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Solan School Girl MMS Case: 6 Arrested including 3 minors, clips still continue to circulate

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SOLAN- Police has arrested six persons including three juveniles in recent Solan MMS case. Five persons including 2 juveniles were arrested for recording two obscene video clips of school girl and a minor boy in objectionable condition and then circulating it on social media. Three of the accused were identified as railway employees. Police has also arrested a minor under Section 376. The location of recording was identified to be near a water storage tank in Buari (ब्रुअरी), Solan.

Additional Superintendent Police, Solan, Manmohan Singh, confirmed that three of the accused are railway employees and two others are juveniles. All three railway employees are about 21-22 years old in age. A case has been registered against them under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) and Section 67 of IT ACT for publishing porn material and circulation. One of the juveniles is booked under IPC 376. Arrested accused have accepted recording MMS. Police has filed a case), ASP told Himachal Watcher

The Superintendent Police, Solan, Anjum Ara, informed that the victim girl, who is also a minor, was identified from the video and her statements were recorded. Reportedly, the girl didn’t come out herself to file a complaint and police had to find her. The accused will be produced in the court after challan is ready.

Himachal Watcher also contacted Cyber Crime Division of Police in Shimla to inquire whether the videos were reported to the social media site to prevent further circulation of the video clips on social media or not. However, to the phone call that HW had made at about 6 PM on Monday, Cyber Cell replied “Wo Log to Chale Gaye” (They (Cyber Cell Staff) has left for the day).The video clips still continue to circulate, rather, public has got more curious after the news appeared in Hindi dailies. On Tuesday, the Cyber Cell failed to provide any information regarding the matter.

As per the sources, about a week ago, two video clips begun to circulate on social media, mostly WhatsApp. Most of people kept it forwarding the clips to friends to feast their eyes until the matter was reported by a journalist to the Shimla Police. Shimla police, after identifying the location in the video, transferred the case to district Police Solan for further action.

Do Not Forward the Video Clips, Report Them on Social Media

As a matter of concern, no steps have been taken to prevent further circulation, which can be done simply by reporting the content to the social media site. People aren’t showing any hesitation in circulating the video clips. Circulation is only ensuring more and more embarrassment for victim, who is a minor.  It’s utmost duty of any aware citizen to report objectionable content to the social media site. All such sites offer option to report such content that should not be on social media.

Himachal Watcher requests people to refrain from forwarding these clips and report them media platform to prevent further circulation.

Misc News/Press Release

Peaks of Kullu and Lahaul Receive Fresh Spell of Snow, Lower Reaches Hit by Hailstorm, Rain

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Snowfall in kullu manali

Kullu– Including Rohtang Pass, peaks of Kullu, Manali, and Lahaul are receiving a fresh spell of snow. At the time of writing Rohtang Pass had received about two to three inches of snow, five in Shikula Pass, and four in Baralacha Pass. Manali’s Chandrkhani Pass has also received a fresh spell of snow

The roads are still open and traffic is moving. However, it is expected that if this spell of light snowfall continued for the few next hours, the roads would be closed.  The Manali-Leh and Manali-Kaza Highway have already been closed for traffic officially. 

Manali and Lahaul also recorded spell of heavy rain on Thursday afternoon. Due to rainfall and snow in higher peaks, the temperature has dropped by several notches.

Kullu valley was hit by a spell of heavy hailstorm, which caused damaged to vegetable and other crops in Shiah, Gadsa and Hawi valley of the district. The SDM, Kullu, Akshay Sood, said the damaged caused to crops would be assessed soon.

Snowfall in Kullu-manali

Similarly, some parts of Mandi district also witnessed hailstorm, leading to crop damage.

kullu manali snowfall

During next couple of hours, the HP Met Department has predicted light to moderate rainfall and snowfall along with thunderstorm in Kangra, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu, Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Shimla district.

The hoteliers in Kullu and Manali are expecting that snow would attract tourists to the valley.

The Met Department has predicted rain and snow on October 18 too. After that, the weather is likely to be dry till October 23.

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Campus Watch

HP Technical University Hamirpur Turned into Political Arena, Deprived of Its Autonomy: ABVP

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HPTU Hamirpur ABVP Conference

Hamirpur- The Himachal Pradesh Technical University, Hamirpur, (HPTU) has been turned into a political arena by the Himachal Pradesh Government. The Minister for Technical Education, Bikram Singh, has forgotten that this college also comes under his jurisdiction and that he is responsible for its development, said Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad unit of HPTU in a press conference organized on October 16, 2019.

