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Himachal lynching: Family say boy beaten to death was not smuggling cattle

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himachal lynching

His only crime, they said, was that he decided to hitch a ride in the same truck to save the money needed to buy a ticket back home. Noman was the only earning member in the family. He has a seven-year-old brother and three sisters.

The family of Mohammad Noman Akhtar (21), who was lynched in Himachal Pradesh over charges of smuggling cattle, has said he was not a member of the group which was allegedly bringing the bovine animals from Punjab’s Malerkotla area.

His only crime, they said, was that he decided to hitch a ride in the same truck to save the money needed to buy a ticket back home.

Noman, a native of Raipur village in UP’s Saharanpur district, used to work in Malerkotla.

My son used to do labour work in Malerkotla. Since he wanted to come back to Raipur, he accompanied four fellow villagers who were bringing some oxen and cows to the village on Friday.When the Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal men tried to stop the truck, the driver speeded up and took a turn towards Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh.However, the attackers somehow apprehended them in Sarahan-Pachhad area, pulled them out and beat them up mercilessly.Noman tried to run away in the forest, but some of the attackers chased him and thrashed badly.While four villagers who were injured survived, Noman died in Sarahan-Pachhad police station, Noman’s father Saeed Akhtar said over phone from Sirmaur.

He claimed that while Noman was badly injured, the police took all the five to police station instead of hospital.

He could have survived had the police shown a bit of sensitivity and taken him to hospital for first aid.In fact, instead of trying to protect them or take them for first aid, the police arrested them on charges of cattle smuggling.They took Noman to a hospital only when his condition worsened,” he alleged.

Saeed also claimed that the four injured villagers — Mohammad Missu, Mohammad Gulfam, Mohammad Gulzar and Mohammad Salman didn’t know that transportation of bovines was a crime.

May be they changed the route when the Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal members followed them because there was a way from Sirmaur to Saharanpur. The place where my son was killed in Himachal Pradesh is 120 km from my village, he added.

But Yogesh Rolta, Deputy Superintendent of Police of Pachhad police area, said  that they had tied 10 oxen and five cows in the truck.

The cattle were tied in the truck in a brutal manner. Since inter-state transportation of cattle is a crime, the four accused are in police custody. We are completing legal formalities and they would be sent jail after they are released from hospital,

he said.

The DSP, however, refused to identify the members of the organisation behind the attack.

I don’t want to mention the name of any organisation, but we have identified some of the people who killed Noman and may arrest them soon, he said.

He also claimed that the driver had stopped the truck near Lawasa Chowki and threw the cows out of the truck.

All of them were hiding in a nearby forest area, but the attackers somehow chased them,

he said.

Rao Quaisar, a Samajwadi Party (SP) leader from Saharanpur, who took Noman’s father to Sarahan-Pachhad on Saturday, said:

It appears that the attackers wanted to burn them alive. The clothes of the four injured persons were drenched in petrol when we met them in hospital.he added.

He used to work in a stone-crusher workshop and didn’t know what was right and what was wrong. I am still unable to understand how some people can beat him to death, Noman’s sister Khushnuma said.

Misc News/Press Release

Schools in Himachal to Open With 50% Staff  for Students of 9th to 12th Classes

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Himachal Pradesh Schools Opening

Shimla: After lifting all restriction on entry into Himachal Pradesh in the previous Cabinet meeting, today the state government also gave nod to re-open schools from September 21, 2020. The decision was taken in a meeting of HP Cabinet held on September 18, 2020, in Shimla. 

Only those educational institutions would be opened which are outside containment zones. Schools would be opened as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it was informed.

Also Read: Himachal: No E-Pass, No COVID-19 Negative Report, No Registration Needed to Enter State

Only fifty per cent teaching and non-teaching staff would attend students from 9th to 12th standard, provided the students are willing to take guidance from the teachers, the government informed. The students would be able to visit their teachers for guidance, but it won’t be mandatory to come to schools.

Also, written consent of the parents or guardians of the students has been made mandatory.

It is speculated that there are bleak chances of opening primary schools this year as the community spread is in its initial phase and would be wreaking havoc in upcoming months. Himachal Pradesh has reported over 400 cases with 12 deaths today only.  

