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Hoshiar Singh row: Court orders CBI probe as it finds police investigation unconvincing

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CBI probe in hoshiar singh case

Mandi: The probe into the mysterious death of forest guard Hoshiar Singh in Seri-Katanda beat of the Karsog division, Mandi district was complete for the Himachal Pradesh Police and the State Crime Investigation Department (CID). However, the police has failed to convince the State High Court that a fair probe was conducted and it was indeed a case of suicide.

A division bench comprising of acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Sandeep Sharma has eventually ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to unearth the truth.

If the police probe was found fraudulent, more police officials would be joining ex-Inspector General of Police, Zahur H Zaidi, and seven other police officials, who were arrested by CBI on August 29 over the alleged custodial killing of Suraj Singh – one of the accused in the Kotkhai rape and murder case.

The court had taken suo motu cognizance of the case on June 20 after public outrage in Karsog region that was spreading to other parts of the state. People have even formed a dedicated platform, Siraj Manch, under which several protest rallies were organized. The Manch and the relatives of late Hoshiar Singh had been demanding a CBI probe as they did not trust the local police and the government.

The CID and police had been investigating the case for over 100 days since the discovery of the body of the deceased guard on June 10, 2017.  The guard was missing since June 5.

It is pertinent to mention that CID and police claim to have completed the probe in which it was established that Hoshiar had committed suicide as an insecticide containing Chlorpyrifos and Cypermethrin was found in his body.

Six people including forest officials were arrested based on the information extracted from two pieces of paper and a diary. As per police, these papers were suicide notes. In these notes, Hoshiar had made stunning revelation regarding a strong nexus of the forest department with forest mafia.

The forensics confirmed that the handwriting matched with that of Hoshiar.

Four more people of the same family were arrested in August based on the videos and photographs recovered from Hoshiar’s mobile phone.

However, the amicus curiae appointed by the state High Court raised several questions and pointed out serious loopholes in the probe. The probe did not explain why the body was hanging upside down from a tree in a half-naked condition and whether the poison was self-administered or Hoshiyar was forced to consume it.

However, without investigating the facts related to administration of poison, police had told the court that it was a case of suicide.

The amicus had questioned the police that the guard had reportedly consumed rice, cereals, and salad at the house of a TGT teacher on July 5. As per postmortem report issued on July 10, these components were found undigested on the day of postmortem. Normally, the human body takes five to six hours in order to digest a meal.

Hence, the probe could not establish the accurate day and time of the death of the deceased, which is very crucial to the investigation, had said the Amicus.

The court had asked the police to convince it why the case should not be given to CBI for a probe. The agency was given ample time, but it failed to convince the court as several questions were still unanswered.

At the same time, the state forest department is also under the scanner for its inaction despite discovering evident proofs of illegal felling of the trees in the Karsog division. The department had conducted an internal inquiry and recovered hundreds of stumps and wood of illegally felled trees.

Questions were raised in court as to why the department did not make any progress in internal inquiry despite solid evidences against its officials.

The state government is allegedly evading action against the officials of the department for the fear that the allegations labeled by people and the oppositions will be proved right in that case. The polls for the state legislative assembly are hardly two months away and the state government is already facing public wrath in the Kotkhai rape and murder case.

The state government has been maintaining that the state police and CID are capable of conducting a fair probe in the case. However, the transfer of the case to the CBI had come as huge blow to the credibility of the state law enforcement agencies.

People are now hopeful that Hoshiar will now get justice.

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Himachal Bags Three National Awards Worth 2.25 Crores Under Poshan Abhiyan

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Poshan Abhiyan Awards to Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh has won three national awards under the Poshan Abhiyan. These awards were given by Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani on Friday at a function in New Delhi to the States, Districts, Blocks and Anganwadi Workers for their contributions in scaling up the Poshan Abhiyaan.

Himachal Pradesh was selected for three national awards including convergence and community mobilization, ICDS-CAS and overall excellence in Poshan Abhiyan. The state has received total award money of Rs. 2.25 crore for these awards.

The convergence awards for best performance of Anganwari Kendras were given to Mandi and Kalpa in Kinnaur district. Shimla Urban Block has been conferred block-level leadership and convergence award in the state under the Poshan Abhiyan.

Solan district won the best district award in the state for Poshan Abhiyan which was received by the Deputy Commissioner K.C Chaman.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has congratulated the Department of Women and Child Development for winning three national awards for the state under Poshan Abhiyan.

Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Dr Rajiv Saizal received the awards from the Union Minister along-with Director, Women and Child Development Kritka Kulhari and other senior officers.

Additional Chief Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment, Nisha Singh, has also congratulated the entire team of the department for this achievement. 

