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Bullying (female) Shimla cop allegedly threatens youth with fake cases for objecting to her misconduct

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SHIMLA-Maintenance of law and order can only be attained when both law enforcement agency and public co-operate with each other and share a friendly relationship. The police officers, who abuse citizens, erode public confidence in law and government. It only makes the job of honest and well mannered police officers harder. Entire police department shares the credit when they perform well. Likewise, one unmannered and misguided cop is enough to bring embarrassment to entire institute.

Himachal Watcher had published a compilation of videos and reports showing how work culture of Shimla Police is going through eerie transformation since the joining of Mr. DW Negi as Superintendent Police. The SP as well as a particular section of police staff, following the footsteps of their leader, have undertaken task to assist judiciary by being both law enforcement agency as well as judiciary.

Also Read:
Shimla Police SHO alleged of beating and abusing informer, locals approach higher officials seeking action

They set up Kangroo courts of their own in public places. However, this dual role, that of an unqualified judge and insensitive policeman, has led to a form of unnecessary mental and physical harassment to public.

Watch: ‘Shimla Police Nuisance’ on rise: Drunk, bullying, abusive cops becoming common sight

So far, male staff including HPS officials had demonstrated misuse of the power vested in their uniform, and were even spotted drunk, creating nuisance. But now, as per the account given by a Shimla youth, some female cops have also joined the bandwagon and adequately complement the current trend in police in the capital. The particular female cop to whom we have referred in this case is allegedly a serial offender. Different sources have recalled similar treatment on encounter with this lady. From bullying drivers to drop her home to setting kangaroo courts, there have been many instance of similar misconduct from this cop.

Before dwelling over account given by the youth, Himachal Watcher again emphasize that we acknowledge the fact that not all police officials are unworthy of wearing uniform. The job of police is one of the most challenging, psychologically stressful and physically hectic and we are grateful for their services.

Previous Story: Now, that’s more like Shimla Police, our police (Before DW Negi took charge as SP Shimla)

There are honest and dedicated policemen who discharge their duty within defined legal, moral, and ethical limits. Here, the motive is not to defame the Himachal Pradesh Police Department. The motive is to highlight the “bad fish” that are bringing bad name to Himachal Pradesh Police Department.

Previous Story: This dedicated Shimla Traffic cop deserves a round of applause (Video)

In capital Shimla, this misguided section of police staff is enjoying liberty from obligations to their duties, respect to law while discharging their duties, and discipline has become a mockery for them. These “bad fish” mostly include those recruited on approach, by cheating in exam, or paying heavy bribes despite being unworthy.

Also Read: Unaware of rules, Shimla Police harassing cyclists instead of promoting cycling culture

Before you read the narration of police conduct while dealing with a youth, who recalled it as a wound to his and his father’s dignity and self-esteem as citizens of the state, do read guidelines and rules laid down for police staff while discharging their lawful duty under the Himachal Pradesh Police Service Act 2006, Police Act 1861 (including amendments), and most important, the directions of the Supreme Court. In India, the conflict between Human Rights Commission and police is the result of manipulation and misuse of powers provided to police.

Rule of Law Must Prevail

According to contents of these Acts and SC directions, no one is above law, not even police or judges themselves. Rule of law and justice must prevail in democracy to maintain healthy social environment and equality to all citizens. It is the court who is authorized by law to undertake the job of establishing guilt of an accused and, if found guilty in fair trial, sentencing the offender to a penalty or other punishments prescribed under Constitution of India. In simple words, even the judges can’t arbitrarily decide punishment. Rather, they are, too, bound to adhere to what is prescribed in law for a particular offence.

The directions from SC further emphasize that in securing the observance of law or in maintaining order, the police should, as far practicable, use the methods of persuasion, advice, and warming.

Further, according to Supreme Court’s guidelines to the entire institution of police in India, police should always be courteous and well-mannered. They should be dependable and impartial. They should possess dignity and courage and should cultivate character and the trust of the people.

In matters of use of physical force, the directions say that, when, the application of force becomes inevitable, only the irreducible minimum amount of force required under the circumstance should be used.

Limitation on Powers of Police

Police is directed to discharge its duty strictly in the way the law lays down and not any other way. They cannot act just as they wish or want to. Any abuse of power or negligence of duty will amount to a breach of discipline, civil wrong or a crime and the officer is liable to be punished.

In fact, because police officer is a person entrusted with upholding the law he/she should be punished more severely for breaking it, says SC directions and the Police Service Act.

