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Kotkhai CBI Probe: Sentry given police security, CM’s IT Cell grilled

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Kotkhai Rape CBI Probe

Sentry, Dinesh Sharma, who was on duty at the Kotkhai Police Station on the night accused Suraj was killed in the police custody, is provided with police security as the CBI fears threat to his life.

Shimla: The investigation in the Kotkhai gang rape and murder case is witnessing sudden twists soon after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a fresh status report in the Himachal Pradesh High Court on August 17, 2017.

CBI has finally reached the IT Cell advisor to the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in relation to the pictures of four persons posted on CM’s Facebook page. These photos were later deleted and the four persons were given clean chit by the police.

Photos of Kotkhai rape suspects

Edit history of the CM’s FB post shows four images were deleted

Officially CBI has confirmed nothing, but sources say the agency is trying to ascertain the source of these photos. How CM’s IT Cell ended up with posting these photos as suspects and then deleting them? Who sent these photos to the IT Cell?

Reports are coming in that CBI teams have conducted simultaneous raids yesterday on the houses of the persons in these photographs, who were identified as Prashant alias Happy and Ishan. It implies, CBI is keen to establish the relation of the case with these suspects.

CBI fears threat to life of Sentry Dinesh

Another big development in the probe is that the Sentry, Dinesh Sharma, who was on duty at the Kotkhai Police Station on the night accused Suraj was killed in the police custody, is provided with police security as the CBI fears threat to his life.

The Superintendent Police, Shimla, Soumya Sambasivan, confirmed that a constable was deployed for the same.

The statements of Dinesh are said to have put some officers of the HP Police SIT and Shimla Police under the scanner of the CBI. Police had claimed that Raju, a co-accused, had murdered Suraj on the night of June 18, 2017.

The entire staff posted at the police station was suspended next day and riots had erupted in the Kotkhai region. Outraged by the killing of the accused in custody, locals had vandalized and set the police station on fire after chasing away the police personnel.

Contrary to his previous statement, the Sentry reportedly gave CBI a different statement. Dinesh said he was on three-hour duty that night and Raju and Suraj were in the same lockup.

However, Dinesh said he did not see Raju killing Suraj during his duty hours. As per media reports, Dinesh told CBI that Suraj was taken to separate place by the Station House Officer.

When the CBI inquired Dinesh why he had given a different statement previously, he told the agency that his signature was taken on a pre-scripted statement.

His statement is believed to have landed some high-rank State Police officers in serious trouble. Therefore, CBI fear there is a considerable threat to the life of Dinesh.

As per a local Hindi daily, a DSP and ASI, who were investigating the case before the formation of the Special Investigation Team, were taken to Delhi for questioning in connection to the case.

CBI has also filed an appeal in the court for conducting a Narco-analysis test on all accused.

The case is haunting the fate of the ruling government in the upcoming legislative assembly polls and the credibility of the State Police.

Locals and the family of the victim believe the police tried to shield the real culprits and framed some laborers as a piece of meat. The suspicion of the people was fueled after four pictures appeared on the CM’s FB page and one of the accused killed in police custody.

The monsoon session of the assembly has begun on August 22 and the opposition is expected to create rucksack over the Kotkhai case.

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Himachal Pradesh: 662 New Cases & 7 Deaths in 24 Hours, Over 4500 Cases & 55 Deaths in 9 Nine Days

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Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 report

Shimla– The number of new daily COVID-19 cases and deaths in Himachal Pradesh was reported to be 662 and seven respectively on Friday till 7 pm. Kangra district reported the highest 165 new cases and four fatalities, while Sirmaur, Shimla, and Mandi recorded one fatality each.

View details of COVID-19 deaths below:

Daily covid 19 deaths

Source: HP NHM

Solan followed Kangra district with 132 new cases.

Find district-wise details of new cases below:

Daily COVID-19 deaths in himachal pradesh

Source: HP NHM

The COVID-19 case and death tallies have now reached 68173 and 1090 respectively. In April, the state has recorded a huge surge in cases. In the nine days of this month, the state has recorded 4568 new cases and 55 COVID-19 deaths – a rate of more than six deaths per day.

The state government today reviewed the situation in its Cabinet meeting and expressed concern. However, no restrictive measures were taken except extending the closure of all educational institutes till April 21.

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had been maintaining that a lockdown would be the last resort.

Further, the state government today said that to make vaccination people’s movement, 11th to 14th April may be celebrated as ‘Teeka Utsav’.

