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“Congress MLA’s son uses father’s red-beacon for smuggling”: Locals alleged after fatal assault on 3 Bilaspur youth

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Bilaspur MLA Bamber Thakur Case

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.

Son of Bamber thakur

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. 

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 9 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 the world around him in his DSLR lens.

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Foundation Stone of Shiv Dham at Mandi Laid, Will Cost Rs. 150 Crore

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Shiv Dham Mandi model

Mandi: Shiv Dham construction at Mandi would cost over Rs. 150 crores to the State. It was informed during the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Shiv Dham Phase-I to be developed at Kangnidhar. The First Phase of this project would be completed at a cost of Rs. 40 crore, the government said.

The Shiv Dham would be developed in an area of 9.5 hectares. Shiv Dham would have replicas of twelve Jyotirlingam, a statue of Lord Shiva and Ganesh, Museum, Food Court, Herbal Garden, Nakshatra Vatika, Amphi-theatre, Orientation Centre, Car Parking etc. 

Further, it was informed that the foundation stone of multi-storey parking was laid near U-Block. An estimated amount of Rs. 100 crore would be spent on Public-Private Partnership mode, the government informed.

There is also a proposal to construct Rs. 27 crore Anaj Mandi (Grain Market) in Mandi, it was informed.

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New Farm Laws Could be Death Knell for States like Himachal, Says 19 Organizations While Expressing Solidarity with Farmers Protest

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Himachal PRadesh supports farmers protest

Shimla-More support is pouring in for farmers protest from Himachal Pradesh. Today, about 19 social organizations, women’s organisations and farmer’s groups issued a joint public statement today in solidarity with the three-month long farmer’s movement in the country.

The statement demands the repeal of the three new farm laws introduced by the central government and calls for strengthening minimum support prices, extending it to crops, especially fruits and vegetables grown for the market in Himachal Pradesh. The statement is critical of the non-democratic manner in which the bills were passed in the parliament in a hurry in the middle of the Covid led lockdown.

Highlighting the issues with each of the laws the organisations condemned the fact that these are designed to benefit the large corporate houses which would ultimately break the back of the farmers.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 has the potential of destroying the government led APMC mandis, the oganizations said.

The second law on contract farming puts the farmers in the dock by not just opening them to risks when getting into contracts with companies but also by closing the door of the courts for redressal for farmers, the statement said.  

Also Read: Supporters in Himachal Displaying Solidarity With Protesting Farmers, Term Delhi Violence a Failed Conspiracy to Discredit Movement

Further the statement said that the third law, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, as corporates are allowed to buy, store, sell produce minus regulation and accountability of any sort. It also seeks to restrict the powers of the government with respect to production, supply, and distribution of certain key commodities. It is now evident that this will have a direct impact on the storage and distribution of subsidized grains by the government. This can turn out to be a direct threat for food security of the country.

“For a state like Himachal Pradesh where a large section of the population depends heavily on food grains produced by the farmers of the plains and distributed at subsidized rates through the PDS these laws could prove to be a death knell,” the groups said in the statement.  

Even for those who are able to procure from the market, the rising prices of commodities would be a direct hit on their pockets. Apart from the consumers, the farmers of the state will also suffer a setback. The absence of MSPs for fruits and off-season vegetables and lack of APMC markets here have already been a cause of concern for the cash croppers of the state, the statement read.

“In fact fruit and vegetable producer unions have been demanding extension of MSPs and better markets so that apple producers for example are not exploited by ‘middlemen’ and private vendors,” the organizations said.  

In the terai region where there is a surplus of maize produce farmers are forced to sell it at Rs 1000 to 1200 whereas Rs 1850 is the MSP – but the markets are too far for them to access, they said.

The statement has also condemned the manner in which the state and central governments have tried to defame the peaceful protests through various tactics.

“The repression of those coming out in support of the farmer’s movement, be it activists or journalists reporting on the developments is utterly shameful and against the principles of democracy,” the statemen said.  

The groups said that they are also going to send this statement as a submission to the President of India demanding repeal of the three laws.

Housing in makeshift camps, tens of thousands of farmers have been protesting on Delhi boarders for nearly 100 days now. Though the protests had begun last year, the movement has seen a massive growth in recent weeks as it receiving support from environmental activists, opposition parties and even Western celebrities. Now, this farmers movement is spreading to the country’s northern and western farm belts.

