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Kotkhai Police Probe: Women Commission not convinced either, suspects a cover-up

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Kotkhao Probe National Commisson For Women

Shimla – In the Kotkhai rape and murder case, the National Commission for Women member, Sushma Sahu, came down heavily on the Himachal Pradesh Police, State Government, and the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh in a press conference held in Shimla on Saturday.

The doubts among people have further deepened as the NCW member, too, expressed serious doubts over the police investigation and the attitude of the State Government toward the case.

She rounded up the State Government for highly careless acts such as revealing the identity of the minor victim by naming a school after her real name. Despite prohibition under legal provisions, the name of the victim was mentioned in the official notification issued by the government in this regards, which should invite legal action against it, she said.

Sahu, who is in Shimla regarding the investigation of the rape and murder of a 16-years-old school going girl in Kotkhai Tehsil of Shimla district, has upheld the allegation of locals that the police and the government are trying to shield real culprits, who hail from influential families. She showered several questions over the probe and pointed out several loopholes and the missing links in the police investigation.

Sahu had sent for the Director General of the Police to take stock of the entire investigation. However, the DGP didn’t show up. Instead, another official (ADGP) appeared who wasn’t even aware of the names of the accused and hardly had any idea about the investigation, she said. The ADGP had no answer when he was asked where the DGP was.

On the basis of her interaction, she asked the State Government to provide security to the victim’s family and immediate financial assistance to the wife of Suraj, the Nepalese accused killed in the police custody.

She questioned the government over its inaction and investigation regarding upload and deletion of photos of four persons on the Chief Minister’s official Facebook page on the night of July 11. The government hasn’t given any explanation from where those photos appeared and who was responsible for uploading them on CM’s official FB page, she remarked. She said no FIR was lodged in this regard despite the fact that this faux pas had fueled the chaos in public.

Sahu said during her visit to the family of the victim, she discovered that the wife of the Chief Minister, Pratibha Singh, had insisted the family to not push for the CBI inquiry in the case. However, Pratibha Singh, in a reply to these remarks, said her statement was twisted. She denied allegations of pressing the family to not ask for a CBI inquiry. She said the family was satisfied with the police investigation at that time.

The NCW member raised questions over the post-mortem report and the sequence of the crime given by the police in its probe. She further said that according to the report of the post-mortem conducted on Jul 7, the victim had eaten rice a few hours before her death, but the police probe report establishes July 4 as the date of her death, which is contradictory.

The parents who had seen the body at the spot reported fresh marks on her neck and the body. The father also claimed her leg and arm was fractured, she said. The father also told her that there was no sign of a struggle at the muddy spot and there was no mud on nails of the victim, which goes against the police claim that the crime was committed on the very spot where the victim’s body was found on July 6.

Further, in a sarcastic tone, she asked the police department what the staff was doing when the Nepalese accused Suraj was killed in the police lockup. She further questioned why the two suspects were kept in the same lockup. She said the suspension of the police staff over the killing of accused in the custody is just eyewash.

Mamata, the wife of the killed accused said her husband was detained by the police for questioning. When he returned home at evening, he was in a miserable shape. He told her that he was badly beaten by the policemen who were allegedly drinking while question him, saiid Sahu. Mamata, Sahu added, claimed her husband was working in the orchards with her on July 4 and 5, but police did not verify this fact. Similarly, Raju, another accused, had taken his mother to hospital on July 5, which can be verified through hospital authorities and CCTV footages, she said.

The NCW member also questioned the overall working of the government in the case.

She said the report of the investigation conducted by her will be submitted to the Central Bureau of Investigation so that they could include these facts in the investigation.

Photo: Statesman News Service

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Himachal Suffered Rs 490 crores Loss This Monsoon, DCs Directed to Keep Close Vigil on Situation

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Loss in Himachal in Monsoon 2019

Shimla- Chief Minister Jairam Thakur today said that the State has witnessed torrential rains during the last two days resulting in landslides, flash floods and falling of trees. He put the official number of deaths at 18 during the heavy rains during the last twenty-four hours in various parts of the State. However, media sources put this number over 20.

He said that the State has suffered a loss of about Rs 490 crore in the State during this monsoon season.

