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CM Inaugurates Auditorium and Library Hall of Seema College

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CM Inaugurates Auditorium and Library Hall of Seema College

CM Inaugurates Auditorium and Library Hall of Seema College

The State Government was considering for the channelization of river Pabbar and the designs of the same have been prepared. The river will be channelized from Sandasu onwards towards Rohroo and work of channelization would be allotted to a reputed agency. This was stated by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh after inaugurating the elegantly constructed auditorium and library hall of the Government Post Graduate Degree College (Seema), Rohroo, constructed at a cost of Rs.7.25 crore today

He said that the road from Dodra Kwar to Rohroo would be further improved to pave the way for boosting tourism activities, adding that Chanshal slopes were more suited to skiing and other adventure sports activities and once developed will provide direct and indirect employment to the youth of the area.

He expressed happiness over dedicating the new block of the college to the coming generations, the foundation stone of which was laid by him in year 2005.

He said that the location was quite suitable for the college as it was centrally located and the students from as far as Dodra Kwar could pursue higher studies here. He said the Colleges at Seema in Rohroo and Saawra at Saraswati Nagar were started simultaneously and the Seema College had excelled in pursuing academic and sports. He announced for construction of an additional block for office and staff room for Seema College behind the present principal’s office. It would also house class rooms in the same complex, and the staff residences would soon be completed.

The Chief Minister stressed the need for playing ground in the college. He said that the people should not quote higher rates for the land whose land falls within the purview of the Government developmental surveys. Few development works were being hindered because of land acquisition problems. He exhorted the people to co-operate in carrying out the development works and other such activities.

He said that there was need to check that no hindrances were created in development activities. As much as 25 Bigha of land will be acquired by the Government for constructing play ground for Seema college and the adequate compensation would be paid to those whose land would be acquired for the purpose. He appealed to the people to donate land voluntarily.

Referring to the agitation in HP University, he said that the studies were going on well in all the colleges of the State adding that no union or association would be allowed to become a sub-branch of student politics and elections should be held in a peaceful and decent manner.

The Chief Minister said, “if anybody promotes mischief and violence it will not be tolerated at any cost”. He stressed for holding elections to the Students Association through common consensus and in a harmonious manner.

“If anybody tries to lock the gates of the colleges or restrict the students from entering into the classes, he should be ready to face the consequences.” said he, repeating that he was there to listen to them and their genuine demands, but the indecent behavior won’t be tolerated.

“We have not enhanced the hostel fee or the tuition fee but there was a little hike in examination fee due to which furore was being created by few who want to keep themselves alive in politics. The fee issue was the matter of the University to see. He said that only examination fee was enhanced and that too was quite nominal.

To provide quality higher education to the children at their very doorsteps the Government has opened as many as 15 colleges in the State and that too in rural and far-flung areas during its present regime. Emphasis is being laid on educating girl child in far flung and rural areas, he said.

Local MLA, Sh Mohan Lal Bragta and Block Congress President Rohroo, Sh Ishwar Dass Choharu thanked the Chief Minister for dedicating the auditorium complex to the students of the College and for the developments which had taken place during the regime of Congress party.

Earlier, Principal of the College Dr B.L. Vinta honoured the Chief Minister and other distinguished guests on the occasion. He also read the annual report of the college and said that this was the only college in the State where the studies were not disrupted due to recent agitations.

A colorful cultural programme was also organized on the occasion followed by Dance Drama.

The Chief Minister honoured the meritorious students both in academics and sports and also the staff and faculty of the college for dedicating themselves in teaching profession.

