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Kotkhai Row: Congress Govt cornered, BJP demands CM & DGP’s resignation after arrest of police officials

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HP Government jobs not possible for all

Shimla: The Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is completely cornered by the oppositions over alleged conspiracy in the investigation conducted by Himachal Pradesh Police in the gangrape and murder of a minor girl in Kotkhai, Shimla district.

Entire Himachal is now wondering how the State Police has left states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh behind in terms of lawlessness with this single leap.

The Chief Minister, right from the beginning, whole heartedly supported the investigation conducted by the State Police SIT formed under Inspector General of Police, Zahur H Zaidi.

He had refused having any knowledge regarding the posting of four photos on his official Facebook page, which were deleted after few minutes of posting. His IT Cell had claimed it to be a technical glitch. These photos had vent viral and deepened the doubts of people.

He was also criticised for insensitive remark over this gruesome crime after he said such kind of incidents keep happening in society.

The Chief Minister had also remarked “CBI is not God” and that the state police was equally competent in investigating this crime and deliver justice to the victim. He consistently maintained the state police have done a remarkable job by nabbing all accused within a few days.

While addressing a public gathering in Padhar, Mandi, in July, he said the issue was being given hype to gain political benefits ahead of upcoming HP Assembly polls.

A day before the police officials were arrested, the Chief Minister had tapped the back of State police in relation to this investigation. In a statement given to a Hindi daily during an interview, he had said the state police did an admirable job, but opposition created all the rucksack.

The aggressive protests and violence in Kotkhai after custodial death of Suraj was only a political vendetta to defame the government ahead of assembly polls, had said the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister was forced to order a CBI inquiry only after these protests begun to take aggressive form. A day after HP Police claimed to had solved the case in a press conference held on July 13, angry locals in Theog had roughed up the police staff including then Superintendent Police of Shimla, DW Negi.

No one except the State government and police believed the case was solved and all real culprits were arrested. From parents to locals, majority suspected conspiracy and manipulation of true facts in the investigation.

However, after eight police officials were arrested by the CBI in relation to the alleged murder of a Nepalese accused at the Kotkhai Police Station, the state government came under fire.

On August 30, Gudiya Nyay Manch had staged an aggressive protest in front of the Police Headquarters in Shimla. They demanded the removal of the Director General of the State Police.

Now the forensic reports of the DNA tests conducted on samples taken from the all six arrested accused were also reported to be negative. None of the samples matched with the samples collected from the crime scene, said sources.

Oppositions (BJP and CPIM) are now demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister and the DGP over complete failure in the investigation of the case. Oppositions are alleging the government is directly involved in shielding the real culprits. BJP staged a protest on August 31 too, and said it will continue to protest until these two don’t resign and President rule isn’t imposed till assembly polls.

Following the arrests of police officials, BJP MP Shanta Kumar said it was a blot on the state. BJP MP Anurag Thakur also questioned the credibility of state government and functioning of its police.

Former Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal, while addressing media-persons at Bangan on August 30, said the arrests have proved that the government was trying to shield the culprits and facts related to the investigation.

Not just political parties are protesting, but the common people are also shocked with these developments in the case. The distress in pubic is again aggravating as the CBI investigation is picking up momentum.

It would be a dark chapter in the history of Himachal Pradesh and a blot on the Indian Police if police department was proved guilty.

The common people, especially the poor will have no reason to believe they are safe or their right to justice is safe. Of arrested six accused, five were from poor families. Two of them were Nepalese laborers who worked in orchards of a local.

The next hearing is scheduled for September 6, 2017. The current course of investigation suggests huge damage to the credibility of the Congress government ahead of assembly polls.

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Shimla, Manali Receive Season’s First Spell of Snow, Cheers Tourism Industry

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snowfall in shimla 2021

Shimla-First spell of snow in Shimla’s tourist destinations, Narkanda and Kufri, has cheered the tourism industry as it would increase the footfall of tourists. Similarly, higher parts of Manali also reported a light spell of snow on Sunday evening. Lahaul-Spiti, however, reportedly witnessed heavy snowfall and Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, was closed for traffic. Parts of the Kinnaur district also recorded a spell of snow.