Chief Minister said that Lahaul & Spiti district has witnessed untimely snow yesterday and today morning due to which heavy damages had been reported to crops.

He said that the State Government would ensure time-bound clearances of all the major roads so as to ensure that the people of the State, particularly horticulturists do not face any difficulty in the transportation of their produce to the markets.

Jai Ram Thakur said that all the Deputy Commissioners of the State have been directed to keep a close vigil on the situation and ensure the safety of the locals as well as of the tourists. He said that the tourists have also been advised to stay away from river beds as there was always the possibility of a sudden rise in water levels due to flash floods and heavy rains.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the Deputy Commissioners have also been directed to take a decision regarding closure of educational institutions in their respective districts as per the situation well in time so that the students do not face any inconvenience.

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Heavy Rains Kill Over 20 in Himachal, Educational Institutes to Remain Closed on Monday in 5 Districts

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Monsoon Damages in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Incessant rains for the last 36 hours have wreaked havoc in various districts of Himachal Pradesh, killing as many as 20 persons due to landslides, drowning, the collapse of walls etc. Nine deaths were reported from Shimla district only. In a major incident, a landslide near Regional Transport Office, Shimla, killed two girls and their mother. One person died in a wall collapse in the Cemetery area, while one death was reported from Jubbal area where a landslide buried a lady.

People killed in Shimla in landslide near RTO office

Landslide Near RTO Office, Shimla

Chamba and Kullu reported three deaths each. Other deaths were reported in district Solan, Sirmaur, and Bilaspur districts. Over 800 roads and about eight National Highways were closed due to landslide or damages due to overflowing rivers.

Pabbar River in upper Shimla area was seen flowing above the danger level. A large number of trees were also uprooted in Shimla causing damages to houses and vehicles.

Further, the Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, Amit Kashyap informed ANI that over 200 people were evacuated from Chopal and Rohru areas of the district to safe places. The premises of Hatkoti temple also witnessed water-logging. 

Further, the water level in dams like Bhakra, Pong and Pandoh, was reported to be close to the danger level. Like several other rivers and rivulets, the water level of River Beas was also reported to be above the danger level. The water released from the dams added to it. At some places, vehicles were seen being swept away in Beas. The Panchvaktra Temple was also submerged in the water partly. A part of the Manali-KulluNH went under the water near Dwara in Mandi, closing the road for traffic. Water-logging was reported at other places.

Following this widespread destruction, the district administrations of Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, Kangra and Kullu have declared that all educational institutes including government, private and convent schools, colleges, universities, ITIs, Polytechnics and Anganwari Centres will remain closed on Monday.

Though the damage was yet to be assessed, it is said to be in hundreds of crores.

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Rave Party in Kasol Busted, Organizer Nabbed, Suspected Addictive Substances Seized

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Rave Party in Kasol busted 2

Kullu-A rave party organized illegally in the middle of a jungle in Kasol of Parvati Valley in Kullu district was raided by a Special Investigation Unit on Thursday. The team raided the spot on a tip and found about 200 tourists participating in the party.

According to the inspector, SIU, Sunil Sankhyan, most of the tourists were Israeli and also included about 50 women.  

 The team succeeded in nabbing the organizers of the party, who was identified as Pratap Singh, a resident of village Chalaal, Kasol.  

The police have filed a case against accused under Section 113 of Police Act 2007, Section 6 of HP Instruments Act, and Section 188 of Indian Penal Code

The Superintendent of Police, Gaurav Singh, confirmed the news.  

As per the inspector Sankhyan, the police received a tip that a party was being organized in the jungle between Choz and Kasol.

“Yesterday, when the Special Investigation Team was present in Kasol at 11:30 PM, information was received that Pratap Singh will be organising a rave party with foreign tourists in the jungles between Kasol and Choz without permission and that drugs and alcohol will be consumed during the party,”

an official told ANI

The team reached the spot at about 2:30 AM and it took over two and a half hours for it to reach the spot. Chaos broke out among tourists as they saw the police.

The SIU team succeeded in nabbing the organizer and seizing electronic equipment, generator, and some substances, which were believed to be addictive drugs. These substances would be sent for forensic testing, the police said.   

Further, the police said while most of the tourists managed to flee the spot, some of them were apprehended and are being questioned.   

 

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