The Complaint

A Shimla youth approached Himachal Watcher and told his alleged horrific experience during an encounter with a female cop accompanied by two other cops. The youth was left bewildered witnessing live demonstration that female police staff has far more power to victimize people to defend their ego. And this is because she is a female and threats like fake case of misbehavior is quite effective in deterring will of people who dare to object to their mistreatment or demand due respect for their constitutional rights.

As per the youth, who is (indeed) an educated and aware citizen, out of habit, used “English Words” while raising objections against police misconduct. But, the cop counted it as her insult and declared it punishable under rules of her own. She denied providing information to the complainant when he asked her to show her nameplate.

Faced with educated people who are aware of their rights and limits of police powers are headache for miscreant cops. From the allegation, it appears that this female cop serving in Shimla Police do not hesitate to create scenes on one of the most hateful themes – misbehavior with a female by a male in a male-dominated society. It’s a crucial matter and superior officials of the HP Police Department must take note of it.

As alleged by the youth, who is resident of Shimla, on Thursday afternoon at around 2:00 ‘O’clock he drove his car to the Secretariat at Chotta Shimla. While waiting for his father’s return from the Secretariat, he parked his car on roadside near Vishal Mega Mart. He was sitting in the car, waiting for his father’s return when three female cops arrived and smashed challan book on his bonnet, he alleged. The youth, as everyone usually does, appealed them not to challan as he was ready to move the vehicle. He also pleaded that he is a local and was aware as well as careful about not creating obstruction to traffic.

The response from one of the cops, in exact words, was reported by youth to be following:

“Kya Matlab hai local Ka! Local ho to kuch bhi karoge?”

(क्या मतलब है लोकल का! लोकल हो तो कुछ भी करोगे?)

The youth further pleaded that he was present in the car keeping in mind the traffic trouble Shimla faces. The youth (sadly) talked about his right to at least one warning before initiating official action or issue challan. The reply from cops, as per the yout, was

“Tu law sikhayega merko? Tu hai kon?”

(तू लॉ सिखायेगा मेरको? तू है कौन?)

Second cop added, “SHO Sahab aane wale hain tun yahi reh, Tujhe wo khud batayenge!”

(साहब आने वाले हैं तूं यही रह, तुझे वो खुद बताएँगे)

To avoid all such trouble, “I immediately started my car and tried to move it,” said the youth. “She put her hands on my car keys and attempted to snatch them from me,” he further alleged.

When the youth objected to it and said that they can challan him but cannot snatch the car key in such rude manner, the cop said “Isko ander karo. SHO aur SP sahab ko phone karo.”

(इसको तो अंदर करो! एसपी साहब को फ़ोन करो!)

One of the cops called the SHO, who advised him to be silent and to not argue with (female) cops. The SHO Mr. Negi was polite and suggested me, “Is constable ke sath behas na karo! Aap museebat me pad jaoge”

(इस कांस्टेबल के साथ बहस न करो! आप मुसीबत में पड़ जाओगे)

Meanwhile, my father arrived at the scene and requested them to not complicate the matter. However, the female cop did not stop.

“Battameez saala! Thappad maarungi tujhe (बत्तमीज़ साला! थप्पड़ मारूँगी तुझे)),” she continued in a highly uncivilized language, alleged the youth.

The youth objected, “Ma’am, I am not a murderer or a thief that you are talking to me like this. Her language further degenerated.  “Saale tu to shakal se he gunda lag rha hai (साले तू तो शक्ल से ही गुंडा लग रहा है),”she started shouting publically.

When the youth objected to defamatory comments and warned the cops that he would file a complaint to superiors regarding such misbehavior and mistreatment while on duty, she said,

“Ander karo isko ! Thaane le chalo! Gaadi ko clamp karke thaane le chalo ! Isko aaj sabak sikhate hain!” (अंदर करो इसको ! थाने ले चलो! गाडी को क्लैंप करके थाने ले चलो ! इसको आज सबक सिखाते हैं)

“Ye angrejji kisi or ko mariyo jo dar jaaye tujhse ! Merko ni sunani!”, she kept shouting. (ये अंग्रेजी किसी और को मारियो जो डर जाए तुझसे! मेरको नी सुनानी)

When the youth asked the cop to show her name plate as he wanted to file a complaint name, the cops said, “Kya karega naam se tu? Nahi batati kar le jo karna”! ( क्या करेगा नाम से तू? नहीं बताती कर ले जो करना)

The father of the youth consistently requested to them to stop bullying and making false allegation. He told him to take move the car on which the youth drove the car towards Navbahar, said the youth.