B. S. Thakur proposed vote of thanks.

District Congress President Shimla (Rural), Kehar Singh Khachi, Chairperson, State Child Welfare Council, Smt. Raj Kumari Soni, Member Women Commission Smt. Kiran Datta, General Secretary, Block Congress Committee and Member, Board of Directors, HP Marketing Board Vikram Sen Negi, Member , Board of Directors, HIMURJA Sanjay Singh, Ex- Pradhan Gram Panchayat Jangla, Pratap Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, Dinesh Malhotra and other officers of the State Government were also present on the occasion amongst others

Misc News/Press Release

India’s Rank in World Press Freedom Index Drops to 140 in 2019, Report Points Out Hindutva and Nationalism Agendas

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India in world press freedom index 2019 report 2

The 2019 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has been released today. As a matter of huge concern in the list of 180 countries surveyed, India has dropped down to 140th position from last year’s 138.  Norway was ranked at number one.

India has been placed close to Pakistan at 142, and Bangladesh at 150.

The overall findings showed hatred of journalists has degenerated into violence, contributing to an increase in fear. The number of countries regarded as safe, where journalists can work in complete security, continues to decline, while authoritarian regimes continue to tighten their grip on the media

As per the Index, threats, insults and attacks are now part of the “occupational hazards” for journalists in many countries.

“In India, where critics of Hindu nationalism are branded as “anti-Indian” in online harassment campaigns, six journalists were murdered in 2018,”

the RSF said in its Index.

Violence against journalists – including police violence, attacks by Maoist fighters, and reprisals by criminal groups or corrupt politicians – is one of the most striking characteristics of the current state of press freedom in India, the report said.

As per the RSF report, at least six Indian journalists were killed in connection with their work in 2018. A number of doubts surround a seventh case. These murders highlighted the many dangers Indian journalists face, especially those working for non-English-language media outlets in rural areas.

“Attacks against journalists by supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi increased in the run-up to general elections in the spring of 2019. Those who espouse Hindutva, the ideology that gave rise to Hindu nationalism, are trying to purge all manifestations of “anti-national” thought from the national debate,”

the report said.

“The coordinated hate campaigns waged on social networks against journalists who dare to speak or write about subjects that aggravate Hindutva followers are alarming and include calls for the journalists concerned to be murdered. The campaigns are particularly virulent when the targets are women,”

the report noted.

Further, the RSF report said that the emergence of a #MeToo movement in the media in 2018 has lifted the veil on many cases of harassment and sexual assault to which women reporters have been subjected. It also said that criminal prosecutions are meanwhile often used to gag journalists critical of the authorities, with some prosecutors invoking Section 124a of the penal code, under which “sedition” is punishable by life imprisonment.

 The mere threat of such a prosecution encourages self-censorship.

Coverage of regions that the authorities regard as sensitive, such as Kashmir, continues to be very difficult. Foreign reporters are barred from Kashmir and the Internet is often disconnected there,

RSF report said.

It also suggested that when not detained, Kashmiri journalists working for local media outlets are often the targets of violence.

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Misc News/Press Release

Mohali Rape Case: Victim Reached 2 Police Stations, Still No Action Was Taken

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Himachali Girl Raped in mohali 2

Shimla-A 22-year-old girl, who is a resident of Himachal Pradesh, was allegedly raped on April 15 in a cab in Mohali. As per the victim, she was made to run from one police station to other but none of them filed an FIR. The girl had to walk back to her home. After two days, when the matter was brought to the notice of senior police officials, an SHO was suspended for inaction and an FIR was filed.

The alleged apathy of police is worrisome as it raises questions over the willingness of police to ensure the safety of women.

As per the victim, who got married two months back and is employed with a call centre in Mohali, she was on the way to her office when a cab stopped close to her. The driver inquired about an address from the victim and then offered her a lift. The woman accepted the lift. From Phase VIII, where she sat in the car, the cab driver took her to an abandoned ground near a government building in Sohana area and allegedly raped her. He threatened her of dire consequences in case she tried to scream or to raise an alarm.

The victim said the accused then took her to a road in an isolated area and tried to rape her again. However, as per the victim, she managed to distract the accused and escape. The accused sped away from the spot.

