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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

Bat deaths in Himachal not due to Nipah Virus, Don’t panic: Govt

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Nipah virus in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: To put an end to the rumours of Nipah virus outbreak in Himachal Pradesh after dead bats were found in Sirmaur a couple of days ago and then in Mandi district on Friday, the State Government today issued a statement asking people not to panic about it.

Apart from the outbreak of Nipah Virus in two districts of Kerala State no information regarding its spread has been reported from any other part of Himachal as well as the country, stated Additional Chief Secretary, Health B.K. Agarwal in a meeting held here today.

He said that only fruit bats (flying fox) have been found carrying this virus. These types of bats are found in the coastal regions of the county.

Therefore, there is no possibility of Nipah Virus in the bats found in Himachal Pradesh.

He said that the bats reported having died in the state were not due to the virus as these species do not die by Nipah Virus.

Agarwal said that a few days back samples from dead bats in Sirmaur were collected and sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune for testing and all the samples were reported negative for Nipah Virus.

Additional Chief Secretary has advised people not to panic about the Nipah Virus. He said that all the medical colleges of the State were prepared to deal with the situation if needed.

Officers of Health, Animal husbandry, Forest & Horticulture department were present in the meeting, chaired by Agarwal.

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Misc News/Press Release

Met predicts state-wide rains in Himachal on May 31 and June 1

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rain prediction for himachal in 2018

Shimla: As a ray of hope amid acute water-scarcity prevailing in Himachal Pradesh’s various regions including the capital town Shimla, the Meteorological Department, Shimla, has predicted state-wide rain with thunderstorms on May 31 and June 1.

If lucky, four districts including Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, and Shimla can receive a spell of rain on May 29 and 30 too.

With the rains, the people also hope to see a relief from the scorching heat of summer sun and forest fires. The Fire Department is reportedly facing trouble in dousing forest fires due to water scarcity.

As per the Met department, District Bilaspur and Una recorded 41℃ and 43℃ temperature on Saturday.

The farmers in rural areas and the public in towns, both are facing a hard time due to a shortage of water. Shimla town has run into a situation of chaos as the Mayor Kusum Sadret on Friday left for her China visit. The situation is such that the Chief Minister had to call an emergency meeting with Irrigation & Public Health Department to take stock of the situation.

The High Court had also taken cognizance of the media report and directed the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to provide adequate funds to the State for water-supply schemes worth over Rs. 700 crores.

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Environment

400 fire watchers deployed, Rs. 1.75 cr. sanctioned for checking forest fires in Himachal: Forest Minister

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Forest fires in himachal pradesh

Shimla: The Forest Minister of Himachal Pradesh Govind Singh Thakur today informed that four hundred fire watchers have been deputed across the State and added that Rs. 1.75 crore has been sanctioned by the GoI for checking and management of fire incidents in the State.

Every year, forest fires in summers turn a large amount of forest wealth to ashes. 

He said that State government has started a new project from this year for management of fire incidents by spending Rs. 1 crore additionally.

He also claimed that with a view to check the number of forest fire incidents in the State, the department implemented an awareness campaign in the month of March which proved effective and a lot of support and cooperation is coming from people in tackling fire incidents.

He said that about 9500 people got connected to the website of Forest Survey of India Dehradun which proved helpful to them in receiving information about fire incidents in their areas.

He said that the department also started a toll-free number for receiving this information. He said that the information regarding fire incidents is coming faster this year as compared to previous years due to these measures and action is being taken instantly.

He urged the people of the State to extend support to the department.

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