Chopal in Shimla had received 2-3 inches of snow, while Dodra Kwar recorded one foot of snow, according to the Met Department.

In Kullu, Jalori Pass had received 3 inches of snow, Rohtang top 2.5 feet, and Atal Tunnel 1.5 feet.

In Lahaul-Spiti, Koksar/Sissu had recorded 18 inches of snow, Keylong 8 inches, Darcha 12 inches, Udaipur 4 inches, Tindi 2 inches, Kaza 1 inch, and Lossar 2 inches of snow.

In Kinnaur, Chitkul had recorded 15.4 cms of snow, Kalpa 5 cms, and Sangla 7.62 cms. Nichar also received a light spell.

This change in weather has triggered a cold wave across the state. Further, the Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department had issued a yellow alert for December 5, 2021. The Met has predicted rain and snow on December 6 too. While the weather is predicted to be dry on December 8, the state could witness more rain and snow on December 7 and December 9, according to the Met Department.

Most roads, except in Lahaul-Spiti, remain open to traffic movement, the district administrations of Shimla and Kullu confirmed. Further, the administrations said preparations are being made to keep the roads clear in case of heavy snowfall.

This tourist season is crucial for the hospitality industry which was worst hit by the pandemic induced restrictions. However, the entry of Omicron – the new variant of Covid-19 that has been termed as a variant of concern by the WHO-haunts the season. India had reported as many as 21 cases of Omicron till Sunday. If the HP Government decides to impose restrictions on the entry of the domestic tourist in view of the spread of the new variant, the hospitality industry could again face losses.  

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Himachal Achieves 100% Vaccination Target, OPD at AIIMS, Bilaspur, Inaugurated   

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vaccination second dose in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh has achieved the 100 percent target of the second dose of Covid vaccination, the State government informed on Sunday.  Himachal Pradesh has become the first State of the country in achieving the target of cent per cent vaccination of targeted eligible age group, it informed.  

According to the HP Government, all eligible 53,86,393 adults have been administered the second dose of the vaccine.

District-Wise Vaccination Details

District

Number of People Vaccinated 

Bilaspur  318150
Chamba 352605
Hamirpur 361954
Kangra 1140439
Kinnaur 68460
Kullu 322643
Lahaul-Spiti 25494
Mandi 738818
Shimla 634019
Sirmaru 410187
Solan 584326
Una 429298

A complete vaccination was performed first in the inaccessible areas and tribal areas of the state and Kinnaur district became the first district in the entire country to administer the second dose of the vaccine to all eligible adults, the government informed.

On this occasion, Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Member of Parliament and National BJP President, also addressed a felicitation ceremony of Covid Vaccination Workers at Bilaspur on Sunday.

Nadda also dedicated the first OPD at AIIMS Kothipura in Bilaspur. The AIIMS Bilaspur would be made fully functional within the next six months, said Nadda.

 

jp nadda at aiims bilaspur

JP Nadda at AIIMS Bilaspur

He said that the foundation stone of this institution was laid about three years back and it would have been completed a year ago, but the pace was affected due to the corona pandemic. He said that Himachal Pradesh has got an Rs. 500 crore Satellite centre of PGI Chandigarh at Una.

He also congratulated the State Government, doctors, health care workers and all the frontline workers for achieving this unique feat. 

Union Minister of Health, Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh were also present on the occasion

 

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Himachal Records Fresh Spell of Snow, HP Met Issues Alert

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snowfall in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The weather in Himachal Pradesh has taken a turn with a prediction of rain and snowfall till December 5, 2021. At the time of writing this report, Kaza in Lahaul-Spiti was receiving a fresh spell of snow, cheering the tourists, as well as, the hoteliers. So far, the traffic movement was normal in the region.

This has caused a sharp drop in temperatures across the state.

The District Administration of Lahaul-Spiti has advised the locals and tourists to avoid wandering to high altitude areas unnecessarily.

The HP Meteorological Department, Shimla, has also issued a yellow alert for December 2 and December 5. While the plains can experience light to moderate rainfall at a few places,  the middle and higher hills could witness widespread rain and snow on December 2.   

For December 4, the HP Met had predicted light to moderate rain across the state. For December 5, however, the Met has issued an yellow alert with a prediction of rain and snow at several places.

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