SHIMLA- The Modern Central Kanda Jail, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, has suspended HP police constable, Bhanu Prashar, who had exposed the startling security loophole inside the jail premises by posting a video on social media. The cop had also declared war against the alleged mistreatment of sub-ordinate staff by officers. The constable is now allegedly facing mental harassment for blowing the whistle. As per the cop, he hasn’t even received his salary for last five months, which has left him in serious financial crisis. After he received no support from his own department, he went on a hunger strike a few days ago. Now, he is admitted at Rippon hospital, Shimla after his health deteriorated. Shockingly, no senior police official or anyone from his own department has approached this cop to conduct fair inquiry. Instead, the Jail Superintendent, Sher Chand, had initiated probe against the cop.
Watch The Video
The video shows two men using social media on computer. The constable had made shocking allegation that these two men visible in the video are actually prisoners, who are sentenced for serious crimes of murder and rape. One of them is a local. One of the prisoners shares same block in which an IS agent is imprisoned. The prisoners are allegedly sitting in the office.
When the Jail Superintendent was asked regarding the video, he explained the prisoners were working on a website and that jail authorities encourage educated inmates. However, the video very clearly shows that the two men were uploading a picture of kid on Facebook. Moreover, according to the suspended cop they were alone in the room and there was no one to monitor them.
Superintendent was unable to explain it why they were using Facebook. He instead labeled the Bhanu as an undisciplined cop, who has been in controversies.
The statement of the SP at least confirms that the video is not fake, and that it was actually recorded inside Kanda Jail.
Himachal Watcher talked to the suspended constable, who is a warder, to confirm the facts related to the matter. As per the constable, when he reported this grieve security breach to the seniors, he was suspended. Thereafter, the constable took to social media and posted the said video clip. The cop started a hunger strike a couple of days ago. On Monday, his condition deteriorated. But the authority didn’t provide him even an ambulance or attendant, Bhanu told HW on Monday. One of the constable’s friends, who is a teacher, brought him to Rippon hospital, Shimla in his personal car where he is admitted in emergency ward.
Please, listen to the video clip of Bhanu that he himself recorded on our request:
The cop has labeled serious allegations of harassment by his own department, framing false charges and cases that were used to exploit provisions of Central Civil Services against him.
He hasn’t received his salary for last four months, he alleged. When he asked for the reason behind withholding his salary, he wasn’t given any explanation but just reference to some CCS rules.
Our manual of rules for jails is written in such a way that honest and helpless cops are turned into slaves of officers,
told Bhanu to HW.
I have faced suspension orders earlier too because I broke the silence and complaint of what is wrong. Everytime I tried to raise my voice, I was harassed,
In 10 years of my service, now I have become insensitive like a stone,
he further added.
It’s a very usual scene to see prisoners accessing internet using computers installed in rooms of officers, which is shocking from the point of security, he told HW. He further alleged that some prisoners even have full access to cellphones and internet. Prisoners are allowed to go out without parole, he alleged. Prisoners do use money to please the authorities and get better treatment.
The constable has also alleged jail authority of corruption in matters of management of resources. A packet of biri is over-priced in Jail canteen, expired goods are sold, and almost every affair of the jail is subject to question, he alleged.
After suspension, now he alleges authority of harassing him mentally. After suspension, he is not allowed to leave headquarter without obtaining permission. He even pointed out that the colleagues who had liked the video on social media also faced wrath of the authority.
In fact, everytime I complained or brought such issues to higher officials, I either faced transfer or humiliation,
Before posting the video, I tried to contact the DG prison, Somesh Goyal, IPS, through social media. I left a message for him on his Facebook profile, but didn’t receive any response. He is an honest and active officer. I don’t know why he isn’t responding. I want him to come to the prison and take a round in the presence of media to confirm my allegations,
told Bhanu to HW.
The department has not come out with any statement and seems to be sweating to hush the matter. However, the cop seeks support of people and honest officials to bring the matter to justice.
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.