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HP Assembly Polls 2017: EC launches new IT Apps for better management



Apps for HP Elections 2017

Automated reply and missed call facility will be available on number 0177-2620551. Any information regarding election can be obtained by giving a missed call to this number.

Shimla: Ahead of Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly Elections 2017, the Election Department has launched an App ‘Himachal Electoral Atlas’. The app is supposed to provide details of important geographic locations of the state including polling stations, details of polling stations, routes and other important features of the area.

Another App ‘Himachal Elections Management System’ will also be used in election management in the State, which will have coordination right from Chief Electoral Officer to Returning Officers and polling stations. Alerts can be generated at any level and will be responded within no time.

For the first time, poll duties of police personnel will be randomized through software on the pattern as being done for other polling staff. In addition to this, an App will be used to update mobile numbers of households in the state. The application can be accessed from this web link provided by the Commission.

The links for these Apps are available on the official website of the State Elections Commission.

Automated reply and missed call facility will be available on number 0177-2620551. Any information regarding election can be obtained by giving a missed call to this number. The call will be responded within 30 minutes. Meanwhile, GIF App will provide information on the functioning of VVPAT.

The Chief Elections Commission AK Joti along with other members of Commission launched these Apps from Peterhoff on September 25.

Postcards would be delivered to every household in the State to provide election-related information to electors, informed the Chief Electoral Officer Pushpender Rajpoot

Comprehensive Booth Level Planning

Sandeep Saxena, Deputy Election Commissioner of India has directed all District Returning Officers (Deputy Commissioners) of the State to prepare a comprehensive booth level planning to ensure free, fair and peaceful election process.

He stressed upon the dissemination of awareness about Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) to every voter and also to motivate them to come out for casting their vote.

The Booth Level Officers (BLOs) should ensure their visit to every household along with form-6 and obtain mobile numbers of the adults of the house. He also stressed for optimum use of social media to educate the people about VVPAT and voting right.

He also directed to ensure that 100 percent licensed weapons are deposited with respective police stations well in time.

Postal ballots should be provided to the force personnel and general staff on poll duty. He further said that for patrolling in vulnerable places, every mobile van should have GPS attachment.

Earlier, the Chief Election Commissioner had presided over the meeting on September 24 to review the poll preparedness. Later in the evening, the Commission also held a meeting with representatives of various political parties of the state.

Misc News/Press Release

DC Kangra confirms abduction of 3 Himachalis in Nigeria, CM seeks Centre Govt’s help



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: The Deputy Commissioner of Kangra today confirmed that Nigerian sea pirates have held three men hailing from Kangra hostages for ransom.

The state government said it has taken up the matter with the Government of India and requested the safe release of all three hostages.

The step came after the news appeared in regional media.

The State government claimed that in a communiqué to the Western Africa Division, Ministry of External Affairs, the state government said the three youths namely Sushil Kumar, Pankaj Kumar and Ajay Kumar, who belong to Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh have been kidnapped by the Nigerian pirates as per the confirmed report.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has sought the intervention of Union government to ensure the safe release of three hostages.He hoped the union government will act fast and get the hostages released safely.

You can read the entire matter here in HW’s previous article.

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Misc News/Press Release

Govt silent over safety of 3 Himachali youth allegedly held hostages by Nigerian pirates for ransom



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: Three youths hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, who were serving in Merchant Navy, have reportedly ended in the hands of armed Nigerian sea pirates as hostages. The armed pirates hijacked their ship and demanded a ransom of 11 million nairas (20-22 Lakh INR) from the parents of one of the hostages.

The details are scanty as no official confirmation has been made by the State or Centre Government. It is not clear when they were abducted. 

The news broke out when Raghubir Singh (62) of Nagrota, father of one of the hostages, reached media yesterday.  

As per the information given by Raghubir, the other two men included Pankaj Kumar of Samloti and Ajay Kumar of Palampur.

The three men were currently working for a private shipping company named Max Marine Services in Cortnou Benin.

On March 12, the parents of one of the abducted youth, Susheel Sharma (37), who was the captain on the ship, received a call through a satellite phone. Susheel told the parents that he along with two others had been held hostage in some jungle. He told the parents about the pirate’s demand for ransom in exchange for their release.

On March 21, Himachal had received a shock after the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed, while speaking in the Parliament, the killing of 39 Indians in Iraq including four men from Himachal. Three of them hailed from Kangra while remaining one belonged to Mandi district.

Now, this fresh case of abduction has again jolted Kangra.

Surprisingly, as alleged by the parents, the Centre or State Government have not given any reaction to the situation.   

The district administration also said it was not aware of the situation.

The parents also alleged the shipping company of keeping them in dark whenever they contacted it to know whereabouts of their son. The owner of the ship told the parents that a negotiation was ongoing with the pirates.

However, recently, the owner stopped picking up phone calls from the aggrieved parents.  

Ultimately, the family on March 18 approached the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the Prime Minister, Modi,  through a mail with their plea to intervene and rescue their son.

However, the parents allege that they did not receive any satisfactory response from anyone. 

As per the statement of the parents, Sudhir had told them that they are getting only one meal per day. The pirates will starve them to death if the ransom is not paid, Sudhir had told the parents.

Now, the parents do not trust the company anymore and have put their hope on the Government.   


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Man killed as stone rolls down hill, breaks through moving HRTC bus window in Kullu



Bizzare Bus Accident in Himachal's Kullu

Kullu: A big round stone rolled down a hill and broke through the window of a moving Himachal Pradesh Road Corporation (HRTC) bus that was heading towards Kullu from Rampur today. The accident occurred near Luhri in Kullu.  A co-passenger who was sitting beside the deceased also came in spate and received injuries.

However, the deceased, who was identified as Manohar Singh (60) of Tippal village in Anni, died on the spot.  The injured was identified as Vijay Kumar of Kumarsain. He was taken to hospital in Rampur. 

The death came from nowhere and picked up its prey within a fraction of a second, said the eyewitnesses. The stone hit Manohar right on his head, which was badly crushed.  

Other passengers were horrified by the bizarre and sudden manner the stone broke through the window like a bullet.  

A police team from Luhri rushed to the spot and took custody of the dead body.  The elected MLA Kishori Lal Sagar also arrived at the spot on hearing the tragic news. The body was later handed over to the family after the postmortem.

The district administration provided Rs. 20, 000 to the victim’s family as immediate relief. The HRTC also announced Rs. 10,000 as relief money.  

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