The group of organizations that issued this statement includes All India Democratic Women’s Association, HP (AIDWA), Bhumiheen Bhumi Adhikar Manch, HP, Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, Citizens’ Rights Forum, Kangra, Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan, HP, Ghumantu Pashupalak Mahasabha, Chamba, Himachal Kisan Sabha, Himalaya Niti Abhiyan, Himdhara Environment Research and Action Collective, Parvatiya Mahila Adhikar Manch, Right To Education Forum, HP, Samajik Arthik Samanta ke Liye Jan Abhiyan, Save Lahaul Spiti, Spiti Civil Society, Sirmaur Van Adhikar Manch, Sambhaavnaa Institute, SUTRA, Solan,  Tower Line Soshit Jagrukta Manch, Himachal Pradesh, and Zila Van Adhikar Samiti, Kinnaur.

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Ugly Brawl at HP Vidhan Sabha on Budget Session’s Opening Day, Five Congress Legislators Suspended for Rest of Session

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HP Vidhan Sabha

Shimla- The Budget Session 2021-22 of the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha witnessed an ugly scene on the opening day of the session. The situation was so tense that it led to a scuffle between BJP MLAs, Minister, and Congress legislator including the leader of opposition Mukesh Agnihotri. Congress alleged that its legislators were manhandled. Following this incident, five legislators including Agnihotri, Harsh Vardhan, Satpal Raizada, Vinay Kumar, and Sunder Singh Thakur were reportedly suspended for the rest of the session. Later, an FIR was also filed against the legislators at the Boileauganj Police Station.

It was shocking to see the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and Chief Minister jumping into the brawl as it raised concerns about arrangement and management of security at the Vidhan Sabha.

The motion for their suspension was introduced and passed in the absence of opposition legislators.

What Happened at Vidhan Sabha

Mukesh Agnihotri disrupted the speech of the Governor saying that it includes no mention of crucial issues like price rise of petrol, diesel cooking gas, inflation, unemployment, corruption, back-door entries etc. Agnihotri said the speech was nothing more than a bundle of lies. Agnihotri claim that Dattatreya had skipped a major portion of his speech and had chosen to stay mum on these critical issues. Governor Bandaru Dattatraya, following din, did not read the entire speech and ended his speech within 15 minutes abruptly.

Subsequently, the proceedings were adjourned till 2 pm on Monday. 

When the Governor was leaving from Vidhan Sabha, Mukesh Agnihotri, along with other Congress legislators, blocked the road and did not let the Governor’s car leave the premises. Agnihotri was seen trying to lay on the bonnet of the car. Videos clearly showed legislator pushing each other and using a hostile tone. Minister Suresh Bhardwaj was seen falling down on the ground, while Deputy Speaker Hans Raj was seen pushing Congress legislators.

“It’s the first time in the history of Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha that the Governor did not read the entire speech and allegedly fled the Vidhan Sabha,” Agnihotri said. He said that Congress legislators only wanted to speak to the Governor.

Agnihotri alleged that they were pushed, dragged, and manhandled even though they were only raising slogans and did not even touch the Governor or the Chief Minister. 

Speaking on the suspension of five Congress legislators, Vikramaditya Singh, MLA of Shimla (Rural) questioned as to why only action was taken on the Congress legislators and not the Deputy Speaker, Hans Raj. In videos, he was seen pushing Congress legislators.

The Speaker, HP Vidhan Sabha, Vipin Parmar condemned the ruckus and blamed it on the Congress legislators. He alleged Congress of manhandling the Governor. He said that the incident has brought embarrassment to the State Assembly and the constitution of India. 

Later, when the session was resumed, referring to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the Chief Minister said that Rule number 30 says,

“No member shall interrupt the Governor when he is addressing the House; or display any placard; or shout any slogans; make nay protect; or raise any point of order, debate; or discussion; or otherwise willfully disrupt the proceedings, immediately preceding or during, or immediately following the Governor’s Address under Article 175 (1) of the Constitution and the Governor’s Special Address under 176(1) of the Constitutions, and the commission of any of the above lapses shall be treated as contempt of the House and dealt with as such under these rules.”

The session is scheduled to conclude on March 20.

The chief minister will present the budget for 2021-22 in the Assembly on March 6, Speaker Vipin Parmar had said on Thursday.

 

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