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I personally wrote to PM Modi for CBI inquiry, what more I could have done: Virbhadra



virbhadra Singh on Kotkhai Rape and murder

Media should restrain from exaggerating this issue keeping in view the sensitivity of this case which was one of the rarest.

Shimla – The killing of a accused in police custody on Tuesday night has triggered outrage in people that continue to spread to other parts of the upper Shimla and the State.  Today, enraged mob is on complete rampage in Kotkhai region of Shimla district, Himachal Pradesh. People set the police station on fire along with large number of liquor bottles they found inside. 

But the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh blamed the opposition Bharitya Janata Party and the media for making the barbaric rape and murder of a minor schoolgirl an issue. 

While addressing a public gathering in Padhar, Mandi, he said the issue is being given hype to gain political benefits ahead of upcoming HP Assembly polls.

He said the issue is being portrayed like entire Himachal is burning with protests. Heinous crimes like rape, murder, robbery etc. are reported in every state. People should not take the law into their hands.

The state government had earlier formed Special Investigation team and later, I personally wrote a letter to the Prime Minister to get conducted CBI inquiry in this case,

said the Chief Minister, asking, what more he could have done.

The matter was also being flared up and politicized by the BJP, he said. To play politics on death of a minor girl was shameful, as her soul also won’t be able to rest in peace, he said.

I am sincerely committed to bring the criminals to book and want them to be hanged for the heinous crime they have committed,

said Virbhadra Singh.

He said that the media should also restrain from exaggerating this issue keeping in view the sensitivity of this case which was one of the rarest. The law and enforcement agencies are on job and very soon, the truth would be out, said Chief Minister.

The incident has spoiled Chief Minister’s Sundernagar tour, and he had to cancel it in midway to head back to Shimla amid the ongoing chaos.

The situation could become uglier if the protests spread to other parts of the Hill State. The locals in Kotkhai were already suspicious about police inquiry into brutal case of rape and murder of a 16-year-old school girl. The alleged killing of one Nepalese suspect by a co-accused ahead of CBI inquiry has further fueled the suspicions and rumors.


Misc News/Press Release

DC Kangra confirms abduction of 3 Himachalis in Nigeria, CM seeks Centre Govt’s help



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: The Deputy Commissioner of Kangra today confirmed that Nigerian sea pirates have held three men hailing from Kangra hostages for ransom.

The state government said it has taken up the matter with the Government of India and requested the safe release of all three hostages.

The step came after the news appeared in regional media.

The State government claimed that in a communiqué to the Western Africa Division, Ministry of External Affairs, the state government said the three youths namely Sushil Kumar, Pankaj Kumar and Ajay Kumar, who belong to Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh have been kidnapped by the Nigerian pirates as per the confirmed report.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has sought the intervention of Union government to ensure the safe release of three hostages.He hoped the union government will act fast and get the hostages released safely.

You can read the entire matter here in HW’s previous article.

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Misc News/Press Release

Govt silent over safety of 3 Himachali youth allegedly held hostages by Nigerian pirates for ransom



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: Three youths hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, who were serving in Merchant Navy, have reportedly ended in the hands of armed Nigerian sea pirates as hostages. The armed pirates hijacked their ship and demanded a ransom of 11 million nairas (20-22 Lakh INR) from the parents of one of the hostages.

The details are scanty as no official confirmation has been made by the State or Centre Government. It is not clear when they were abducted. 

The news broke out when Raghubir Singh (62) of Nagrota, father of one of the hostages, reached media yesterday.  

As per the information given by Raghubir, the other two men included Pankaj Kumar of Samloti and Ajay Kumar of Palampur.

The three men were currently working for a private shipping company named Max Marine Services in Cortnou Benin.

On March 12, the parents of one of the abducted youth, Susheel Sharma (37), who was the captain on the ship, received a call through a satellite phone. Susheel told the parents that he along with two others had been held hostage in some jungle. He told the parents about the pirate’s demand for ransom in exchange for their release.

On March 21, Himachal had received a shock after the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed, while speaking in the Parliament, the killing of 39 Indians in Iraq including four men from Himachal. Three of them hailed from Kangra while remaining one belonged to Mandi district.

Now, this fresh case of abduction has again jolted Kangra.

Surprisingly, as alleged by the parents, the Centre or State Government have not given any reaction to the situation.   

The district administration also said it was not aware of the situation.

The parents also alleged the shipping company of keeping them in dark whenever they contacted it to know whereabouts of their son. The owner of the ship told the parents that a negotiation was ongoing with the pirates.

However, recently, the owner stopped picking up phone calls from the aggrieved parents.  

Ultimately, the family on March 18 approached the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the Prime Minister, Modi,  through a mail with their plea to intervene and rescue their son.

However, the parents allege that they did not receive any satisfactory response from anyone. 

As per the statement of the parents, Sudhir had told them that they are getting only one meal per day. The pirates will starve them to death if the ransom is not paid, Sudhir had told the parents.

Now, the parents do not trust the company anymore and have put their hope on the Government.   


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Man killed as stone rolls down hill, breaks through moving HRTC bus window in Kullu



Bizzare Bus Accident in Himachal's Kullu

Kullu: A big round stone rolled down a hill and broke through the window of a moving Himachal Pradesh Road Corporation (HRTC) bus that was heading towards Kullu from Rampur today. The accident occurred near Luhri in Kullu.  A co-passenger who was sitting beside the deceased also came in spate and received injuries.

However, the deceased, who was identified as Manohar Singh (60) of Tippal village in Anni, died on the spot.  The injured was identified as Vijay Kumar of Kumarsain. He was taken to hospital in Rampur. 

The death came from nowhere and picked up its prey within a fraction of a second, said the eyewitnesses. The stone hit Manohar right on his head, which was badly crushed.  

Other passengers were horrified by the bizarre and sudden manner the stone broke through the window like a bullet.  

A police team from Luhri rushed to the spot and took custody of the dead body.  The elected MLA Kishori Lal Sagar also arrived at the spot on hearing the tragic news. The body was later handed over to the family after the postmortem.

The district administration provided Rs. 20, 000 to the victim’s family as immediate relief. The HRTC also announced Rs. 10,000 as relief money.  

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