Further, Eight other states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand and three Union Territories – Chandigarh, Daman &Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were given 23 excellence awards consisting of a certificate and cash prize of Rs. 1 crore to 1st position and Rs. 50 lakh to the 2nd position for ICDS-CAS implementation and capacity building, convergence, behaviour change and community mobilisation.

For overall excellence, the award amount was Rs. 1.5 crore to 1st position holders and Rs. 75 lakh to 2nd position holders.

At the District Level, 53 officers of19 districts of different States/UTs were given awards comprising of a certificate and a medal. At the Block Level, 50 officers of 24 Blocks of different States/UTs were also given awards comprising of a certificate and a medal.

For exemplary services, 237 field functionaries comprising of Anganwadi Workers, Anganwadi Helpers, Lady Supervisors, Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and Auxiliary Nurse and Midwives (ANM) were given a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 each, a certificate and a medal.

Total 363 POSHAN Abhiyaan Awards were given away with a total cash prize of Rs 22 crore. Twenty-two certificates of appreciation were also given to the line Ministries and Development Partners.

 

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HP Govt Schools Lag Behind in Imparting IT Education, Put Future of Children at Stake

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IT Education in HP government schools

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Government schools are lagging behind in imparting IT Education to children in the 21st Century in which this knowledge has become a basic requirement. The Centre government boasts of Digital India initiative and the state government never misses an opportunity to mention that Vidhan Sabha has gone fully digital. At the same time, government schools are awaiting critical reforms to keep up with the modern world.

As per information provided by MLA, Sarkaghat Constituency, Colonel Inder Singh, in Vidhan Sabha, in state’s government schools, IT is taught as an optional subject only from class IX to Class XII, that too only in Senior Secondary Schools. The subject is not available in middle and high schools. The students who opt for IT as a subject are charged Rs. 110. Students falling under SC and BPL category are given exemption of 50 per cent, he informed.

In Centre schools, on the other hand, IT is taught as a compulsory subject from Class III to Class X and as an optional subject from Class XI to Class XII, Inder Singh said in the Vidhan Sabha. The fee in Centre schools in Rs. 100 per student.

He said, in Navodaya Vidayalas, IT is taught as a compulsory subject from class VI to class X and as an elective subject from class XI to XII.

The private schools running in the state do not follow any set pattern in terms of the class from which the students are introduced to IT and fee charged for it, he added. However, there is no doubt that every student enrolled in private schools do receive IT education irrespective of the level at which the subject is introduced.

As far as the neighbouring states are concerned, Inder Singh said, in the state of Haryana, IT education is taught as a compulsory subject from class VI to Class VIII and as an optional subject from Class IX to Class XII. No fee is charged from students upto class VIII. Thereafter, Rs 30 is charged during Class IX and X and Rs 35 during Class XI and XII, he informed.

In Chandigarh, IT education is a compulsory subject from Class VI to VIII and no fee is charged from the students for it.

The MLA pointed out that our education system has serious loopholes when it comes to imparting IT education to children in a government schools. The students are introduced to this subject in class IX, which is very late considering the need of the time. Also, this subject is not compulsory. Moreover, as the fee charged for opting IT as a subject is higher, students who find it unaffordable to pay this fee remain deprived of this necessary knowledge.

The future of such students who could not afford to study IT could be imagined in the current scenario. They would find it quite difficult to adjust in professional courses at the graduate or postgraduate level. Later, in terms of career opportunities, they would lag behind, the MLA said.

Inder Singh requested the government to consider making IT Education a compulsory subject from Class VI to Class VIII and provide at least two to three computers at middle and high schools along with computer teachers.

Further, he informed that the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology is facilitating IT Education in 1,131 schools of the state, and 1,367 teachers have been recruited for this purpose. In remaining Senior Secondary schools, PGT (IT) teachers have been recruited by the Education Department.

The leader of the opposition, Mukesh Agnihotri, also supported this argument and questioned the government over non-delivery of laptops promised to school students.

In response to this request, the Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the total number of government schools in the state is over 18,000. Considering a lack of sufficient resources, it is not feasible to provide computer labs in all schools, he said.

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Video: Army Truck Falls Into Gorge in Shimla, 1 Lost His Life, 3 Injured

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Army truck accident in shimla

Shimla– A truck of army carrying four jawans of 18 Mahar Regiment fell into a 100 feet gorge near Lambidhar in Theog, Shimla, on Friday. As per initial reports, one of the jawans lost his life while three others were injured. The injured were taken to Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, for treatment.
army truck in Shimla

The deceased was identified as Rajesh (37). As per the report, he was brought dead to the hospital. Other injured were identified as Surajn, BK Rai, and Nagppa.

The cause of the accident is not known yet. The truck was reportedly on its way from Ambala to Jhakri. A case has been registered at the police station, Theog. More details are awaited.
shimla army truck accident

List of injured

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