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Real accused in Gudiya case could be arrested anytime now, suddenly claims CBI

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Real accused in Kotkhai Gudiya case

Shimla: In a sudden turn of events, the Central Bureau of Investigation claims it can solve the Gudiya gangrape and murder case anytime now.

If media sources are believed, then the CBI Counsel, Anshul Bansal, has claimed that the real culprits could be behind bars by April 25 – date of next hearing in the case.

We have urged the court not to make the status report public in the interest of the public. We have in the report stated that hopefully by the next date on April we will produce the accused before the court. On the basis of the status report the court has modified the order,

the Statesman quoted Bansal in its report.

As per a Hindi Daily, some lumberjacks are under the CBI scanner, which doesn’t go with the series of events. Nine police officials of the HP Police have been charge sheeted by the CBI for the alleged killing of an accused in custody.

The CBI had found no evidence against the six arrested accused and had alleged the SIT of arresting them without any solid evidence. Remaining five accused were later granted bail in the absence of any evidence.

The parents and locals of Kotkhai region had alleged the police of hatching this conspiracy to save the real culprits, who belonged to influential families. It would imply that the HP Police SIT had allegedly framed labourers to save some lumberjacks, which doesn’t make sense for at least now. 

The media reports have again revived the hopes of the people to get justice for Gudiya – a Class X student who was allegedly abducted, gang-raped, and murdered in July 2016 in the forests of Kotkhai Tehsil in Shimla district.   

At the same time, the speculations have surfaced terming it as a trick to save the CBI Chief from the embarrassment of being summoned to the court.  

It is pertinent to mention that the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday lashed out at the agency for its incompetence in solving the case in eight months.

Disappointed over the delay, the court had ordered the Director of the CBI to be present in the court during next hearing on April 18 and to file an affidavit regarding the status report personally.

Following it, the CBI requested a special hearing claiming that some crucial forensic facts emerged on late Wednesday evening after the court hearing.

It’s hard to say whether it was a co-incident that right after the court summoned the Director, the agency suddenly got its hands on some forensic revelations.  

Today, during this hearing, the Counsel Anshul Bansal reportedly filed a fresh status report and urged the court to modify its previous order regarding summoning of the CBI Chief.

The court, however, agreed only upon the postponing of the date of the next hearing and directed the Director to be present on May 9, 2018, instead of April 18.

Now, the next hearing will be held on April 25.  

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Himachal’s Distressed Tourism Industry Stakeholders Write to CM Jairam Thakur, Seeks Financial Package

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Himachal Pradesh Hoteliers Association to hp govt

Shimla-Tourism Industry Stake Holders Association on Friday wrote a letter to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur seeking financial aid from the state government to save the industry amid COVID-19 resurgence. They also highlighted the shared plight of hotels and restaurants falling in debt and failing to provide for the expenses.

“Since the beginning of last year, hotel industry continues to take hits due to the coronavirus. A seven-to-eight-month long lockdown in the entire country affected industry stakeholders. Tourism industry appeared to have revived in the month of October and expectations were high for the next tourist season” the association said.

Several hoteliers and restaurants had spent on maintenance hoping for a good season this year. But since most of the states have now imposed lockdowns, all hopes were dashed to the ground and the industry is facing a huge financial crisis.

The tourism units are not able to pay the interest and EMI of loans raised by them due to loss faced by the industry for the consecutive second year. The stakeholders fearthat  the loan raised by them may slip to NPA

The Association said that hoteliers and businessmen involved in the hospitality industry did not receive any relief from the government and managed their units/services by spending from savings or by raising loans.

The units have somehow managed to pay salaries and other expenses for the April month, the association said, but expressed inability to do so for the May month as the working capital has dropped to zero.

Mohinder Seth, President, Tourism Industry Stake Holders Association, has written to the Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India and Governor, RBI, requesting for the deferment of loans and to save the loans from becoming NPA.

Seth has also requested the central government to provide Himachal Pradesh’s tourism industry with a financial package to deal with the devastation caused by the second wave of COVID-19.

“We support the measures taken by the government to break the chain of coronavirus. If the government plans on extending the lockdown to seventeen more days, we will support the decision because we understand the need to save people’s life is important. Similarly, it is important to save the industry – source of employment to lakhs of people. We request honorable CM to extend financial aid to the industry stakeholders,” Mohinder Seth concluded.

