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While Students burn CM’s Effigy, Police try to conceal protest scene from public

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protest against virbhadra singh

shimla sp office protest

SHIMLA-Today was the day when students would burn CM’s effigy as a protest, but unlike other days, this time police was seen putting more efforts to follow the orders. They did not allow passersby and onlookers to see what was happening amidst loud slogan shouting and the smoke which rose from the burning effigy. Media persons were also a subject to indirect warnings and press card checking.

HP Police had warned the students that if the effigy was burnt, cases will be registered against the violators. They tried hard to get hold of the effigy, but student dodged them and did successfully stage their symbolic protest. There was no drop in the level of aggression in student voices.

himachal pradesh university fee hiike protest

The student protest against jolting fee hikes in Himachal Pradesh University and in all affiliated colleges still continues. It’s gaining momentum right after the extremity of suppression and misuse of our police, but the HP Govt. and the HPU administration are pretending to not have noticed it.

After the HPU VC’s effigy was set on fire a couple of days ago, today, the students burnt that of the CM, Virbhadra Singh’s, in front of the Shimla DC Office.

shimla police

While, HW waited for the protest to begin, policemen, who were barricading the upper fences in front of the DC Office, said, “Yanha khade hona aur photo kichana manna hai”. When we asked the reason, the policemen repeated the usual answer, “ Humne nahi pata, Sahab wanha khade hain, unhi se baat kijiye”.


police barricate at shimla mall
So, today, the police made sure that no one from the common public or any other passerby could inquire what was going on there. Of course, the CM won’t like people to watch his burning effigy. When did this ordinance approved to ban photography on the Shimla Mall? Was there something which must not be photographed and shown to the public? What does a protest gathering and effigy burning mean if it were not to attract the attention of other citizens, who deserve to know why a section of their own people is in so much unrest?

HP Police at DC Office

Many people tried to get a glance of gathering and the source of rising smoke, but the dedicate policemen did not let it happen at any cost. A senior citizen was attracted by the slogan shouting and tried to move towards the source of this noise. When he was denied to go near, he said, “Mujhe sirf dekhna hai kya ho raha hai”, but wasn’t allowed. The police would say the spot was prone to a violent incident and it was for the safety of the public.

One of the policemen, a sub-inspector, approached us and asked to show media card, also warned us in the following words, “Check karna padta hai, aap yanha openly camera leke ghum rahe hain” and added, “wanha bheed ke pass mat jana, apko bhi chot lag sakti hai”

virbhadra singh effigy burnt

Well done HP Police. Unidentified faces with cameras are dangerous, especially those DSLR and Semi-DSLR types. We do not question the discretionary powers that the police is given to inquire a suspicious person, but we do wonder what harm or threat a person with camera would do. Of course, the acquainted faces of local reporters from dailies need not to be directed. It doesn’t matter what they capture, but what matters is the consent to publish it.

protest against virbhadra singh

To those who still think that these protests are mere political nuisance, which are spoiling academic environment of the college and that of HPU campus, we would like to request, again, that dive deeper into the pool of these events and you’ll notice many relevant issues related to our fundamental rights like those related to staging protests.

Lathicharge, arresting protestors, stop protestors and their buses as to stop them from reaching the spot of the rallies, not allowing cameras, and deny common public to hear and see the protests, these aren’t the thing our Govt. should focus on. There must be a reason that these student, whom the police trashed brutally, returned to protest again, and the reason is apparent; they are against putting the education and degrees on sale, so that each one of us could utilize the equality of the opportunity to access the education.

The student protest is likely to continue if the Govt. kept ignoring the student unrest. The Joint Action Committee of HPU students had already announced the dates for various protests throughout Himachal including ‘Chakkajam’ and ‘Mass arrest campaigns’. Rest, wait and watch how much the Govt. cares for the grievance of these students and their parents, who will have to bear the heavily hiked fees.

Photo/Video Credit: Tarun Sharma/Madan

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.

Campus Watch

Himachal’s Educational Institutions Closed Till April 4 Amid COVID-19 Case Surge, Pubic Holi Celebrations Prohibited, No Restriction on Tourism

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Himachal PRadesh closes Educationla institutes

Shimla– All the educational institutions in Himachal Pradesh, including Universities, Colleges, Technical Institutes and schools, would remain closed till April 4, 2021, as a precautionary measure keeping in view the spike in COVID-19 cases in the State, the government informed today. But schools would remain open for the classes having their examinations, it was informed.  

The decision was taken in a meeting held today that was presided by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur.

“Last year the spike in cases was gradual, but this year this surge is very rapid. In the last 20-25 days, the number of new cases has spiked from 220 to 2000, which is a matter of great concern for the state,” Chief Minister told media.

On being asked about tourist movement from neighboring Punjab – a state with massive surge in daily cases- the Chief Minister said that for now no restriction would be imposed on tourists given the peak tourist season starting from April.

Also Read: Himachal Reports Over 300 New COVID-19 Cases With 2 Deaths, Second Wave Could Peak in April & Last for 100 Days, says Report  

“Last year, the peak season was completely foiled. Therefore, it would not be favourable for the economy of the state and livelihood of the people to restrict tourist movement,” Jairam Thakur said.