“After 15 minutes, when I was on my way back towards Chotta Shimla, the cops started shouting something as the car passed by. I stopped the car so that I could hear them clearly,” the youth further told.

The youth decided to stop at the Chota Shimla Police Station to complaint regarding the mental harassment to which he was exposed by female cops.

The SHO Mr.Negi paid attention to his complaint and offered to to him and his father. However, he again adviced him, “Apko nahi behesna chahiye! Ye jo bhi bol rahe hain chup chap sunte or nikal jaate!” (आपको नहीं बहसना चाहिए! ये जो भी बोल रहे हैं चुप चाप सुनते और निकल जाते!)

“Agar ye apki kuch galat report kar dete being ladies to ap kya kar loge. Lady bolde k mere kapde faad diye to samjho aap to samjho aap fans gaye,” the SHO said with concern. (अगर ये आपकी कुछ गलत रिपोर्ट कर देते बीइंग लेडीज तो आप क्या कर लोगे! लेडी बोल दे क मेरे कपड़े फाड़ दिए तो समझो आप तो समझो आप फंस गए!)

The youth pleaded that he is a responsible citizen and there is no history of involvement in any sort of anti-social activities or crimes and that he doesn’t deserve such treatment from police.

Meanwhile, the three cops entered the police station and created hue and cry and made false allegations of misbehavior along with other serious allegations.

When the youth objected and tried to defend himself, the female cop threatened, “Ek Thappad marungi tujhe… (एक थप्पड़ मारूँगी तुझे)

To the SHO, she boasted, “Maine to maar bhi dena tha ! Ye to in dono ne mujhe rok liya nai to main nai darti kisi se” (मैंने तो मार भी देना था ! ये तो इन दोनों ने मुझे रोक लिया नै तो मैं नै डरती किसी से)

“Eventually, I was left with no alternate but to apologize to the cops. I confess it was the most fake apology I ever made in my entire life. My conscience didn’t allow me to speak the words of apology, but watching my father getting distressed, I did it,” the youth said.

While, we mere report the narrative provided by the complainant, there is no doubt about it that some miscreants in uniform have earned bad name for Shimla Police as well as for HP Police Department.

Lack of worthy leadership is leading to degrading and despicable practices in police functioning, which are condemnable in strongest terms. Police is supposed to discharge their duty without fear or favour, malice or vindictiveness. The cops are supposed to make citizens feel safer. The police must not resort to mistreatment and bullying. When a citizen, irrespective of his economic or social status, raises objections or reminds cops of his/her rights as citizen of a democratic state, the police must not count is as their insult. Police must maintain respect for individual dignity of every citizen unless and until the situation doesn’t require impolite, harsh measure. We also urge the people to co-operate the police in maintain law and order in the society.

A copy of this complaint will be forwarded to the superior officials of the HP Police department to take note of “bad fish” threatening police’s reputation and trust in people.

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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Plea of 24 children killed in Nurpur tragedy to CM for justice

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no justice for Nurpur school bus victims

Kangra: Five months have passed since one of the biggest tragedy that Himachal Pradesh has ever witnessed, but the parents of 24 kids killed in Nurpur school bus accident on April 9, 2018, are still knocking at the door of the government to get justice for the pieces of their hearts. These kids could not live even their childhood.

This untimely departure left the parents heartbroken and pictures of a mass cremation of these children had given a nightmare to all parents.

Probe report of Nurpur school bus accident

Children killed in the accident being cremated

However, the business appears to be usual for the government. The parents had already approached the State High Court expressing their dissatisfaction with the report of the magisterial probe but to no avail.

On Sunday, a banner was seen hanging near Hanuman Mandir of Dharamshala in which pictures of about 19 children and four others killed in the tragedy were published with a request to the Chief Minister to spare a few moments to the case. The lines written on the poster said “Chand pal hamain bhi de do, Hamari bhi suno Mukhya Mantri Uncle Ji.” (Please, spare a few moments to hear us too Chief Minister Uncle)

Nurpur tragedy banner in dharamshala

It is not known who placed this banner but it did dock the state government, district administration, and the district police. The police has also not filed any charge-sheet in the case, the parents allege.  The parents are demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is another embarrassment for the state police. The people hesitate to lay their trust in the state police due to what it did in cases like forest gaurd Hoshiar Singh and Kotkhai’s Gudia.  

