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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.

Environment

The GHNP and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary Ranked as Best Managed Protected Areas of India

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MEE Rank himachal pradesh GHNP

Shimla-The Great Himalayan National Park and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) have been ranked as the best managed protected areas in India. Sainj WLS has also been placed among the top five Sanctuaries.

Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, on January 11 released Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Country. At present, India has a network of 903 Protected Areas in the country covering about 5% of the total geographic area of the country. The purpose of it was to assess the efficacy of Protected Areas, evaluation of management effectiveness.

The evaluation process was executed by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, in which  nation-wide 146 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, including 13 protected areas of Himachal Pradesh, were assessed through a team of evaluators. The score is given for various parameters including staff position, provision of financial resources, degree of protection, peoples’ participation and awareness of the communities towards the conservation values. Against a national average of 62 percent GHNP and Tirthan WLS scored a high of 84.17 percent while Sainj recorded 82.5 percent.

Currently, Himachal Pradesh has a network of 5 National Parks, 28 Wildlife Sanctuaries and 3 Conservation Reserves covering 8391.42 km2 which is 15 percent of the total geographical area of the state.

Top five and bottom five scored NP&WLS

Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India 2

Source: MEE Evaluation Report

According to this Evaluation three of the top five best managed Protected Areas in the country are from Himachal Pradesh. However, the Evaluation also mentioned weaknesses in management in these National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. (Scroll down for details info)

Top two highest and lowest scored NP&WLS in five regions

Managemaent Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India

Source: MEE Evaluation Report

What is Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE)?

Protected area (PA) management effectiveness evaluation (MEE) is defined as the assessment of how well NP&WLS are being managed—primarily, whether they are protecting their values and achieving the goals and objectives agreed upon.

The term ‘management effectiveness’ reflects three main themes of PA management -design issues relating to both individual sites and PA systems, the adequacy and appropriateness of management systems and processes, and delivery of the objectives of NP&WLS, including conservation of values.

 Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Protected Areas (PAs) has emerged as a key tool for PA managers and is increasingly being used by governments and international bodies to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the protected area management systems.

MEE is a very important document that provides valuable guidance on various aspects of wildlife and protected area expand MEE of Marine Protected Areas. A new framework for MEE of Marine Protected Areas has been also jointly prepared by WII and MoEF&CC.

In recent years there has been a general concern amongst PA professionals and the public that many NP&WLS are failing to achieve their objectives and, in some cases, are actually losing the values for which they were established (Hockings et al. 2008).

As a result, improving the effectiveness of PA management has become a priority throughout the conservation community. Protected areas that are effectively managed generally lead to improved biodiversity outcomes.

However, only 20% (21,743 NP&WLS) of the total coverage of protected areas reported in the WDPA has been assessed for management effectiveness according to the Global Database on Protected Areas Management Effectiveness (UNEP-WCMC, IUCN and NGS 2018). The result indicated that only 17.5% of the countries have achieved the 60% score of management effectiveness (Coad et al. 2015).

Further, Javadekar also announced that from this year onwards 10 best National Parks, 5 coastal and Marine parks and top five Zoos in the country will be ranked and awarded every year.

Management Strengths and Weaknesses of National Parks and Wild Life Sanctuaries in Himachal Pradesh

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Campus Watch

Proposed HPBOSE Date-Sheets for 8th, 10th, 12th Exams 2021 Issued, Objections Invited till Feb 10

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HPBOSE Exam Datesheet 2021

Shimla-Date-sheets for Class 10, 12, and 8 yearly examinations for the 2020-21 session have been released by the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education yesterday. These schedules would apply to both regular and State Open School (SOS) students. 

These are proposed date-sheets, which have been uploaded on the official HPBOSE website and objections have been invited from teachers, students, and parents. Objections can be mailed on [email protected] till 10 February 2021.

According to the proposed HPBOSE date-sheets, examinations for 10th class would be held from May 5 to May 20, 2021. For 12th class, exams would be held from May 4 to May 29. Exams for 8th class would be held from May 5 to May 19. While timings for class 10th and 8th would be 8:45 to 12 PM, class 12th exams would be conducted from 1:45 PM to 5 PM.

The Board has already decided that yearly examinations of HPBOSE for Class 10th and 12th for the session 2020-21 would not be conducted online. The decision was taken considering the fact that several regions of the state do not have Internet connectivity due to which students face difficulties.

HPBOSE Class 12 Date-Sheet 2021

HPBOSE Class 10 Date-Sheet 2021

HPBOSE Class 8 Date-Sheet 2021

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal to Administer 93,000 Dozes to Frontline Workers in First Phase of COVID-19 Vaccination

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COVID-19 vaccination in himachal pradesh

Shimla-In the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination in Himachal Pradesh, 93 thousand dozes would be administered to front line warriors including health care workers of the State, Central Government and armed forces, informed the State Government on Tuesday. For this purpose, 46 sites have been selected all over the State, it said. The dozes are expected to arrive in the State during the next couple of days. 

The Government said that the State has received AD syringes in sufficient quantity as per beneficiary and has been distributed to the districts. An additional stock of 0.5 ml AD syringes has been stored at State Vaccine Store, Parimahal, Shimla, Regional Vaccine Store, Mandi and Regional Vaccine Store Dharamshala to meet out any situation, it said. 

A State ‘Vaccination Store’ has been set up at Shimla whereas regional vaccine store had been set up at Mandi and Dharamshala, it was informed.

District Vaccine Stores had been set up in all 12 districts of the State, besides 371 stores in Medical Colleges, block-level, CHC and PHCs.

The Government said that tentative vaccine allocation would be calculated for each launch site with an additional 10 percent wastage of vaccine. Vial once opened would be utilized within four hours. The second dose for the beneficiary would be secured –First in First Out with the current allocation.

Three phases of Dry Run for COVID-19 vaccination have been conducted on 2nd January 2021 at State Capital, on 8th January in all district headquarters and 11th January in the entire State, the Government informed.

The Government also said that Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) management training have been given to the session site vaccinators for establishing referral mechanism and report on COWIN app. AEFI Committees at State and District level have also been notified with additional members of Pulmonologist and Medicine Specialists for casualty assessment of AEFI cases and spokesperson workshop would be held on 13th January.

Further, the State Government has constituted State Level Steering Committee under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary, State Task Force chaired by Secretary Health, District Task Force by concerned Deputy Commissioner and Block Task Force chaired by respective SDM to monitor effective administration of vaccination of COVID-19.

No COVID-19 Death Reported on January 12

On Tuesday, according to the State Health Department, only 75 new cases were recorded in the State. As a sigh of relief, no COVID-19 death was reported. The tally for COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh had reached 56596 till January 12, 2021.  So far, the pandemic has claimed 949 lives.

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