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Kotkhai Case: Blacklist DC Shimla for display of incompetency, says RTI activist in letter to PMO India and Governor

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Shimla – The Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Rohan Chand Thakur, yesterday visited the family of Kotkhai rape and murder victim. It was the first time the DC met the family or visited the crime spot or talked to locals since July 6. The DC faced criticism for his alleged indifference toward the sensitivity of the case. He should have visited the grieving family and the spot much earlier.

On Friday, the DC Shimla, along with the new Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Somya Sadasivan, visited the area and met the family. The DC offered the family a Rs. 2 lakh from District Red Cross Fund with assurance to take full responsibility for the education of victim’s brother. He said the administration is taking confidence building measures to restore peace.

However, people are still miffed over the fact that, as the head of the administration, he remained completely silent earlier.

RTI Activist, Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, called it a “display of incompetency, indifference, and callous attitude” by the IAS officer. In a letter written to the Governor, HP, PMO India, the Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, Delhi, and the Union Home Secretary, Delhi, the RTI activist demanded blacklisting IAS Rohan so that he isn’t assigned any sensitive post.

The activist said the most unfortunate incident of rape and murder of a school girl “Gudiya” took place in Kotkhai area of Shimla district, entire state boiled under rage, and mass demonstrations were held daily. However, said Bhattacharya, the DC remained seated in his office and did not use his sense and acumen to deal with the situation.

Astonishingly, the DC did not visit the spot of the crime even once during this entire period of turmoil, he said.

Thus, Rohan Chand Thakur, IAS, demonstrated an act of cowardice and displayed the least of leadership qualities as were expected from any well-trained direct IAS recruit,

 said Bhattacharya.

The law and order situation kept degrading, and distress of public over discrepancies in the probe conducted by HP Police SIT continued to rise. Despite all this, the DC just watched the show, alleged Bhattacharya.

The activist asked the authorities to take action against him, and ask him to explain his position that why he did not perform his duties as District Magistrate on receiving information of the gruesome crime. The DC should be asked that why he did not visit the crime scene even once as the head of the district administration.

An explanation should be sought from the DC that why he did not come out amid distressed people as law and order situation worsened with each passing day, he said.

Bhattacharya has requested the Secretary DOP&T to put Mr. Thakur in the blacklisted category of the IAS officers till the time proves that he has improved upon his competency in administration.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBi) took over the case from HP Police on Friday and initiated a probe. Sources suggest the team had arrived in Shimla on Thursday, but CBI did not make any official confirmation.

The State High Court had directed CBI on Tuesday to form an SIT within two days and submit its report within two weeks.

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Rs.18 Crore Mandi Shiv Dham Project Tender Allotted for Rs. 36 Crores, Alleges Sudhir Sharma  

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Shimla-Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur, and Mandi Shivdham project, which he claims to be his dream project, has landed in controversy ahead of the polling for the by-polls scheduled to be held on October 30.

AICC secretary and former minister, Sudhir Sharma, on Saturday released a statement in which he alleged HP Tourism Development Corporation of indulging in corruption in allotment of tender for the Mandi Shivdham development project. He alleged that against the sanctioned limit of Rs. 18 crores, the tender for the development of the first phase of the project was granted to a Mumbai-based company “Generic Engineering Construction & Projects Limited” in February this year.

The project involves structural construction of replicas of 12 Jyotirlings, site development etc., as per the tender.

He also said that the Chief Minister himself holds charge of the Tourism Department.

Sudhir also furnished some documents related to the tender allocation to support his allegations.

He further informed that the tenders were first invited for the first phase between November 24 and 25, 2020. At that time, the estimated cost was mentioned to be Rs. 18 crores. Four companies responded to the invitation and participated in the tendering process. However, by February this year, the tender was allotted to the above-mentioned company for Rs. 36 crores.

Sudhir questioned the state government over doubling the cost and asked the Chief Minister to provide the public with an explanation for this.

“This money belongs to the State and it should be spent on public welfare,” Sudhir said in a statement released on Saturday.