Also Read: Nurpur tragedy: Because Govt did not repair collapsed part of road or bothered about parapets

On April 9, 2018, a school bus of a private school in Nurpur was carrying children back to their homes when it met an accident and fell into the gorge near Gurchal village. In this accident, 23 kids, which mostly included pre-school students, were killed on the spot while remaining one took his last breath a few days later in a hospital. Total 28 people had died including the driver. 

Cause of accidents in Nurpur Kangra

The spot of accident

The spot (shown in the picture above) from where the bus fell down into a 200-feet gorge speaks of the cause of accident itself. The missing piece of the road narrowed the spot. There were no signs of any roadside safety measures such as crash barriers or parapets. Another accident had been reported at the same spot previously too.

The parents are alleging that the government is protecting the officials of the Public Works Department and the contractor responsible for not repairing the collapsed part of the road.

magisterial probe report in Nurpur Bus accident

Photos: Amar Ujala

The authority was not ready to admit that the road was in poor condition. However, within a month of this tragedy, the spot was repaired and parapets were also installed. A few kilometres length of the road around the spot was also metalled in a haphazard manner.

Though the report that wasn’t made public might have been modified later, Himachal Watcher had obtained some of the facts cited in the findings of the magisterial probe.  

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

The district administration has not made the findings of the report public, the parents allege. Some of the parents said they were told that the driver suffered a heart attack which caused the accident. The parents alleged the government is trying to hush up the matter and is denying justice to their children.

On the other hand, the administration has told the parents to file an RTI to obtain the copy of the report. The administration said the report is prepared after a fair probe. It also claimed that parents never asked for a copy of the report. 

Protection of its officials even when their callousness and corruption have led to a loss of lives is one of the several things in which the current government agrees with the previous one.  This attitude is less likely to witness any change as the government is always sparing the road and spoiling it departments and officials.  

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HP Govt has every reason to terminate contract with GVK-EMRI providing 108 & 102 services

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HP Govt GVK-EMRI contract termination

Shimla: The 108 and 102 emergency services provided by the GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (GVK-EMRI) have become a mockery of the very purpose of an “ambulance.”

Yesterday, a 108 ambulance killed a 70-year-old lady and injured three others as it rammed into a ‘dhaba’ in Saho in Chamba district. The ambulance, as per the report, was in bad shape and mostly needed push-start. While doing so, neither the vehicle got started neither the break worked, and it rammed into a dhaba.

In another incident in Nauradhar – a Trans-Giri region of Sirmaur district – the driver and technician of an ambulance had a narrow escape as the driver lost control after a tyre burst. The driver managed to gain control and prevented an accident.

GVK ambulances in bad shape

108 ambulance after tyrebust in Nauradhar

On August 25, a case of break-failure was reported in Sangdah (संगड़ाह) region of the district. The driver had to crash the ambulance against the hill.

Currently, these emergency services are like a lifeline for patients and a large population depends on t

The staff of the GVK had been trying to highlight the plight of the ambulances, which are not fit to be emergency vehicles. Tyre bust, brake failure, and other mechanical faults have been officially reported by the staff of these ambulances to the company, the State Health Department, and the National Health Mission.

The staff had even highlighted that despite being in unfit to be on road, the ambulances are passed by the government every year.

The staff has alleged the company of using repressive means to discourage such employees trying to raise their voice against blatant violations of rules.

These ambulances are supposed to run as much faster as the road and traffic conditions allow while carrying all mandatory life-saving tools, devices, medicine, and technicians. The 102 service dedicatedly serves for the pregnant women under a maternity scheme. The vehicles are supposed to be maintained regularly. Ambulances can’t afford to have worn-out tyers and mechanical errors.

These vehicles, especially those rendering 102 services should be maintained regularly so that they to endure the impact of bad road conditions. However, the situation is quite opposite to it.

Previous Story: 108 and 102 ambulance staff on strike again as their demands not met despite agreement

A month ago, the staff of the company had gone on strike over pending salaries, delay in payment of monthly salaries, and irregularities in the benefits offered by the company. As per the drivers, the company not only made them drive mechanically unfit vehicles but also exploited them by not paying for overtime.

There is no standard policy regarding the salary of the staff. While some employees receive Rs. 6,000 to 8,000, others are being paid 12,000 to 15, 000. The company is paying the salary in an arbitrary manner. Newly employed staff is offered more salary than what is being paid to employees who are serving for past five to eight years,

Puran Chand had told Himachal Watcher during the last strike in August.