It would mean a huge loss in terms of education. There are several other obstacles and issues which make online classes for students of primary classes a difficult and less efficient mode of education. Imparting education amid the COVID-19 pandemic has become a challenging task for the state government.

Further, the Cabinet gave its approval to start BSc (Hons.) in Forestry in Government College for Forestry and Horticulture, Thunag in Mandi district from the academic session 2020-21.

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Himachal: Seven COVID-19 Deaths, 395 New Cases in a Day

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Himachal pradesh corona deaths

Shimla-On Thursday, Himachal Pradesh reported 395 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection. Seven fresh casualties were reported, taking the COVID-19 death tally in the state to 96. According to the official Bulletin released by the Health Department for September 17, 2020 (9 PM), the total for the state has risen to 11190, of which 4145 are active cases and 6919 had recovered.  

Seven fatalities also included a 14-year-old male from Shimla. He was a patient of Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Remaining six aged between 50-82 years.  As per the Health Department’s official Bulletin, all seven patients had pre-existing medical conditions like Diabetes Mellitus, severe Sepsis, severe ARDS, Hypertension etc.  

Details of COVID-19 Fatalities on September 17 (till 9 PM)

covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh on september 17, 2020-

Among Thursday’s cases, Sirmaur reported the highest 82 cases, followed by Kangra (76), Mandi (70), Solan (49), Una (38), Shimla (30), Lahaul-Spiti (15), Kullu (13), Bilaspur (12), Chamba (7), and Hamirpur (3).

Further, Solan has reported the highest number of cases (2525), and Kangra district has reported the highest number of casualties (20), followed by Solan (18), and Shimla (17).

For more statistics from all districts, view the table given below:

Himachal Pradesh-september 17, 2020, covid-19 update

Several media persons complained that the Health Officials have even stopped taking their calls and release required information. The Chief Minister, in today’s Vidhan Sabha session, compared fatality rate of Himachal Pradesh (0.8%) with the national rate (1.64%) and states having larger population like Punjab (2.8%). He claimed the state government was comfortable with the situation and rising number of cases. He said five make-shift COVID-19 hospitals, which are yet to be established, would take care of the rise in cases.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur today patted his own back by releasing an e-book “Sewa Hi Sangathan” brought out by the State BJP.

In this book, BJP has claimed that various initiatives and steps were taken by the party to effectively tacking the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister also termed the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” as a success and went on to say that it has stabilized rural economy of the country and the State during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Defending the decision to lift all restrictions on inter-state movement of people, including tourists, amid a community spread, he termed it a necessary step to revive the state economy. In a way, the government has made it clear that the people would have to learn to live with COVID-19.

Feature Image: [email protected]

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Himachal: 460 New COVID-19 Cases with One More Death, Situation to Worsen as State Borders Open for All

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday reported a single-day spike of 460 COVID-19 cases with one death, confirmed the state Health Department. According to the latest update (9 PM), Solan district (117) had reported the highest number of cases. Remaining cases were reported from Kangra (92), Mandi (58), Shimla (51), Lahaul-Spiti (46), Una (31), Kinnaur (14), Sirmaur (14), Bilaspur (13), Chamba (12), Kullu (8), and Hamirpur (4).

The COVID-19 tally has now reached 10795, of which 4146 are active, 6531 recovered, and 89 died.

HP Health Department’s COVID-19 Bulletin for September 15, 2020 (9 PM)

Himachal Pradesh daily covid19 update september 16

The number is likely to witness a huge surge as the state government has removed all restrictions on the inter-state movement of people. No permission or registration of any sorts is required to enter the state. Tourists won’t need to present a COVID-19 report and advance booking to enter the state. At the time of the writing, a large number of tourists and other people had already entered the state as the borders were opened today evening.

Also Read: No E-Pass, No COVID-19 Negative Report, No Registration Needed to Enter State

Tourists are happy with the decision. According to a media report, earlier tourists reaching state borders without registration were being tricked to pay Rs. 300 to register and enter the state.  It was later that they found out that registration process was free of any charges. 

Inter-state bus services are also expected to resume operation soon.

Feature Image: unsplash/@sonance

 

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