend disappeared in-between as he ran hastily to escape. The girl was left alone and raped by these two unidentified men. The girl called the parents, who later registered a FIR regarding this shocking crime.

Click Here to See Condition of Street Lightning on Boileauganj- Summerhill Road( Posted by a HW reader)

street-lights-in-shimla

This case appears to be pre-planned, where the victim was identified and separated from the male friend using a false alarm of a police raid. The Shimla Police SP, Abhishek Dulllar, stressed that it could be some gang who might had executed same crime earlier either by blackmailing or tricking the couples at isolated lovers points near HP University. It’s a real bad news for Shimla. The incidents of crime against women seem to have entered Himachal like a trend after many brutal incidents of gangrape in metropolitan cities like that of horrific Delhi Nirbhaya and Mumbai Shaktimill gangrape cases.

On the other hand, we wonder why a police raid was perceived as a such a threat by the victim and her friend when they weren’t involved in any such activity which could has become a subject to police concern. Whatever are the faults or flaws in the police department like everywhere else in India, but we are sure that Shimla Police is far more helpful and co-operative as compared to the cops in other parts of India.

When HW talked to the ASP(provisional), Shalini Agnihotri at Boileauganj Police Station asking for a response to the student protest. The ASP claimed that every possible effort is being made to trace the alleged men. She further added that the unavailability of any clue regarding the identification of the men involved in the crime is making it very difficult to reach the culprits. Only a sketch could be prepared based on the victim’s description. Regarding the justifiability of the student protest, the officer resisted the unnecessary activity. The ASP further added, “The deployment of police force at HPU campus is more a public matter, whereas, in the present case, the nature of crime is all together different.

The investigation in a rape case requires concealment of some information as a part of standard investigation procedure. The officer request HW to share the sketch of one of the accused and to request public to report in case they suspect any individual.

Before, we could access the ASP, another lower rank cop responded to the protest in the following words, “Ab hum kya kar sakte hain jab koi solid sabot ya information nai mil rahe hai, in university ke students ko to koi aur kaam hai nai, gharwalon ke paise ki roti todte hain aur nare lagate rahte hain”. He can’t be blamed for the perception he holds like most of the Govt. employees in their 50’s.

That shows the public has little respect for the efforts of HPU SCA and students to protest against the lowering standards of education at HPU due to administrative corruption, political interferences, and denial of basic facilities to the students at HPU campus. We all know corruption is haunting every Govt. department or institutes. The list of genuine demands and corrupt activities at HPU is a very long one. If possible, visit the varsity campus, and pay attention to the issues that these students raise.

So, we would request the people to consider the positive aspects related to the presence of student organizations at higher educational institutes.

On a very serious note, Shimla MC, the Summerhill ward councilor, the Mayor Sanjay Chauhan and the Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar failed to provide any street lights on the Summerhill roads. The situation in other parts of Shimla is no better. All the roads towards Summerhill pass through dense forests. After it gets dark, the activity on roads reduces and the pitch black darkness makes it one of the most insecure areas.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

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101 Leprosy Cases Detected in Himachal During the Last One Year  

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leprosy cases in himachal pradesh

Shimla-A Spokesperson of the Himachal Pradesh Government today informed that under the National Health Mission, National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) is being implemented for the patients suffering from Leprosy. It aims to eliminate leprosy from every district of the Nation by 2030. He informed that the State of Himachal Pradesh has already eliminated leprosy by achieving the prevalence rate of less than 1 per 10,000 population in the year 2000.

The Government Spokesperson informed that the total number of new leprosy cases as detected from 1st April 2021 to 31st January 2022 is 101.

A maximum number of 29 cases were reported from the district Solan, followed by 18 from district Shimla, 12 from district Kangra, 9 from district Chamba, 8 from district Una. The 7 new cases of leprosy were detected in district Bilaspur, 6 in district Mandi, 5 in district Sirmaur, 4 in district Hamirpur and 3 in district Kinnaur. He added that no cases of leprosy were detected in district Kullu and Lahaul & Spiti.

The Government Spokesperson told that active case detection and regular surveillance activity is being conducted by ASHA workers in the villages where leprosy cases have been detected in the last 3 years. This is to ensure the detection of leprosy cases at an early stage to prevent any further disabilities.

He said that the ASHA workers are provided with an incentive for detecting new leprosy cases with or without disability (Rs. 250 and Rs. 200 per case). He added that the contacts of leprosy patients are also traced and provided free treatment post-exposure with a single dose of Rifampicin to prevent further transmission in the community.

The Government Spokesperson further added that the treatment of leprosy is being provided free of cost and available at all Primary Health Centres. The microcellular rubber (MCR) footwear are provided to leprosy patients twice a year. He said to ensure complete treatment of leprosy patients, ASHA workers are incentivized.

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HP Cabinet Decisions: All Educational Institutes to Open from Feb 17th, Several Covid Restrictions Lifted, Read Other Decisions  

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hp cabinet meeting february 14 2022

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on February 14, 2022, held a meeting.

The State Cabinet decided to open all the educational institutions in the State from 17th February 2022. It also decided that all gyms and cinema halls would be opened and all kinds of langars would be allowed.

