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Protesting Kinnaur farmers & workers betrayed by own Govt., left homeless in freezing cold



HP Govt. misuses Section 144 CrPC to ban entry of 700 workers to their accommodations since March 18, workers are forced to take refuge in jungles in sub-zero temperature with high velocity winds bellowing, without even a bed sheet to cover their body in cold. The workers have no access to their belongings clothes, toilet articles food etc. No political party or organization appears to support them except CPI-M, who alleges CMO acting at the behest of JP Company to crush the issues of farmers and workers.

KINNAUR- The workers and farmers in Kinnaur are jolted by HP Govt.’s bluntness towards their protest for their wages and labor rights. Now, the state Govt. has promulgated “undeclared emergency” in the tribal area of Kinnaur, to scuttle the democratic aspiration of the farmers and workers to liberate themselves from the ruthless and inhuman exploitation of Jaypee Company.

On the top of that, HP Govt. has chosen to support Jaypee instead of attending to the unrest of its suffering tribal people. When, these tribal laborers needed guidance and leadership, no political party or leaders appeared to support these laborers except CPI-M. As a aggressive response for that, perhaps, HP Police broke into into CPI-M’s Shimla office, ransacked it, arrests workers, and trahsed them in police custody. Even a 62-year-old party member was trashed by young policemen.

Most of the mainstream newspapers and media have also displayed its loyalty to the Govt. and Jaypee, and publishing only passive and partial information regarding the protest. The unrest is far more intense than it appears in newspapers. However, the biggest shock for a democracy comes from he public. The public is alright with it. They neither have any idea of pain and suffering of tribal people in Kinnaur, nor they care.

It is shocking, under the constitution of India, the role, duty and responsibility of the civil and police administration is categorically defined but inspite of that the civil and police administration is working overtime to please “his master’s”of the state- Jaypee Company. It is shameful never before; in independent India has any state or Central Govt. mortgaged the interests of the state and that of the people to a private company.

Kinnaur protest against Jaypee Hydropower 2

The chronological study of events in Kinnaur reveals the organs of the state whether civil or police are not functioning to serve and be responsible to the common tribal people but to serve the vested interest of Jaypee Company at the cost of the poor tribal people. All this is being done on the political direction of the state Govt.
Even in pre-independent India, during the British rule the rulers did not take such harsh steps, which deprived the people of their basic human right to life and liberty.

The District administration of Kinnaur has failed to explain as to why it has clamped the order of section 144 Cr.P.C on the allotted legal accommodation of 700 workers engaged in generating electricity in the two hydel projects of 300 MW Baspa-II and 1000 MW Karcham Hydel project since 18th March, 2015 and which continues till today i.e. March 25, 2015, and the workers are forced to take refuge in jungles in sub-zero temperature with high velocity winds bellowing, without even a bed sheet to cover their body in cold. The workers have no access to their belongings clothes, toilet articles food etc which are locked in their rooms and the police with the help of the Jaypee security staff are preventing their entry.

144 at jaypee hydropower project

Inspite of having put all those issues on record the administration refuses to budge and make an application of mind because they have mortgaged their soul and mind to the company. The Courts have repeatedly held their cannot be a blanket order of section 144 Cr.P.C they have stated “the provisions of section 144Cr.P.C provide for a complete mechanism to be followed by the magistrate concerned and also specify the limitation of time till when such an order may remain in force. It also prescribes the circumstances that are required to be taken into consideration by the said authority while passing an order under section 144 Cr.P.C.”

The fact remains that this unlawful, illegal unjustified, illogical inhuman order has been made to break the fighting spirit of the workers to stand up against the in human exploitation of the Jaypee Company.

Because of the unscientific construction of the hydel projects in Kinnaur, Jaypee Company has done un repairable damage and loss to the ecology of Kinnaur. The whole area above the HRT (Head Race Tunnel) along the National Highway-22 is sliding at a very fast pace destroying the horticulture, agriculture land and the other immovable property of houses etc of the farmers. Neither is the local administration nor the Jaypee company concerned about this damage that is accruing but the only concern is how to carryout repression on the workers.


The Party has noted the sliding of Urni village and the horticulture land of the farmers of Urni village is due to the illegal flushing tunnel that the company constructed. This was done only after the quality control wing of the HPSEB was disbanded in the year 2004.

The Distt. Magistrate must make utmost restraint to prevent himself from becoming a party to the pending Industrial dispute between the Jaypee workers and the management which is pending adjudication in the Industrial tribunal cum labour court.

The Distt. Magistrate has no authority what so- ever to recruit workers. This right rests only with the Court which is adjudicating the pending industrial dispute.

Kinnaur Jaypee protest

It is on record, the Distt. Magistrate has given permission to the company to make illegal recruitment and it is on record the police is forcing workers being brought by them from neighboring states to be recruited in the company who are being kept under semi bonded and captive condition. All their documents have been taken by the management of the company. In this respect a report has been made to the respective court by three workers today.