He also demanded action against those involved in this alleged act of corruption.

Sudhir further alleged that instead of taking care and undertaking beautification of already existing temples and religious places in Mandi – also known as Choti Kashi- Chief Minister jumped to a new location with his dream project. He also alleged that the government didn’t even obtain forest clearance for this project and several trees were axed.

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Kinnaur: Horrific Tragedy Unfolds as Bodies of 7 Out of 11 Missing Trekkers Recovered, Two Still Missing

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Kinnaur-A horrific tragedy is unfolding as bodies of seven trekkers, who had gone missing while trekking from Uttarkashi to Chitkul, were recovered by the teams of Army and ITPB from Lamkhaga Pass in Kinnaur district. Two of them have been rescued alive and were receiving medical treatment. Two trekkers are still missing and feared to be dead.

Most of these persons belonged to West Bengal. 

The rescue team could not lift the bodies due to the bad weather on Thursday as it had to suspend the search and rescue operation. The operation was resumed on Friday. The search operation for the remaining missing persons would be carried out on Saturday. The search and rescue teams found the bodies at an altitude of 5,000 metres.

According to the available information, a total of 17 persons – 11 trekkers and six porters- had left Uttarkashi on October 11 on a trekking expedition that was supposed to conclude in Chikul of Kinnaur district on October 19. However, the weather took a drastic turn and the region witnessed heavy snowfall on October 17 and 18.

While six Nepalese porters were said to have reached Chitkul, the trekkers had decided to stay in temporary tents at Lamkhaga Pass. The porters had informed the police about the stranded trekkers on reaching Chitkul on October 20.

The Deputy Commissioner, Kinnaur, Abid Hussain, confirmed that nine of these trekkers have been found. While two were alive, seven had died. The exact reason for deaths would be ascertained only after the post-mortem. Two trekkers still remain missing. More information is awaited.

It’s pertinent to mention that the Meteorological Department had issued warning of heavy rain and snow on October 18 alonwith an orange alert. 

Following are the details of the bodies recovered and persons rescued alive:

Deceased Persons

  1. Anita Rawat (38) D/o Sh. Jyoti Singh R/o M 95 Harinagar, West Bengal
  2. Tanmay Tiwari (30), S/o Sh R.C. Tiwari, R/o Kishan Nagar, Kolkata 3
  3. Vikas Makal(33) son of Swapan Maikal, Raghabpur Nepalganj, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal
  4. Saurabh Gosh (34) S/o Sushil Ghosh, R/o Nepalganj, South 24 West Bengal
  5. Subhayan Das (28) S/o Kajal Das, R/o 10/1A Nepal Bhatacharia G Streak Kalighat, West Bengal
  6. Richard Mandal (31) From West Bengal
  7. Upender (22) from Uttarkashi

Detail of Missing persons:

  1. Sukenh Manjhi(43) From West Bengal
  2. Gyan Chand (33) from Uttarkashi

Details of Injured Person

  1. Devendra Chauhan, S/o Hariram, R/o Village Gangad, Thana Mary, Uttarkashi. (company guide)
  2. Mithun Dari, S/o Swar Badal Ch Dari, R/o Prasadpur, PostAndhar Manik, South 24 Pargans, West Bengal

 

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HP By-Polls 2021: Silence Period Extended to Three Days

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Shimla-The campaigning period during Himachal Pradesh by-elections has been fixed from 10 am to 7 pm every day. The silence period has been extended from two days to three days before the closing date of voting, which will start after 6 pm on 27th October 2021.

During the no active campaigning by the candidates or political parties is allowed, and television or any digital media cannot carry any election-related matter.

This information was released by Chief Electoral Officer, Himachal Pradesh, C. Paulrasu. He said that the Election Commission of India has limited the period of campaigning during by-election 2021 in view of the guidelines issued for the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has urged all the candidates and political parties participating in the by-elections of Mandi Parliamentary Constituency and Fatehpur, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Arki Assembly Constituencies to comply with these guidelines related to the election campaign.

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