The Cabinet decided to grant revised pension/ family pension to about 1.73 lakh pensioners/family pensioners of the State from 1st February 2022. 

The State government said this decision would ensure the revision of pension/family pension of 1.30 lakh pensioners/family pensioners from 1st January 2016. About 43,000 employees, who have retired between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2021 would also get revised pension and gratuity.

Now minimum pension/ family pension would increase from Rs. 3500 per month to Rs. 9000 per month from 1st January 2016, the HP government said. The limit of gratuity has been increased from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh from 1st January 2016 which would also be applicable for NPS employees.

Pensioners/family pensioners of the State above 80 years would be provided due additional pension benefit on revised pension/family pension. The Cabinet also decided to provide Invalid Pension and Family Pension to NPS employees of the State Government on which Rs. 250 crores would be spent.

The Cabinet also decided to provide 31 percent dearness relief to the pensioners from 1st July 2021. An annual additional expenditure of Rs. 1785 crore would be incurred on account of the revision of pension. The State Government said it had already provided Rs. 1450.44 crore to the pensioners as interim relief.

The Cabinet gave its approval for the creation and filling up of 8 posts of Sub Fire Officers in the Himachal Pradesh Fire Services Department on a contract basis through Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission.

 It also gave its approval to open three new Sub Fire Stations at Dheera in Kangra district, Bhatiyat in Chamba district and at Rewalsar in Mandi district and three new Fire Posts at Chirgaon in Shimla, Bhoranj in Hamirpur district and South Portal of Atal Tunnel Rohtang.

 It also gave its nod for creating and filling up of one post of Sub Fire Officer, 2 posts of Leading Fireman, 14 posts of Firemen, and six posts of driver-cum pump operator in each newly created Sub Fire Station and one post of leading fireman 

It also gave nod to fill up 12 posts of firemen and four posts of driver cum pump operator in each newly opened Fire Post

The Cabinet gave its nod to the draft of the Memorandum of Understanding between the State Government and M/s NABARD Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd. for the hiring of Single Resource Consultancy to establish Project Management Unit.

The purpose, the government said, was the implementation of the new centrally sponsored scheme ‘Financing Facility under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’.  

The government said this scheme would help the farming community as interest subvention and credit guarantee would be given for the post-harvest infrastructure and building of community farming assets like e-market platforms, warehouses, silos, pack houses, cold chains etc

It decided to notify Sardar Patel University Mandi, Himachal Pradesh (Establishment and Regulation) Act, 2022 from 1st April 2022 to set up a new State University at Mandi.

It also decided to open Degree College Ghandalwi in Bilaspur district.

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HP Statehood Day 2022: Relaxation in Electricity Charges, Third Option in New Pay scale, Higher Pay scale to Constables and other Announcements

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government, on the 52nd Statehood Day, has made several announcements. It announced 31 percent DA to employees, relaxation on electricity charges up to 60 units, enhancement of annual income for availing benefit of pensions and welfare schemes.

Benefits of higher scales would be provided immediately to all those constables who were eligible for higher scales. All the constables appointed after 2015 would be eligible for higher scale as per other categories of employees, the government announced.

The State Government announced that now while implementing the new pay scale, the employees would be given a third option besides two options already given to them. The State has recently implemented new pay scales for employees of the State Government. The state government said it felt that few disparities existed in the new pay scales of few categories.

Pensioners of the State Government would also be given pension as per the new pay scales of the Punjab government, the government announced.

The government also announced 31 per cent DA to all the employees of the State at par with the Central Government employees. Also, an increase in annual income for availing the benefits of various welfare schemes and pensions for the weaker sections of the society from existing Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 was announced.

Now, the domestic consumers of the state whose electricity consumption is up to 60 units per month would not be charged any fee per electricity unit.  They would be incurred zero cost per unit of electricity consumed. With this decision, domestic consumers whose electricity consumption is up to 125 units, would be charged only one rupee per unit cost.  Over 11 lakh domestic consumers would be benefitted from this decision and the State government would incur an additional expenditure of Rs 60 crore on providing this relief, the government informed.

For the farmers in the state, the government announced to reduce the present per unit cost of electricity from 50 paise to 30 paise.  This benefit will be payable from April 2022.

Further, the HP Government said that in the year 1971, the per capita income of the state was only Rs 651 which has increased to Rs. 1,83,286, the GDP of the State has gone up from Rs 223 crore in 1971 to Rs 1,56,522 crore. The literacy rate of the State has gone up to 82.80 percent which was 23 percent in 1971. The agricultural production in the state has increased from 954 metric tons to 1500 metric tons and food grain production in 1971 was 9.40 lakh MT which has increased to 16.74 lakh MT, the state government said.

The state-level function of 52nd Statehood Day was celebrated at historic Thodo ground in Solan, where Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur unfurled the Tricolor and took salute from the contingents of Police, IRB Jungalberi, Home Guards and, NCC girls etc.

The parade was commanded by DSP Pranav Chauhan.

The Chief Minister also honoured three war widows of Solan District including Dil Kumari Thapa, Savitri Devi and Nirmala Devi on this occasion. Head constable Sandeep Chandel was also felicitated by the Chief Minister who has been awarded Prime Ministers Police Medal for life-saving for the year 2018.  

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