CPI-M has demanded a Judicial enquiry, with which agree,into the facts of repression on the people of Kinnaur failing which the party will intensify its campaign and struggle against the authoritarian steps being taken by the state govt to help Jaypee Company to maximize profits at the pains and exploitation of the people of Kinnaur.

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 7 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 world around him in his DSLR lens.

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Ruling Govt taking cover of Congress misdeeds to justify Karnataka episode




Shimla: Congress party in Himachal Pradesh today staged a protest against the capricious decision of the Governor of Karnataka, Vajubhai Vala, to invite Bhartiya Janata Party to form Government despite the written statement of Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) alliance claiming a clear majority. It has created a constitutional controversy.

If that was not enough, Yeddyurappa swore as the Chief Minister without proving a majority and had even announced waiver of all farm loans of up to Rs 100,000. Governor even appointed the BJP’s K G Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker.

This action of Governor has shattered the belief of those who honoured the constitution and political ethics.

A valid point that the Congress has raised here is that the ruling government did not play by the same rule in Manipur elections. In the 2017 elections, Congress won 28 seats in the 60 member House, BJP had managed to win 21 seats. However, governor Najma Heptulla invited the BJP leaders to form the government and denied Congress a chance to form the ministry.

What’s the biggest security a common man has in a democracy like India? It’s the constitution. This single weapon can set the entire country back on track if the people knew how to use it.

Anyway, politicians are taking care of it for you now. The ruling government has just over-rode the constitution, which is going unnoticed because the majority of the public has no idea about the business going on at the top level of governance.

In the present case, the Supreme Court of India intervened and overruled Governor Vajubhai and asked B S Yeddyurappa to prove his majority in the assembly at 4 pm on Saturday. Otherwise, the Governor had given BJP 15 days for horse trading. The Supreme Court only followed the constitution. The court has also proved the decision was unconstitutional.

It is not that opposition parties have always played fair, but the ruling party is taking unfairness to the next level.

There are only three ways in which BJP can form a government in Karnataka: by convincing elected lawmakers of Congress or JD (S) to resign or make them disappear today before floor test or create defection through horse-trading. Sadly, the Governor listened to the high-command and opted to be part of this game.

Another ironical fact is that BJP is trying to counter the resistance to its game plan by referring to Congress’s decades-old controversial decisions like the emergency imposed in 1975 and taking down BJP governments in four states including Himachal using tactics of defection. This is what the Spokesperson of BJP in Himachal, Shashi Datt Sharma said in a press statement on Friday.

The BJP followers are saying that the party is taking revenge from Congress.

Sharma alleged that Congress has always used politics of repression and at the same time the party is adopting the same tactic.

Why is the ruling government criticising as well adopting the same tactics at the same time? Why take the shield of bad deeds of past governments to justify own misdoings? What would be the difference between two parties then? Why is the public ok with it?

This trend of over-riding the constitution will take a toll on the public. No one is supposed to be above the constitution in India. However, this seems no more a rule of the political game.

One should wonder who will protect honest RTI activists, journalists, judges, or anyone resisting against government’s dictatorship when the constitution mo more has their back.

But, for now, no one is even close to understanding why they should be scared about it.

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Findings of magisterial probe into Nurpur Tragedy exposes HPPWD’s blunder




Probe report of Nurpur school bus accident

Kangra: The Additional District Magistrate (ADM) has completed the magisterial probe ordered into the school bus accident in Nurpur on April 9, 2018, and submitted the report to the Deputy Commissioner.   

The Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur-led State Government had ordered the inquiry after unrest broke out among the people following the tragedy, which caused loss of 28 people including 24 children.  While 23 had died on the spot, one succumbed to injuries a few days later at a hospital. 

While Hindi and English Dailies told an altogether different story related to the report of the magisterial probe, a Government spokesperson today made some of the original findings public.   

Findings of the magisterial probe into Nurpur School Bus Mishap

1.   The driver was never challaned/charged even once for the offence of over speeding, drunken driving and rash driving. 
2.   The accident did not seem to happen due to any mechanical failure.
3.   The site of the accident was a black spot with loose soil and damaged edges abutting a landslide zone with cliff and did not have any crash barriers and the road formed sort of craters.
4.   The bus should have been on the left-hand side but due to the absence of eyewitnesses, it couldn’t be ascertained how and why the bus went to the right side of the road.
5.   As per a survivor, a 10-year-old, who was sitting on the right side window seat, divulged that a motorcyclist came from opposite direction after which the bus rolled down
6.   Since there was no eyewitness of the accident,  it is believed that just to save the motorcyclist, the driver, in a reflex action,  had negotiated the bus to the right-hand side, misjudging the space on the right-hand side road. He could not have been able to control the bus which had reluctantly rolled down. 
7.   The accident has occurred under unverifiable circumstances. The road was straight, not sloping up or down 
8.   The driver was never seen driving bus in a rash manner and reported to be a mature person
9.   The road on this point is in very poor condition, uneven and forming fatal craters. The edges of the road on this spot are badly broken supported/reinforced with no crash barriers/parapet.


