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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.

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Video: Massive Landslide in Sirmaur Caught on Camera, NH 707 Closed for Traffic

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Sirmaur landslide nh 707

Sirmaur-Incessant rains have caused another massive landslide in the Sirmaur district on National Highway 707. A 100 to 150 meters stretch of Paonta Sahib – Shillai road near Kali Dhank, Badwas, caved in within a few minutes.

According to the initial information received, no loss of lives or damage to any vehicle was reported as a minor slide from the hill had alerted the people.

The landslide completely damaged several electricity poles, causing a blackout in some parts of the region.

The district police is re-directing all traffic from Paonta Sahib to Shillai to the Puruwala-Kilod-Jong-Kafota-Shillai route.

Further, all traffic movement towards Shimla from the region has also been re-directed.

The HP Meteorological Department has issued a yellow alert for the state till August 2th, while widespread rain has been predicted till August 4th. 

The Met has also issued an alert for flash-floods for Chamba, Mandi, Kullu, Shimla, and Solan districts.

It’s pertinent to mention that furious monsoon has already claimed over 200 lives and caused damages to property worth hundreds of crores in Himachal Pradesh.

During the last two days, as many as 21 people had died due to landslides and flash floods triggered by cloudbursts. Some of the persons who were swept away or buried were yet to be traced.

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Himachal: Cloudbursts, Landslides Claim 9 Lives in 48 Hours, 7 Still Missing, Met Issues Alert Till August 1st  

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monsoon damage in himachal pradesh 2021

Shimla-Monsoon continues to pummel Himachal Pradesh with deadly ferocity, leading to more cloudbursts, landslides, and flash floods. Several rivers and rivulets are in spate. Incessant rains could bring more destruction as the HP Meteorological Department has forecast widespread heavy rains till August 1st. While a red alert was issued for July 28, an orange alert has been issued for July 29 and July 30 and a yellow alert for July 31st and August 1st.

An advisory has been issued for locals and tourists to not venture near the river banks and avoid unnecessary travel as incessant rains could lead to more landslides, flash floods, and uprooting of trees.  However, tourists could be seen resolutely ignoring these warnings and partying near river banks and water bodies.

As devastation unfolds, the death toll due to monsoon induced calamities has reached nearly 200, while damages to property were assessed to be in hundreds of crores. Over 350 roads, including Manali-Leh, Pathankot-Chamba, and Shimla-Kalka, were blocked due to landslides.  Half a dozen bridges, as many as 30 houses and several vehicles were destroyed. Hundreds of tourists were reportedly struck in Lahaul.

lahaul-spiti cloudburst

After a flash flood in Dharamshala, a massive landslide in Shahpur constituency, and a horrid rockslide in Kinnaur district that killed nine tourists and injured four people, a cloudburst triggered a flash flood in Lahaul-Spiti district on Tuesday that washed away over a dozen of people, who were said to be labourers.  

cloudburst in lahaul-spiti

According to the Director of the State Disaster Management, Sudesh Kumar, at the time of writing this report, seven bodies had been recovered while four others were missing. The cloudburst occurred over Tonzin nallah in the Lahaul region of the tribal district. Rescue operations were in progress to trace missing persons.

A team of the National Disaster Response Force, which was on its way to Lahaul-Spiti through road, remained stuck in Mandi for several hours.  

On Wednesday morning, cloudburst was reported in Kullu district resulting in deluging of Bhramhaganga – a tributary of Parvati river. A  tourist, a 25-year-old mother along with her 4-year-old son, and a hydropower official came in its spate and were yet to be traced. Beas river was also in spate and people living in shanties on its bank were evacuated. 

Beas in spate

Rackham area in Kinnaur district also reported heavy losses due to a cloudburst on Wednesday morning.

While a rockslide killed one person in Chamba’s Saluni, a helper tagged with a JCB deployed for clearing Bharmaur-Pathankot National Highway was swept away by gushing waters of a nullah on Tuesday night. His body was recovered on Wednesday.

In Shimla, a landslide between Vikasnagar and Panthaghati crushed a vehicle and caused damaged to some others. Gumma khud in Chirgaon was also in spate and reportedly swept away a bridge and about four vehicles. 

landslide in shimla crushed car

Dharamsala received the highest 122 mm of rain, followed by Una 119 mm. In Solan district, Kasauli and Nalagarh also received over 105 mm rain. 

This widespread destruction has worried climatologists and environmentalists who are linking increased instances of landslides and cloudburst to environmental degradation and destabilization of hills due to developmental projects, including cutting of hills for widening of roads, construction of four lanes, hydropower projects etc. 

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Kinnaur: Massive Landslide Caught on Camera, Kills 9 Tourists, Injures 4, Destroys Bailey Bridge

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kinnaur landslide in batseri

Kinnaur: A massive landslide in Batseri on Sangla-Chitkul road in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday killed nine persons and injured at least four others. Huge boulders rolled down the mountain following the landslide and destroyed an iron Bailey bridge and many vehicles parked along the road within a few seconds.

A tourist vehicle, which was reportedly carrying about 11 tourists from Delhi NCR, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Chattisgarh, was hit by boulders near Gunsa, killing nine tourists. A couple of videos of this heart-wrenching incident went viral on social media. In the video, some people can be heard whistling and shouting to warn others.

“Nine people died, and three were injured after boulders rolled downhill due to a landslide in Kinnaur district. Batseri bridge collapsed in the incident. A rescue team is present at the spot,” Superintendent of Police (SP), Kinnaur, Saju Ram Rana said.

The intensity with which boulders hit could be assessed from the fact that the iron bailey bridge on the Baspa river collapsed instantly. 

Video of landlside in himachal pradesh

On receiving the information, teams of district police and Indo-Tibetan Border Police rushed to the spot and initiated a rescue operation. The district administration was also assessing the situation. As per reports, rocks sliding down from the hilltop made the rescue operation difficult for the teams.

sangla valley landslide

As per initial reports, a request was made to make a helicopter available to aid rescue work, which was yet to be fulfilled.

landslide in himachal pradesh

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur also expressed grief over the incident. An ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh was announced for the deceased while injured would be given Rs. 50 thousand.

The exact cause behind the landslide was yet to be ascertained.

The deceased were identified as:

  1. Pratiksha Sunil Patil (27) from Sadhbhawna Nagar, Nagpur, Maharashtra
  2. Deepa Sharma (34) from Jaipur
  3. Amoghi Bapat (27) from Korba Darri in Chhatisgarh
  4. Umrab Singh (42) of Tagore Garden West Delhi
  5. Kumar Ulhas vedpathak (37)
  6. Anurag Biyani (31) from Sikar in Rajasthan, his mother Maya Devi Biyani (55) and his sister Richa Biyani (25)
  7. Satish Katakbar (34) from Chhatisgarh.

Those injured have been identified as Shiril Obroy (39) from West Delhi, Naveen Bhardwaj (37) from Kaharar in Mohali and Ranjeet Singh (45) from Batseri in Sangla.

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