BILASPUR-The law and order conditions in district Bilaspur of Himachal Pradesh is degrading. Surprisingly, the Sadar MLA from Congress, Bamber Thakur, is the trendsetter here. He was recently reported to have assaulted the on-duty DFO, Bialspur. Later, he was found threatening a doctor for not yielding to his wish to manipulate official parameters set for issuance of disability certificate. The police and the Chief Minister also appear to be helpless in controlling its notorious MLA.
After three youth were assaulted in Diara Sector by a gang that allegedly included Congress MLA’s elder son, now locals have come out in protest against this hooliganism. In a statement to media, locals have alleged Puranjan Thakur of assisting local smugglers. Locals said to the media that they are fed up with regular hooliganism created by the Congress MLA and his son in the district. In a statement to a media channel, the locals alleged that MLA’s son used red-beacon of his father’s car to smuggle illicit drugs and that the MLA is patronizing growth of mafia.
Watch: Statement of Locals to a Media Channel
The allegations surfaced after three youth, Rohit Soni, Ankit Tondon, and Manish Thakur, were attacked in the Diara locality with sharp weapons by the gang. Three youth were reportedly beaten with hockeys, iron roads, and sharp weapons were left with serious injuries. As per the locals, the gang that included Anil aka Pintu, Sonu, paras, Kitwi, Rahul and Shiva, also included local MLA’s elder son. After the complaint the local police arrested six accused except the MLA’s son.
The parents and locals also alleged that police booked the hooligans for minor scuffle under IPC Section 107 and 151 despite the fact that the assault was fatal in nature. All accused easily availed bail and walked free within no time when a case under IPC Section 307 should have been registered, said the people. After accused were freed, the locals and parents protested in front of the house of the main accused. People demanded to bring the accused out of the house and deport them out of the district. Quick Response Team was called in to protect the accused inside the house that included some teenage boys and some girls as well.
According to a Hindi Daily, the MLA’s son was also present with others in the room. When angry public saw the accused being protected by police, they retaliated with stone-pelting on police vehicles. Following it the police cane-charged the mob. The cane-charge further infuriated the people who smashed and toppled the car of the accused.
The locality also alleged police of cane-charging ladies who were present in the protest. They also asked whether police had obtained permission from the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) prior to cane-charge or not?
As per the report published in the daily, later, sharp weapons were found in the room and in the car of the accused. The report also said that a senior police officer came to the spot only to save the MAL’s son and even told people that his hands are tied by the government.
The locals alleged that the administration and police is doing everything to save Bamber Thakur’s son.
It is noticeable that Bambar Thakur was alleged of assaulting the DFO, Bilaspur for objecting to MLA’s illegal construction of road by felling trees. The State Congress remained silent the Chief Minsiter Virbhadra Singh also supported the MLA.
Recently, the MLA was found allegedly threatening and abusing a doctor in regional hospital Bilaspur for denying unlawful issuance of disability certificate to man. The doctor had even released a recording of the telephonic conversation with MLA.
However, the CM had given clean-chit to the MLA calling the incidents as a conspiracy to defame the party.
Apparently, the State party high-command has lost its control over the notorious MLA. The party has taken no measure to stop the MLA misusing his powers and manipulate police over and over again. At the end of the day, it was public that tolerated both assault by goons and cane-charge from police. It’s a matter of worry for people that their elected representative is acting like typical mafia openly without attracting any action from the party or the administration. Such manipulation by police and administration would only degrade faith of people in the law, which hazardous situation for any society.
HP Govt Employees to Get Higher Pay Scale on Completion of Two Years of Service: CM Jairam
Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government employees working in different departments before January 3, 2022, would be given a higher scale at par with other employees on completion of two years tenure of regular service. A higher pay scale was also announced for the Junior Office Assistants (IT) on completion of two years of regular service.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur made these announcements during the Karamchari Maha Sammelan of the Himachal Pradesh Non-Gazetted Employees Federation at the hotel Peterhof on Sunday.
He appreciated the role played by the employee especially frontline workers in the battle against the pandemic.
He said most of the government employees in the state have been given revised pay scales and on average, every employee has got the benefit of a 12 to 15 percent salary hike. There has also been an increase in the pension of about 1.50 lakh pensioners of the state. The financial benefits of Rs. 7801 crore have been given to state government employees and pensioners from the year 2018 to 2022. The pensioners who retired before 2016 are getting the benefit of a 15 to 20 percent increase in the pension while around 40 thousand pensioners who retired after 2016 would be benefitted soon, he said.
He said the daily wages were Rs. 210 in the year 2017 which has been increased by the present state government to Rs. 350. Similarly, 12 per cent interim relief annually has been provided to government employees and pensioners during the present government’s tenure. He said the Himachal government has provided Dearness Allowance to its employees and pensioners on the lines of Punjab and Central governments from the due date. The Punjab government has given only 5 percent interim relief to the employees while the Himachal government has provided 21 percent interim relief to its employees.