Earlier in June, the company had given false assurance to the employees that all their demands would be met within a month. However, after the end of this deadline, the GVK had again failed to meet any of the demands.

The staff was so distressed that it did not resume duties despite the imposition of Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA). The State High Court, like it happens in almost every important issue, had to intervene to make the staff call off the strike. It was after the court termed their strike illegal and threatened them with committing a contempt of court by not joining back that the drivers and technicians called off the strike.

The service provider had also terminated about 63 employees to create panic among the others striking. However, instead of threatening them, the termination fueled the anger among the employees.

An FIR has also been registered against a senior Employee’s Provident Fund Organization Officer and an intermediary of GVK Company for offering and accepting a bribe. The middleman had paid a bribe of Rs. 80,000 to the officer of the EPF office in exchange for reducing EPF liabilities of the company, the striking staff allege.

The court had directed the district administration, the State and Centre Health Departments, and NHM to resolve the grievance of the staff.

Mr Ranjan Sharma, Additional Advocate General had told the court that the Mission Director, National Health Mission, HP, should ensure that the salary to the employees, on the due date, as per the agreement, is released, in accordance with law.

The contract between the State government and GVK should have been terminated long ago considering all above grievance. The contract was renewed in 2017 before the elections to the State Legislative Assembly and is valid till 2022. 

After pressure from the court, it is now that the Health Minister Vipin Singh Parmar is speaking about taking note of these grieve issues and reviewing the contract. He today said that this step was taken after receiving regular complaints about the service provider. The Minister has suggested that the contract could be terminated soon depending upon the outcomes of this review.

The government has every reason to take this much-needed step as the company is showing no signs of betterment in its attitude towards the emergency services and its staff.

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HRTC slammed for targeting schoolchildren for profit, burdening parents

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HRTC School bus fee hike

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC), in a recent meeting, has hiked the fare for school buses by 50 percent. It would also apply to the bus passes, which were earlier issued on concessional rates to keep the transportation cost cheaper for school children.

This decision is facing severe criticism from the Parents Teachers Association of various public and private schools and other social organizations. The demand for withdrawal of the decision to hike the fare is being raised.

The HRTC, on the other hand, justified the hike in fare by reasoning that no hike was made since 2010.

The new rates of the HRTC charges (per month) for school bus passes are as followed:

Rs. 900 for five to ten kilometres

Rs.1350 for 11 to 20 kilometres

Rs. 1500 for 21 to 30 kilometres

The Communist Party of India, as well as the parents, have pointed out that the standard fare for a distance of five kilometres is currently Rs. 7. For both ways, it would be Rs. 14, and for a month, it would be Rs. 420. However, the Corporation is now charging Rs. 900 per month, which is a loot, they said. 

On Friday, some unofficial reports suggested that the Chief Minister could roll-back the decision after facing widespread criticism. 

The PTAs expressed anguish by saying that the Himachal Pradesh Government is hardly able to commit itself for the deliverance of quality education in the government schools. During the past two decades, a large number of parents shifted their trust from government schools to the private/convent schools.

The Education Minister and the teachers in the government schools were seen concerned more about transfers than committing to their schools and students.

Parents strive to get their children enrolled in private schools despite the fact that these institutions extract hefty fees, which makes them unaffordable for children of any family below middle class. The middle-class families sacrifice a lot to ensure a better education for their children, the majority of parents in PTAs agreed.

The parents are not only looted by private schools but also pay for cab services, which openly flaunt rules and regulations meant for ensuring the safety of children.

The government has so far never intervened to put a check on the private schools, regularise fee structure, and stop the financial exploitation of the parents.

As a matter of fact, the politicians, bureaucrats, and government officials settle nothing less than the most reputed private schools in the State when it comes to their own children. The congestion in private schools has grown to such an extent that parents seek approach/personal recommendation of ministers, politicians, elected leaders, bureaucrats, and influential people.

It’s ironical because the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, directs the government to ensure free and compulsory school education for all children. The Act specifically mentions that education to children must be ensured in schools located in their neighbourhood.

The Act also states that the governments should ensure that nothing stands in the way of children from accessing compulsory education. The government is supposed to eradicate all barriers or limitations, which keep children from receiving education in schools.

In Himachal, the governments have raised a large number of schools but failed miserably to ensure the quality of education in its schools. The situation is such that the government is proposing to shut down a good number of schools because no students would enrol in them.

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