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Himachal: One-Month-Old Among 67 Fatalities Reported in Last 24-Hours, Fatality Rate Keeps Mounting But Testing Remains Low

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covid news of Himachal Pradesh

Shimla – In the last 24-hours, 67 people lost their lives in Himachal Pradesh, taking the total death toll to 2,185. While, 3,044 new cases of infection were reported on Friday, as the total number of Covid-19 cases reached 1,53,717, according to data released by the state government.  Among the Himalayan states, Himachal Pradesh has second highest fatality ratio of 28 per lakh. Also, the Covid-19 fatality rate of Himachal Pradesh had surpassed the national average of 1.1% to reach 1.5% on May 6, 2021. The fatality rate of the hill state still remains near 1.4% 

The daily number of cases has been fluctuating but the fatality rate is only mounting. Despite directions passed in statements to increase testing rate and contact tracing, the daily sampling remains low. On Friday, 11,388 people across Himachal were sampled for the infection, out of which 2,430 Covid test results remain pending.

On Friday, Kangra district reported 724 cases and 31 fatalities, the highest in the state, in the last 24 hours. Hamirpur district reported ten deaths.

One of the patients who succumbed to severe symptoms of coronavirus was a one-month-old infant, Priyanshi, from Shimla’s Theog region. Priyanshi tested positive for coronavirus on May 7 and succumbed to the infection on Thursday. She was admitted to the pediatric department of Shimla’s Indira Gandhi Medical College. Her cause of death was cited to be “Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) with COVID 19 Pneumonia with late-onset neonatal sepsis.”

The oldest patient to succumb to infection was a 103-year-old woman from the Mandi district.  58 out of 67 patients who died of coronavirus had no comorbidities. 

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 14, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

hp govt covid-19 cases data may 14, 2021

Source: HP NHM

 A picture doing the rounds on social media suggested how the pandemic has taken devastating form in rural Himachal. The picture emerged from a village in the Kangra district, where a man was seen carrying the dead body of his mother. Villagers and relatives of the man refused to come ahead and lend a shoulder as the woman had died of Covid-19. While the son carried the body to the cremation ground. The man’s wife followed him with their toddler in one hand and cremation material in the other. The incident has brought local bodies and officials of district administration under scanner for failing to ensure that the woman was cremated with dignity and the distressed family received all the support that it needed.

Read: Heartbreaking Picture of Man Carrying Mother’s Body for Cremation Alone Shakes Himachal

 The picture comes when CM Jai Ram Thakur in his meeting with Deputy Commissioners of the State asked them to ensure that the last rites of Covid-19 victims were performed strictly as per the protocol and guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Thakur said that in rural areas Block Development Officers have been designated as nodal officers in their respective areas for this purpose. Thakur asked for adequate PPE kits, dead body bags, disinfectants, sanitizers, waste disposable bags, etc. to be provided to the hospitals and PHCs, so that the same could be made available to the people for performing the last rites as per the protocol.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths for May 14, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

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Kangra: Heartbreaking Picture of Man Carrying Mother’s Body for Cremation Alone Shakes Himachal

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man carrying mothers body in kangra district

Kangra-A heartbreaking picture of a man forced to carry the body of his Covid-19 positive mother alone on his shoulders for cremation in Kangra district appeared in media reports and was widely circulated on social media. Villagers and relatives refused to come ahead and lend a shoulder as she had died of Covid-19. While the son carried the body to the cremation ground, his wife followed him with a toddler in one hand and cremation material in the other.

The picture has shaken the state. Questions are being raised as to how an entire village could turn a blind eye at such a time. The role of the elected local body (panchayat) and district administration also came under the scanner and the state government had to release a statement following the appearance of media reports.

The man was identified as Vir Singh and the incident was reported from Bhangwar Panchayat near Ranital region of the district. His mother was reportedly home-isolated after testing positive for Covid-19. A media report said that she was a former member of the elected panchayat.

The elected Pradhan of the panchayat, Suram Singh, claimed that he couldn’t come to help Vir Singh because he had a fever. He said Vir Singh didn’t mention that there was no one to help him. The Pradhan also said that he had spoken to tractor drivers but all of them refused to carry the body. He said the only people who helped him were some villagers who arranged wood from the forest for cremation.

The Deputy Commissioner, Rakesh Prajapati, said that Vir Singh didn’t give the district administration the time to respond and carried the body hurriedly for cremation. He said that following this incident, it was decided that cremation of every Covid-19 patient would be carried out in the presence of representatives of the district administration.

After the picture went viral on social media, today, HP Government directed the Deputy Commissioners to ensure that the last rites of the persons, who have died of Covid-19 were performed strictly as per the protocol and guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this regard. The government said that directions were already issued on 12th May 2021 regarding this.

District administrations were asked to co-operate in performing the last rites of the deceased and ensure providing resources such as PPE kits, dead body bags, disinfectants, sanitisers, waste disposable bags etc. for proper disposal of the dead body.

Panchayat Secretaries/Patwaries were also directed to facilitate families in performing the last rites of the deceased.

Further, the government said that under such circumstances family members of the deceased can contact the Municipal authorities, Executive Officers/Secretaries of Urban Local Bodies and Panchayat Secretaries/Patwaries of their respective area for any assistance.

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