“But if the surge continued and picked up more pace, then the government would review the situation again,” he told media. But the hotels and homestays would have to follow the SOPs while operating, he said. 

Chief Minister said that schools having residential facilities need not close their hostels, however, they would have to comply with all the SOPs to keep these residential areas cut off and appoint Compliance Officer to comply with all the orders. He said that teachers and other school/college staff would continue to attend the institutions.

Jai Ram Thakur said that no social and cultural events would be organized in the State by the Government and gatherings would be restricted to a maximum of 200 for indoor and 50 percent for outdoor events.

He said that nursing and medical institutions would continue to function as usual. He said that congregations and langers inside the temples would also be banned and other darshans would be allowed.

Chief Minister said that 3rd April would also be a holiday for all the offices in the State and there would be no public celebration of Holi.

He urged the people to celebrate Holi at their home with their family members only. He said that all the frontline workers would be sensitized to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest completing their second dose as per schedule.

It was also decided in the meeting that District Administration would take a judicious call on more restrictions keeping in view the positivity and fatality rate in their respective districts.

Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Additional Chief Secretaries R.D. Dhiman and J.C. Sharma, Secretary Health Amitabh Awasthi, Mission Director NHRM Dr. Nipun Jindal and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

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UHF Nauni Gets New Labs Equipped with Latest Technologies, Nature Park for Students  

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UHF Nauni Soil and leaf analysis lab

Solan- Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, today dedicated four projects to the students and farmers at the university campus. 

Among the project inaugurated by Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor, UHF, was a state of the art Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory established with the financial assistance of Rs 4.55 crore (over seven years) from the World Bank-funded HP-Horticulture Development Project.

UHF Nauni Vice Chancellor

Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor, UHF, Inaugurating Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory

The laboratory is equipped with the latest equipment like Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, CHNS Analyzer, Microwave digestion system, UV-VIS Spectrophotometers. It is well equipped to analyze the different soil properties including different macro and micronutrients and as per the analysis values, the recommendations are also given to the farmers.

NEW UHF nauni lab building

Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory

The samples received from different HP-HDP clusters of the state are being analyzed in the laboratory and ad-hoc recommendations for High-Density Planting on clonal rootstocks are given. A field laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology constructed for Rs 14.17 lakh met out of the pesticide testing scheme was also inaugurated today.NEW Labs in UHF nauni

Two projects- Nature Park and a Commercial plantation model of wild pomegranate developed under the ICAR National Agricultural Higher Education Project were also unveiled today.

Lab facility uhf nauniv

The nature camp developed by the Department of Floriculture and Landscape Architecture has been developed as a recreation cum activity area for the students and showcases different landscaping methods. Under NAHEP,a commercial model of wild pomegranate developed by the Department of Silviculture and Agroforestry was also dedicated to the students and farmers. 

UHF nauni nature park

Nature Park

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Parvinder Kaushal congratulated all the team members behind the completion of the projects. He said that both the laboratories will be immensely beneficial for conducting research. Speaking about the development of projects under the ICAR’s NAHEP, Dr. Kaushal said that the university is in process of developing more such plantation models which will not only be beneficial to the students but also help popularize new technologies among farmers. The statutory officers of the university, heads of all departments, coordinator and team members of NAHEP IDP, students and staff were present on the occasion. 

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Schools in Himachal to Open for Non-Board Classes from Next Month, Admissions for 2021-22 Session from April 1: Education Department

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HP Govt School admissions 2021-22 session

Shimla-The Directorate of Higher Education, Himachal Pradesh, has issued a notification announcing the opening of schools for non-board classes from April for session 2021-22. All educational activities would be resumed in all school across Himachal and students would begin receiving education from April 11, 2021, the notification said.

The decision came amid a sudden surge in new COVID-19 cases in the state and restrictions announced by the state government in wake of it.

Yesterday, the state reported 200 cases in various districts and three COVID-19 deaths. Today, the state reported 157 new cases and four fatalities till 7 pm. Also, expressing concerns over this surge, the state government had recently issued SOPs asking the district administrations and police chiefs to ensure strict compliance with preventive guidelines. Organization of fairs was prohibited and restrictions were imposed on number of persons in any indoor and outdoor social gatherings. 

Pertinent to mention that the Centre government had recently expressed fear of the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak as several states including Himachal’s neighboring state Punjab are reporting a massive spike in daily cases. Six States- Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu- are reporting a surge in daily new cases. They together account for 80.90% of the new cases (40,715) reported in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 24,645 (60.53%). It is followed by Punjab with 2,299 while Gujarat reported 1,640 new cases.

The schools would have to follow previously issued guidelines of the Centre Government. Students and teaching and non-teaching staff would have to ensure wearing masks, using sanitizers, and maintaining social distancing (2 meters).

The notification asked the school Principals/Headmasters to conclude yearly examinations of non-board classes by March 27, 2021, and declare the results by March 31. The admissions for the next session would be open from April 1.

For summer closing schools in Himachal Pradesh, the admissions would be open from April 5 and the these schools would remain shut from 1-4 April.  

Students who are taking board examinations of class 10, would be given provisional admissions to Class 11.

However, the notification mentioned “all students” and it’s not still clear whether these directions would also apply to primary classes or not.

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