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CBI files Chargesheet in Kotkhai custodial killing: 50 eyewitnesses, complete story in 600 pages

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CBI Chargesheet in Kotkhai custodial death

Shimla: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday filed its chargesheet against the eight officials of the Himachal Pradesh Police in the case relating to the custodial death of an accused, who was arrested for alleged rape and murder of a minor girl in Kotkhai Tehsil of Shimla district in July this year.  

The chargesheet against the SIT members, I.G. Zahur H. Zaidi, D.S.P Theog Manoj Joshi, the then SHO Kotkhai Rajender Singh, ASI Deep Chand Sharma, Head Constables Surat Singh, Mohan Lal and Rafiq Ali and constable Ranjit Singh was filed in the special CBI court.  

A separate chargesheet will be filed against the former Superintendent of Police, Shimla, D.W. Negi as the investigation against him is ongoing. He was arrested on November 16 – 75 days after the arrest of the said eight accused.  

The CBI has charged the accused under Section 302, 330, 331, 348, 323, 326, 218, 195, 196, 201 and 120 B. The chargsheet contains 600 pages including annexes and statements of about 50 eyewitnesses.

What do these section of Indian Penal Code mean 

  • 301- Punishment for murder
  • 330 -Voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession, or to compel restoration of property
  • 348 -Wrongful confinement to extort confession, or compel restoration of property
  • 326-Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means
  • 218-Public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture
  • 195-Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of offence punishable with imprisonment for life or imprisonment.
  • 196 -Using evidence known to be false
  • 201 -Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender
  • 120 B – Concealing design to commit offence punishable with impris­onment

The CBI chargesheet challenges the postmortem report of the local police that said the killed accused had 22 marks of injuries. As per the autopsy report of the CBI, there were 32 injury marks on the body. Most of them were caused by belt and sticks.

CBI conducts post-mortem of kotkhai accused

File Photo: CBI taking the body of killed accused for re-exmination on July 25

The chargesheet contains the details of the entire episode of the custodial killing of Suraj on the intervening night of July 18 and 19.  The CBI’s 50 eyewitnesses include the five accused who were lodged at the Kotkhai Police Station along with Suraj.

The court sent all nine accused to 14-days judicial custody at the Model Central Jail, Kanda. They will be produced in the court on December 7 after the expiry of the custody.

Again, none of the advocates representing the accused police officials appeared before the court. The court could not take any decision on the application filed by the CBI seeking permission to match voice samples of the accused.

The sources from district court said the Bar Association has rejected application of the advocates who were representing the accused cops as their counsel.

The lawyers failed to appear in the court for the fourth time in a row.

If the lawyers fail to appear in the next hearing, the applicants would have to either hire lawyers from other states or apply for a legal aid.

The barbaric nature of the crime had led to a boycott from the Bar Association too. The lawyer community had decided that none of the lawyers will represent the accused.

Despite that, some of the lawyers defied the decision of the community and defended the accused cops. The Bar Association had reportedly canceled the membership of these lawyers.

Unfortunately, the CBI doesn’t seem to have found any lead in the rape and murder of the minor girl. The arrested accused are out on bail, and the CBI couldn’t make any other arrest in the case.

The CBI team is still visiting the victim’s school and woods of Halaila. Some unofficial reports suggest that CBI has investigated almost every angle including monetary bribe.

The State High Court has directed the CBI to file a chargesheet in the case by December 30.

Top Photos: Statesman, Tribune

 

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal: Seven COVID-19 Deaths, 395 New Cases in a Day

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Himachal pradesh corona deaths

Shimla-On Thursday, Himachal Pradesh reported 395 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection. Seven fresh casualties were reported, taking the COVID-19 death tally in the state to 96. According to the official Bulletin released by the Health Department for September 17, 2020 (9 PM), the total for the state has risen to 11190, of which 4145 are active cases and 6919 had recovered.  

Seven fatalities also included a 14-year-old male from Shimla. He was a patient of Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Remaining six aged between 50-82 years.  As per the Health Department’s official Bulletin, all seven patients had pre-existing medical conditions like Diabetes Mellitus, severe Sepsis, severe ARDS, Hypertension etc.  

Details of COVID-19 Fatalities on September 17 (till 9 PM)

covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh on september 17, 2020-

Among Thursday’s cases, Sirmaur reported the highest 82 cases, followed by Kangra (76), Mandi (70), Solan (49), Una (38), Shimla (30), Lahaul-Spiti (15), Kullu (13), Bilaspur (12), Chamba (7), and Hamirpur (3).

Further, Solan has reported the highest number of cases (2525), and Kangra district has reported the highest number of casualties (20), followed by Solan (18), and Shimla (17).