She sat in the car in Phase VIII but was raped in Sohana area. When she reached Sohana police station, SHO Daljeet Singh sent her to the police station under which Phase VIII falls. The SHOs reportedly cited jurisdictional issues as the reason for not filing her complaint. However, there is a provision of ‘Zero FIR’ that can be lodged at any police station irrespective of jurisdiction. 

Moreover, the alleged crime was committed between 9 PM to 11 PM – in broad daylight. The victim said she remained his captive for almost two hours.

A senior police official told media that the girl was unable to recall the number of the vehicle. The official assured that case has been registered and a departmental inquiry was ordered against the SHO of Sohana police station. A case was filed against the unidentified accused under Sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).  The police said CCTV footages from concerned areas are being collected. A sketch of the victim would also be prepared to nab the accused, the official told media.  

As the woman hailed from Himachal Pradesh, police drew criticism from people of Hill State. Several people tagged Himachal Watcher on Twitter and Facebook asking it to highlight the issue. They expressed their distress over the attitude of the police.

Now, the National Commission of Women has also issued a notice to the Director General of Police, Punjab, expressing concern over the safety of females and working of police.

A National English Daily reported that the suspended SHO belonged to Jagraon in Ludhiana, and has a controversial history.

Daljeet was recruited in police in 2000 on compassionate grounds after his father, a deputy superintendent of police with Punjab Police, was killed by terrorists. He has faced departmental inquiries earlier for not revealing his pending criminal case before joining the duty. The Daily said he enjoyed strong political patronage.

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Election Watch

Black Paint Smeared on HP BJP Chief’s Face in Posters, Congress Also Files Police Complaint

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Black Paint Smeared on Satpal Satti's Posters in Shimla

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) has filed a complaint to police for lodging an FIR against Satpal Singh Satti, President of BJP HP, for making derogatory remarks and statements against INC President Rahul Gandhi. Congress said this news was also published by various newspapers on Monday.

HPCC has already made a call for state-wide protest against Satti on April 16.

At the same time, the obscene remarks have angered the State Youth Congress. Workers of Youth Congress were smearing black paint on Satti’s face on BJP poster in Shimla as a protest. Workers can also be seen in the video writing ‘Besharm Satti’ (Shameless) on BJP posters.

The State President of Youth Congress, Manish Thakur, has made a call do the same with BJP chief’s face on posters across the State. All workers across Himachal should boycott and burn effigies of Satti in their respective constituencies, he said.

In its complaint, HPCC said that on April 14, 2019, Satpal Singh Satti was addressing a public meeting organised at Ramshaher of  Nalagarh Vidhan Sabha Assembly in District Solan. During his address, he allegedly passed derogatory remarks against Rahul Gandhiji and former UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. These remarks were highly defamatory and against women’s dignity, Congress said in its complaint. It also alleged that the objectionable remarks used by Satti are also in gross violation of the guidelines laid down by Election Commission of India.

The unparliamentary language used by Satti while delivering the speech in this meeting tarnishes the image of AICC President Rahul Gandhi, the complaint said.

 The abusive remarks used against Sonia Gandhi are damaging the public image of a woman, who is given the utmost importance in the Social Indian setup, it said.

These remarks would tarnish the image of Congress Party in India as well as in Himachal, the complaint said.  Congress also complained that Satti has committed a criminal offence by passing derogatory remarks and has also violated the guidelines issued by Election Commission of India for smooth conduction of elections.  Some cuttings from today’s Dallies were also attached with the complaint.

Satti, as per a PTI report, refused to apologize for the remarks, and said he was merely reading contents of a comment posted by someone on social media.  Instead, he said Rahul Gandhi and Congress leaders should apologise for using ‘chor’ word for PM.

I have narrated an incident while addressing a public meeting in Nalagarh tehsil of Solan district whereby a derogatory remark was made against Rahul in retaliation of using ‘chor’ word for PM in a viral social media message,

he told PTI.

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