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CBI inquiry in Kotkhai case officially begins as agency files two separate cases on Saturday

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CBI probe in Shimla gangrape and murder

Shimla -The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has officially confirmed initiation of investigation in the alleged Kotkhai gangrape and murder of a 16-year-old school. The CBI on Saturday registered two separate cases – one relating to the investigation of rape and murder of the minor girl and another to investigate the death of Suraj Singh, one of the Nepalese accused, in police custody under mysterious circumstances.

CBI has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Superintendent of Police and an Addl.SP & a Dy.SP. The team had proceeded to the scene of the crime after officially taking over both the cases.

The first case was filed over the investigation of FIR under Sections 302, 376 of IPC and Section 4 of POCSO Act registered earlier at Police Station, Kotkhai, Shimla district.

The second case was filed over the FIR under Section 302 of IPC earlier registered at Kotkhai Police Station relating to the custodial death of one of the accused arrested by police.

The CBI SIT is expected to take possession of all documents related to the investigation from the police.
The action came in wake of orders passed by the State High Court in which CBI was asked to form an SIT and conduct probe in the case.

So far, the State police SIT had arrested six accused, out of which one was killed in police custody in Kotkhai police station under mysterious circumstances. As per police, co-accused Raju allegedly killed Suraj by hitting him on private parts, strangulating and then smashing his head on the floor or the wall.

In a press conference held on July 13, SIT had claimed the case was solved and all accused were behind bars.
However, the SIT probe faced widespread criticism and had led to a violent protest in Theog on July 14 following which the Chief Minister was compelled to order a CBI inquiry.

The family of the victim and the people of the region had expressed suspicion regarding the probe conducted by HP Police SIT in the case. They alleged police tried to shield real culprits, who belong to wealthy and influential families of the area.

The killing of the accused further strengthened the suspicion of alleged conspiracy. The killing triggered riots in the Kotkhai region where an enraged mob vandalized the police station and set it on fire. The police staff was thrashed, and several policemen were injured in the stone-pelting by the mob.

The situation has grown so tense that the police had to fire warning rounds in the air. Protests still continue over the entire episode. The distress among people has aggravated since then.

Now, all eyes are on CBI. The State High Court has asked the CBI to file a report within two weeks.

Art & Culture

Video: Mega Natti at Kullu Dussehra 2019 Performed by 4,000 Dancers to Send Out Message of Cleanliness & Nutrition

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Kullu Dussehra 2019 Manha Natti

Kullu- International Kullu Dussehra Festival on October 12, 2019, witnessed a traditional dance “Natti” performed by four thousand women at the Dhalpur’s Rath Maidan. It event was named as “Mega Natti or Manha Natti”. Women from various parts of the district including Manali, Sainj, Anni, Banjar etc participated in the dance.  Not only a large number of locals swarmed the Rath Maidan to witness this majestic scene, but visitors from foreign countries also witnessed and captured it in their cameras.

This year’s theme was Swachhta (Cleanliness) and Poshan (Nutrition). These thousands of women, dressed in the traditional attire of Kullu district, danced on the beats of traditional folk songs and instruments for one hour. During the first 25 minutes, ‘Natti’ was performed by Anganwari workers to send out a message on cleanliness.

The tradition of performing “Natti” by a group of thousands of women had begun in 2014. While about six thousand women had participated in ‘Natti’ in 2014, in 2015, 9,892
women had performed during Kullu Dussehra, which was recorded in the Guianese Book of World Records.  

Since 2014, this tradition continues, and every year Mega Natti is organized on different themes. In 2015, the theme was “Save Girl Child.”

Cabinet Minister Govind Singh Thakur also attended the event as the Chief Guest. The Deputy Commissioner, Dr Richa Verma, was also present on the occasion. Both participated in the dance too.

The District Administration has been receiving appreciation for its efforts to highlight the traditional culture of Kullu and the messages of awareness it is delivering through this event.

While Dussehra in other parts of India is celebrated for only one day, in Kullu, the celebrations continue for a week. During this period, approximately five lakh visitors, including domestic and international, attend the weeklong festivity.

 

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Misc News/Press Release

Crop Diversification in Himachal Enhanced Crop Production and Farmers’ Income, 2nd Phase of JICA Project to Launch Soon: Govt

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crop diversification project in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Crop Diversification Project in Himachal Pradesh under Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has helped in enhancing the crop production and the income of the farmers through vegetable cultivation, said Chief Secretary Dr Shrikant Baldi while interacting with the Mission team of the JICA. The team was headed by Deputy Director, South Asia Takumi Kunitake, which met Baldi on October 11, 2019, to discuss the launching of the second phase of this project in the state.

Baldi told the team that the farmers had been actively involved under this project and they were managing the irrigation schemes at their own. The agriculture department had been successfully implementing this project and all the works were being completed as per the estimated cost.

The efforts would be made to launch the second phase of the crop diversification promotion project soon in all districts of the state for which all the formalities would be completed before the completion of the first phase, Baldi said.

This Mission team was on the tour of various districts of the state to study the positive results of the JICA funded crop diversification promotion project after launching of its first phase in five districts. It also held a discussion regarding launching of the second phase for which the state agriculture department had submitted Rs. 1104 crore project to the government of Japan through the government of India in June 2019.

Baldi stressed that there was a need to provide more irrigational facilities to the farmers and bring more area under vegetable cultivation. He urged the JICA to approve the second phase of this project before completion of the first stage so that the expertise of the available trained staff could be utilised in the next phase as well.

The Mission team apprised that after submission of its report, the government of Japan would take a decision on launching of the second phase. Following it, another Mission would visit Himachal Pradesh to study the detailed project report. Thereafter, the letter of consent would be signed with the India and Japan governments. The team assured that efforts would be made to start the second phase of this project in all districts of the state, for which all the formalities would be finalised before the completion of the first phase.

The Mission team also held detailed discussions with Principal Secretary Onkar Chand Sharma on Thursday. The team visited four out of total five districts included under the first phase of the project (Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kangra and Mandi districts).

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Video: Leopard in Shimla City Hunts Pet Dog, Caught on CCTV  

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Leopard attack dog in shimla city

Shimla-A CCTV footage of leopard pouncing on a pet dog in Shimla City’s Shanan locality and taking it away appeared on social media on Friday and went viral instantly.

The footage shows a leopard entering a building through the stairs and slowly moving toward the dog that was sleeping right outside a door. About four-minute-long footage shows the leopard making its move rather quietly, taking its own time to get as close as possible to its prey before making that one final move.

The dog sadly couldn’t catch the scent of the leopard and was unaware of the leopard’s presence even as the latter held itself steady only whiskers away from the dog’s neck.

In the next instant, the leopard finally pounces on the dog in a jiffy and grips it by the neck. The dog made some worthless effort to loosen the grip but the leopard had it in his favour.

In all the commotion, by the time occupants of the house woke up and came outside, the leopard was away its prey.

As per the report, the Labrador belonged to the neighbours of the occupants of the house.

DFO, Shimla, said he did not receive a complaint yet, however, a cage would be placed in the locality to catch the leopard. He said the CCTV footage was being assessed.

It’s not the first time that a leopard made a dog its prey. It is pretty common for leopards to hunt stray dogs in the areas adjoining jungles. However, in rare cases, leopards enter buildings and take away pets, just as in this footage. 

 

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