“Out of the total interim relief amount given to the employees and pensioners amounting to about Rs. 6500 crore, Rs. 3500 crore has been paid during the tenure of our government” added the Chief Minister.
He said that the state government has increased the government contribution for NPS employees from 10 percent to 14 percent benefitting more than one lakh employees. The NPS employees are being given the benefits of retirement and death gratuity at par with employees falling under the old pension scheme. The government has also increased the upper limit of death gratuity from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh.
The Chief Minister said the state government has also increased the honorarium of para-workers working in various departments. The salary of outsource workers has been hiked by Rs 1,500 per month.
Non-Gazetted Employees Federation President Ashwani Thakur thanked the Chief Minister for providing various financial and other benefits to different categories of government employees.
Most Covid Restrictions to be Lifted From March 31, Mask and Hand Hygiene to Continue
New Delhi-The Centre has issued a notification to the States informing that the provisions of the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005 will not be invoked in the country after March 31. The Union Health Ministry said that the use of face masks and following hand hygiene will continue.
It implies that most of the Covid-related rules and restrictions would end.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla issued the notification which said that the decision was taken following the overall improvement in the situation and the preparedness of the government in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, local authorities and State police can still invoke fines and criminal cases against persons violating COVID-19 norms under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a senior government official said.
The DM Act was invoked on March 24, 2020, due to the pandemic
“Over the last seven weeks or so there has been a steep decline in the number of cases. The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 only and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28%. It is also worth mentioning that with the combined efforts, a total of 181.56 Cr vaccine doses have been administered,” the notification said.
“I would like to mention that in view of the nature of the disease, we still need to remain watchful of the situation. Wherever any surge in the number of cases is observed, the States/UTs may consider taking prompt and proactive action at a local level, as advised by MoHFW (Health Ministry) from time to time,” the notification said.
The Indian government had issued various guidelines and measures for the first time on March 24, 2020, under the Disaster Management Act to curb the COVID-19 situation in the country, which have been modified several times thereafter.
India currently has 23,087 active COVID-19 cases and recorded 1,778 new cases and 62 deaths in the last 24 hours. The daily positivity rate has also declined to 0.28%.
HP Cabinet Decisions: Country Liquor Made Cheaper in New Excise Policy, Read All Decisions
Shimla-A meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet was held on March 20, 2022, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The excise policy for the financial year 2022-23 was approved. Approval was also given for the renewal of retail excise vends in the state for the financial year 2022-23 at the renewal fees of 4% of the value of unit/vend.
The State Government said that wants to enhance the government revenue and curb the smuggling of country liquor from the neighbouring states by a reduction in its price.
The brands of Country Liquor will be cheaper as license fees have been reduced. This will help in providing good quality liquor at a cheaper rate to the consumers.
In the new excise policy, the 15% fixed quota of country liquor for manufacturers and bottlers to be supplied to the retail licensees has been abolished. According to the government, this step will give the retail licensees to lift their quota from the suppliers of their choice and further assure the supply of good quality country liquor at competitive prices. The MRP of country liquor will be cheaper by 16% of the existing price.
In this year’s policy, the Gaudhan Vikas Nidhi Fund has been enhanced by Re.1/- from the existing Rs.1.50 to Rs.2.50.
The fixed annual license fee of Bars has been rationalized by abolishing the area-specific slabs of license fee. Now throughout the State, there will be uniform license slabs based upon the room capacity in hotels.
Rates of the annual fixed license fee of Bars in the tribal areas has been reduced considerably.
Further, all the above stakeholders will have to install CCTV cameras at their establishments as it was made mandatory for them.
Wholesale vends and retail vends, the penalty provisions under the H.P. Excise Act, 2011 have been made more stringent.
An end to end online Excise Administration System would be established in Himachal Pradesh, the government said.
HP Government estimates a collection of Rs 2131 crore revenue during the year, which will be Rs. 264 crores higher than the financial year 2021-22 – growth of 14% in state excise revenues.
The Cabinet also gave its nod to amend Himachal Pradesh Disaster Relief Manual-2012 to include deaths due to biting of honey bees, hornet and wasps, accidental drowning and deaths due to accidents of vehicles (including land, water and air) under this Manual.
The Cabinet gave its approval for filling up 11 posts of ‘A’ Class Tehsildar in Revenue Department through direct recruitment on regular basis through Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.
HP State Toll Policy 2022-23
The HP Cabinet also gave its nod to HP State Toll Policy for the year 2022-23 which envisages auction cum tender for all the toll barriers in the State. During the year 2021-22, toll revenue has registered a growth of 20 percent of the previous year’s revenue.