The conference was addressed by President of ABVP’s HPTU unit, Suraj Jariyal, Secretary Ankita Sharma, and Robin.

The situation has worsened to such an extent that ABVP has now opened a front against its own government. Suraj termed the neglection of the college by the Minister of Technical Education as most unfortunate. He alleged the University is awaiting development for the past 10 years, however, this issue was never raised in the Legislative Assembly. The classes are being conducted in the building of a boys school. An additional fee is being charged for facilities such as computer lab, internet, and library. However, in reality, the varsity doesn’t even have its own building and campus.

The government made no provision of a budget for the university, which shameful in itself. The state government keep forming new rules for the university very frequently. These rules are of pure political interest, he said. ABVP alleged that the government is trying to fulfil its political interests through the only technical university of the state, which is why it keeps forcing new rules on the varsity.

Recently, the state government and the Department of Technical Education issued a Tughlaqi order prohibiting the university from starting new courses and making any recruitment. ABVP criticised this decision terming it a mockery of the autonomy of the university. 

Unit secretary Ankita advised the Minister for Technical Education to read the constitution of the varsity, which empowers the university to make new recruitments and start new courses anytime it wants. The university does not need to seek permission from either the government or the Minister to do so, Ankita said.

ABVP has demanded that the government should stop depriving the varsity of its autonomy, provision of a budget is made, vacant posts of regular teaching and non-teaching staff are filled up, and new courses are started at the earliest at the new campus.

The university is lacking behind in education and development due to apathetic attitude of the state government, Suraj said. ABVP warned the government that if it did not roll back its decision, then more aggressive protests would be launched. If needed, a ‘Jail Bharo’ campaign would be initiated by ABVP, he said. 

 

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Misc News/Press Release

Apple Growers Block Shimla-Narkanda Highway to Protest Against APMC for its Inaction Against Fraud Agents

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Apple Grower Protest against APMC at narkanda

Shimla- Apple growers on October 16, 2019, blocked the Shimla-Narkanda Highway near Kainthla mode (curve) for about three hours as a protest against the inaction of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) against defaulter commission agents who have not paid the growers for their produce.

Enraged farmers demanded action against fraud agents and only opened the road after the officials of district administration assured that action would be initiated from October 17, 2019, onwards.

It’s pertinent to mention that a large number of farmers have lodged complaints with APMC as well as CID against agents who haven’t cleared payments for their produce. A couple of months ago, farmers had even filed FIRs against such agents and had managed to recover some of the payments. A Special Investigation Team was also formed in response to protests staged by growers. However, the majority of defaulters are still at large.

The Agriculture Minister Ramlal Markanda has already expressed his helplessness in checking fraudulent practices and help farmers recover their payments by saying that the government does not have any control over APMC. He also claims that the new APMC Bill 2019 needs to be passed to gain this control.

Kisan Sangharsh Samiti led by MLA, Theog, Rakesh Singha, has been raising the issue of fraudulent practices in the apple market for several months now. Farmers have been alleging that commission agents, who are conducting business without a licence, are now disappearing without paying for the produce purchased from them.

Also, unjustified cuts were being made by commission agents while procuring apple produce. 

Not only this season, but there are several growers who have not been paid for their produce since 2015. These pending payments amount to crores of rupees.

“JKB – a trader based in Narkanda- had been delaying the payments of several growers  worth crores after making purchases. He had assured that payments would be cleared on October 16, 2019. However, his office is closed, the phone is switched off for the last four days and he didn’t show up,”

said Rakesh Singha.

“As the end of the season is approaching, such agents are fleeing one by one under the nose of the APMC and administration,”

he added.

The farmers alleged that APMC is supposed to act against such defaulters under the provisions of APMC Act 2005 and help them recover their payments. However, neither APMC nor any other agency of the state government is willing to act.

There is a strict provision in the APMC Act that prohibits commission agents from conducting business in markets without a license. These agents are required to obtain a licence from the APMC or Agricultural Department. Also, these agents are required to deposit some amount of money as a guarantee to prevent them from cheating with farmers. In case, they fail to pay the farmers in time, APMC has the power to take action against them.

However, despite these provisions, APMC is in deep slumber, completely reluctant to act.

These agents have devoured crores of rupees from farmers under the patronage of APMC and the government, alleged the Samiti. It also alleged that inaction of APMC suggests that there is a strong nexus of government and commission agents that is looting farmers without any fear of legal action.

The farmers today also demanded that action should be initiated against culprit officials of APMC, who did not act timely on the complaints and indirectly patronized fraud agents.

The Samiti has given a deadline of October 26 and warned that more farmers would join the protest in future if the government still not acted.

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