For more statistics from all districts, view the table given below:

Himachal Pradesh-september 17, 2020, covid-19 update

Several media persons complained that the Health Officials have even stopped taking their calls and release required information. The Chief Minister, in today’s Vidhan Sabha session, compared fatality rate of Himachal Pradesh (0.8%) with the national rate (1.64%) and states having larger population like Punjab (2.8%). He claimed the state government was comfortable with the situation and rising number of cases. He said five make-shift COVID-19 hospitals, which are yet to be established, would take care of the rise in cases.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur today patted his own back by releasing an e-book “Sewa Hi Sangathan” brought out by the State BJP.

In this book, BJP has claimed that various initiatives and steps were taken by the party to effectively tacking the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister also termed the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” as a success and went on to say that it has stabilized rural economy of the country and the State during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Defending the decision to lift all restrictions on inter-state movement of people, including tourists, amid a community spread, he termed it a necessary step to revive the state economy. In a way, the government has made it clear that the people would have to learn to live with COVID-19.

Feature Image: [email protected]

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Himachal: 460 New COVID-19 Cases with One More Death, Situation to Worsen as State Borders Open for All

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday reported a single-day spike of 460 COVID-19 cases with one death, confirmed the state Health Department. According to the latest update (9 PM), Solan district (117) had reported the highest number of cases. Remaining cases were reported from Kangra (92), Mandi (58), Shimla (51), Lahaul-Spiti (46), Una (31), Kinnaur (14), Sirmaur (14), Bilaspur (13), Chamba (12), Kullu (8), and Hamirpur (4).

The COVID-19 tally has now reached 10795, of which 4146 are active, 6531 recovered, and 89 died.

HP Health Department’s COVID-19 Bulletin for September 15, 2020 (9 PM)

Himachal Pradesh daily covid19 update september 16

The number is likely to witness a huge surge as the state government has removed all restrictions on the inter-state movement of people. No permission or registration of any sorts is required to enter the state. Tourists won’t need to present a COVID-19 report and advance booking to enter the state. At the time of the writing, a large number of tourists and other people had already entered the state as the borders were opened today evening.

Also Read: No E-Pass, No COVID-19 Negative Report, No Registration Needed to Enter State

Tourists are happy with the decision. According to a media report, earlier tourists reaching state borders without registration were being tricked to pay Rs. 300 to register and enter the state.  It was later that they found out that registration process was free of any charges. 

Inter-state bus services are also expected to resume operation soon.

Feature Image: unsplash/@sonance

 

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Himachal: No E-Pass, No COVID-19 Negative Report, No Registration Needed to Enter State

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Tourist entry in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Borders of Himachal Pradesh are now open to all including tourists without any restriction at all. The state government has issued a notification today regarding the same. The decision has been taken in a time when the state has already entered in the ‘community spread phase’ and both the number of positive cases, as well as, the mortality rate is rising at an alarming rate.

As per the notification,

“There shall be no requirement of registration for inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movements. However, inter-state movement of public transport buses shall be operated only as per the SOPs to be issued by the Department of Transport, Himachal Pradesh, after ensuring full readiness to comply with the SOPs.”

The notification came following the decision taken in a meeting of the state Cabinet on September 15, 2020. At the same time, the government maintained that the quarantine rules would still apply except for those carrying COVID-19 negative report. 

The government said the step was taken on repeated appeals of the Centre government and several sections of the people. This step would boost economic activities, the government said.

The government has also changed the ‘discharge policy’ for COVID-19 patients. The government said that it would now implement ‘Discharge Policy framed by the ICMR and the Centre government. Now, those patients who would be found asymptomatic after 10 days, would be discharged without any test. They’ll be asked to home-quarantine for seven days.    

The government said make-shift hospitals would be established at five places – Shimla, Tanda, Nalagarh Una, and Nahan. Each hospital would have a capacity of 50 beds.

Changes have also been approved in the policy for allowing opening of new nursing institute in the state. Only institutes having a hospital (100 bed) would be permitted to open nursing colleges. The GNM course would be discontinued after the 2020-21 session. Already running institutes would need to apply for conversion of this course into B.Sc Nursing. The government also decided that except for M.Sc nursing courses, no other course would be granted fresh attachment to government hospitals.

Meanwhile, during today’s session of the state Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Jairam said that the rise in COVID-19 cases was inevitable with the steps taken by the government to revive economic activities.

He claimed the government has taken all necessary steps to contain the spread of coronavirus. He claimed that the government is well-prepared to deal with the rising number of cases. ICU beds, oxygen, supporting beds and other equipment in sufficient quantities.

The Chief Minister compared the situation of the state to bigger states/union territories like Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan etc. in a failed attempt to convince the opposition during the session that the state government was doing better than others. The opposition commented that the government has left the people of the state on their own.

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