What caused misreporting?

Surprisingly, the Dailies reported that the inquiry found a human error on the part of the driver Madan Lal (67).  These reports further said the driver was looking back as children were making noise or suggested that the driver might have dosed-off on a duty, which is not hectic in nature and includes boarding-off children after every 10 minutes.

The road was tip-top and was not in poor condition, these reports said.  It is not clear who fed the media this story.

However, the findings of the report have made it clear that the Public Works Department shares the responsibility for the massacre.

That’s why the government has haphazardly tarred the patch of over one kilometre and constructed new parapets on the spot from where the bus had skid-off the road.

Now, the PWD is also installing crash barriers too.

magisterial probe report in Nurpur Bus accident

Photos: Amar Ujala

Take a look at the two pictures. One of them was taken on the day of the accident and the second one clicked recently and published in the Hindi Daily Amar Ujala in its May 9, 2018, edition. The picture speaks itself. 

At the same time, the parents, based on the said media reports, questioned the findings and demanded a separate, most preferably a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The shattered parents of the 24 children including some who had joined the school a day ago killed in the perhaps one of the most tragic and heart-breaking road accident in Himachal Pradesh.

Most of the kids aged between five years to 10 years and some families lost more than one child, which was the worst part of it. It is too early for children of this age to die a horrible death, which cannot be called an accident in a literal sense.

The mass cremation of small pyres weighed heavy on everyone who keeps a heart.

However, it is to be seen whether the State Government would take a action this time or will opt to save the skin of responsible bureaucrats and just move on like the governments have been doing in previous cases. 

If the Government would not deliver justice to the victims of this massacre by taking action this time, there would be more such tragedies.

In fact, the reason the people keep dying in road accidents or due to jaundice outbreaks is that no action is ever taken against the responsible government officials, especially the bureaucrats.

In case the Government chose to patronize the sinful officials, the public must not remain silent this time.  

We believe the mass cremation of small pyres is too heavy to be overlooked for anyone who keeps a heart.   

Top Photos: Amar Ujala

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Amid Shimla city’s water-crisis, MC alleged of putting people on hold for Hotels, VIP areas under central zone



Shimla city's water crisis

Shimla: Amid Shimla Municipal Corporation’s poor response to acute water crises in the city, the allegations have appeared that the VIP areas and hotels under the central zone are being given priority in the distribution of water. The tanks in VIP areas and hotels were full while the commoners were put on hold for them.

Opposed to equal distribution of the available supply, on Tuesday, as per the May 09, 2018, edition of a Hindi Daily and other media reports, the SMC supplied water to localities under central zone like the Mall Road, Ridge, Lower Bazaar, Ram Bazaar, Middle Bazaar, and some areas of Sanjauli. The reports alleged that these areas house majority of hotels, VIP residents, and officials.

Even BJP’s own Ward Councilors are now feeling agitated over the poor management of the SMC under the command of new Mayor. The people are questioning whether the Mayor and Deputy Mayor possess enough knowledge about managing a city with 1.70 lakh population?  

However, these Councilors are not able to muster enough courage to criticize their own party.  

The manifesto of the Bhartiya Janata Party for the SMC elections in 2017 had promised betterment in the water supply. It was one of the most important agenda before the elections.  

However, the situation has become so ugly that public toilets in the city were locked as there was no water for cleaning.  The government, as well as private offices, are also bearing the brunt of SMC’s miss-management.

For last two weeks, the people have no option but to buy water even for drinking. The SMC is receiving over 50 calls per day seeking supply through water-tankers.

The peak tourist season has begun on a bad note for Shimla. The hospitality industry is also surviving on either SMC’s alleged favouritism or through private tankers.

Betterment of Water-Supply in BJP’s Manifesto for SMC Elections  

The party had promised in the manifesto that the leakage in the main pipelines of the water supply schemes would be fixed to improve water supply. Natural resources would be cleaned and used to supplement the main water supply. The BJP has promised to cut water-bills and that the water would be lifted from Kol Dam to fulfil the demand of water in the city.

Unfortunately, a large amount of water is either wasted due to leakage in pipelines that awaits repair and water-tanks in the city including those of residential, commercial and government buildings. The water-tanks of the SMC can still be seen overflowing.

The State High Court has also noted that either water is waste in leakage in supply pipelines or being stolen through illegal connections. 

The supply to the city has dropped down to 23 – 27 MLD per day against the demand of about 45 MLD per day.  About 10 MLD is wasted due to the leakage.  In times of water-crisis, there is no effort to encourage people to not overlook leakages in their tanks or pipelines.

Rainwater harvesting is not even in the SMC books. 

The SMC has faced water crises earlier too, however,  but nothing was learnt to deal with water-shortage in future. Moreover, the formation of Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited (SJPNL) will take its time.     

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