The government said that the biggest matter of concern was that the virus was spreading at a fast pace. In addition to this, the number of death has also increased rapidly. All the districts have been advised to enhance their capacity be it bed capacity, quarantine capacity and medical equipment capacity etc.

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur said that strict action must also be taken against those involved in gross violation of SOPs. He said that the hoteliers must also strictly follow the SOPs so that the State Government may not be forced to take action. He said that laxity shown by the people has resulted in sharp resurgence of Covid cases in the State.

It’s pertinent to mention that during the campaigning for the elections to Municipal Corporations, all parties and their leaders including the Chief Minister violated all SOPs without attracting any action. The parties also faced criticism for ignoring public health for the sake of political interests, thus, setting wrong examples for the public.  

Feature Image: Pexels@polina-tankilevitch

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HP Cabinet Decisions: Educational Institutes Closed Till April 21 Amid COVID-19 Surge, No Decision on Other Restrictions

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HP Cabinet decision on curfew

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet today held a meeting in which it expressed concern over the sharp surge in Covid-19 cases in the State. The Cabinet decided to keep all educational institutions closed till April 21. The institutes would also remain closed for teaching and non-teaching staff except the staff required for exam duties till the 21st of this month.

A decision was taken to fill up 311 posts of Forest Guards in the Forest Department on a contract basis through direct recruitment. These include already approved 113 posts of Forest Guards by the State Cabinet during its meeting held on 9th of March this year.   

The Cabinet decided to fill up 25 posts of Agriculture Development Officers on a contract basis in Agriculture Department through HP Public Service Commission against direct recruitment quota. 

It decided to implement the central sector scheme SVAMITVA in the state for surveying the land parcels in rural inhabited areas using Drone technology. For this, Revenue Department would be designated as the Nodal Department for implementation of the scheme with the support of the Panchayati Raj Department. For this, MoU would be signed with the Survey of India for starting the scheme in the State. A State Steering Committee, State Project Management Unit and District Project Monitoring Unit would also be constituted for effective implementation of the scheme.

The cabinet also gave its nod to extend employment on compassionate ground to the eligible indigent of the deceased employees against available vacant posts of Class-III and Class-IV in relaxation of five percent quota as against the available vacant posts of class-III and Class-IV in DC offices of Shimla, Kinnaur, Solan and Kangra and office of Settlement Officer Kangra Division.  

It also gave its consent that the project for the development of multi-storey parking-cum-shopping complex at U-Block Mandi may be awarded under PPP mode to the highest bidder at an annual concession fee of Rs. 63,63,000 plus GST and all other applicable taxes per annum, as per terms and conditions of RFP. The selected bidder would also pay an upfront premium of Rs. 2 crores to the authority by way of five equal instalments of Rs. 40 lakh each for 24 months starting from the compliance date.

The cabinet also gave its approval for the creation of five posts of different categories for each newly created Nagar Panchayats viz Shahpur, Chirgaon, Nerwa, Nirmand, Anni, Kandaghat and Amb for smooth functioning of these newly created Nagar Panchayats.

Presentations were also made before the Cabinet by Jal Shakti Department on the prevailing drought situation in the State. It was decided to hold a review meeting under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister including all the stakeholder departments for further decisions.

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Una Murder Case: Body of 22-Year-Old Girl Exhumed, Enraged Villagers Create Ruckus

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una girl murder case

Una-The alleged murder of a 22-year-old girl in Jadla Kohri village under the Gagret sub-division of Una district created a stir on Wednesday as the police exhumed her body from near a temple complex.

According to the allegations, a man who was identified as one of the ‘pujaris of the temple, has admitted killing the girl. He reportedly admitted hitting her on the head with an iron rod and later burying the body.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Amb, has confirmed the report.

Una murder case

According to the initial information, the girl was missing since April 3, 2021, and a complaint regarding the same was filed at the local police station in Gagret the next day.

The police zeroed in on the said accused based on call details and reached the temple today. A large number of villagers also followed the police. When the police exhumed the body based on the location identified by the accused, angry villagers turned violent and demanded handing over the accused to them. A minor clash between police and villagers was also reported. Villagers vandalized the temple premises.

Amid this tense atmosphere, police somehow protected the accused from the enraged mob and managed to get him out safely.

The body of the girl was sent for post-mortem, the Superintendent of Police, Una, Arjit Sen, confirmed.

Though not officially confirmed, some local media reports suggested that the deceased and the accused were known to each other. The girl had recently got engaged to another man.

 Further details are awaited.

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