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Had lost hope to see families again, recall 3 Kangra youths on reaching home

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Himachali youth kidnapped by nigerian sea pirates

Kangra: The three youths of Kangra district, who were kidnapped by Nigerian sea pirates after hijacking their ship, have finally reached their respective homes on Sunday. They remained in captivity for over 70 days.

 The parents and villagers gave a warm welcome to the youths namely Sushil Kumar, Pankaj Kumar and Ajay Kumar. All three were employed with a private shipping company named Max Marine Services in Cotonou Benin.

 The parents and family members couldn’t hold their tears back as they saw their members alive and back home.

The youths have revealed the horrific time, which they spent at a tent in the middle of the jungle in captivity of pirates. The youths recall the physical and psychological torture they went through. They won’t forget this incident ever, they told media.

They had left the hope to see their families again, the youths said. 

As per the revelations made by the youths, they were on their ship near Nigeria port when a speedboat carrying over a dozen of armed pirates hijacked the ship on January 31.

They carried automatic weapons and fired gunshots in the air to scare the crew.  

There were 11 members on-board including Africans at the time of the hijack. However, the pirates only took away three Indians and let others go with the ship.

They were taken to a jungle and put in a tent. They received only noodles and some water as their solitary meal. All these days, they ate only noodles, which were hardly sufficient to satisfy their hunger.

The pirates often threatened to shoot them if the ransom was not paid.

Between March 23 and 28, the pirates let Sushil talk to his parents through a satellite phone. They demanded a ransom of about Rs. 20 lakhs to free them.

The parents of the youth reached the local leaders and the administration for help.

On April 11, pirates took away all their belonging except passports and let them go. Finally, they were released a couple of days ago and reached their respective homes on Sunday. 

The youths and their families have thanked the State and Centre Government to get their children out alive.

The youths said they will not join back the Merchant Navy and instead look for employment in India only.

Top Photos: Amar Ujala/Punjab Kesari

    

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Scientist Conferred National Fellowship for Outstanding Work in Floriculture, Landscaping

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Dr YC Gupta, a senior scientist of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni 1

Solan: Dr YC Gupta, a senior scientist of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has been conferred fellowship of the Indian Academy of Horticultural Sciences. The fellowship was conferred for Dr Gupta’s outstanding contributions to the field of floriculture and landscaping.

Dr Gupta is presently working as the Dean of College of Horticulture and Centre of Excellence for Horticulture, Research and Extension, Thunag, Distt Mandi. He was conferred with the fellowship during the Indian Horticulture Congress 2019 at NAAS Complex, New Delhi held recently.

Born in Mandi, Dr Gupta obtained his BSc and MSc in 1986 from Agra University. After completing his doctorate in horticulture (Floriculture and Landscaping) from IARI, New Delhi, Dr Gupta joined UHF as Assistant Floriculturist in 1988. He served as Professor and Head of Department of Floriculture and Landscape Architecture for 12 years after which in 2019 he became the founding dean of the fourth constituent college of the university at Thunag.

Dr Gupta During the Indian Horticulture Congress 2019 at NAAS Complex, New Delhi


Dr Gupta has been associated in the development of seven hybrids of Gladiolus, five hybrids in Marigold, four hybrids in Antirrhinum and 3 hybrids in Pansy besides a patent named ‘HIMFLORA- a computerized botanical database of wild ornamentals of Himachal Pradesh’. Two varieties, Solan Mangla of Gladiolus and Solan Shringar of Chrysanthemum were released in 2014 and Virbhadra Singh, a variety of carnation was released in 2016.

Besides being the National Chairman for DUS testing of Carnation and Lilium under PPVFRA, Dr Gupta is a life member of various professional societies. The American Biographical Institute, USA conferred on him an honorary appointment in the year 2000. He is also the Fellow of Society for Recent Development in Agriculture and Indian Society of Ornamental Horticulture (ISOH) and the recipient of ISOH’s Lotus Puraskar 2011. He also won the Dr Manmohan Attawar Gold Medal Award in floriculture for the year 2016 by the Horticultural Society of India.

In his career spanning over nearly 31 years in teaching, research and extension including administration, Dr Gupta has guided several MSc and PhD students and has numerous research papers, books, book chapters, popular articles, and technical bulletins to his credit.

He has handled more than 17 externally funded and 8 state-funded research projects. UHF University Vice-Chancellor Dr Parvinder Kaushal and other scientists and staff and students congratulated Dr Gupta on his achievement.   

 

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ITBP Head Constable from Himachal Among 6 Shot Dead by Own Colleague

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Himachal ITBP head constable mahinder singh

Shimla-Six personnel reportedly died and two were injured when one of them opened fire with his service rifle following some dispute at an ITBT camp in insurgency-hit Narayanpur district of Bastar, Chhattisgarh on November 4, 2019.  This information was released by the Director General of Police,Chhattisgarh, DM Awasthi.

One of the personnel, Head Constable Mahender Singh, hailed from Barthi area of Bilaspur district. He is survived by his parents, wife, and two sons.

As per the DGP, there was some dispute which led to this fratricidal incident in which one of the personnel, Constable Masudul Rahman (West Bengal), opened fire on his colleagues at the Kedarnar camp of ITBP’s 45th battalion.  

“The ITBP personal who shot his five colleagues committed suicide with his own rifle and died on the spot,”

TOI quoted DGP.

As per another report, while the reason for the dispute is still not known, there is a speculation that the constable accused of opening fire was upset as he wasn’t granted leaves. However, the exact cause was yet to be ascertained.

Other four deceased included Head Constable Daljit Singh (Punjab), Constable Surjit Sarkar (West Bengal), Biswaroop Mahtoo (West Bengal) and Brijeesh (Kerala).

 Injured were identified as constable SB Ullass (Kerala) and constable Sitaram Doon (Rajasthan).

A probe has been ordered, ITBP officials confirmed.  

 

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Monkey Sterilization in Himachal Working, Farmers Feeling Relieved, Claims Forest Minister

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Monkey Sterlization in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Forest, Transport and Youth Sports Minister, Govind Singh Thakur, claims that sterilization of monkeys has proved to be a successful solution in Himachal Pradesh and providing relief to the farmers. So far, one lakh 57 thousand monkeys have been sterilized in eight monkey sterilization centres of forest department in the state, the Minister claimed.

While the people did not report any relief from monkey menace, the Minister claimed the situation has improved as per the government.

He said the incentive to capture monkeys has been increased to Rs. 1000. Local people would be given training by the forest department to capture monkeys. It was discussed that workshops should be organized in vulnerable panchayats to provide training to the locals.

The Minister was presiding over one day workshop on ‘Human-Wildlife Conflict’ at Shimla organized by the Wild life wing of Himachal Pradesh Forest Department on November 3, 2019.

Forest Minister said that 548 panchayats of the state are vulnerable to monkey menace.

Principal Chief Conservator Dr Savita said 1100 monkey hotspots have been identified in the state. She informed that 91 Tehsils/sub-Tehsils and Municipal Corporation Shimla area have been declared vermin for a period of one year.

Emphasis was laid on the plantation of fruit-bearing saplings in forests so that monkeys don’t enter human settlements in search of food.

However, no discussion was done on keeping human settlements clean and discourage littering of food waste which attracts monkeys, especially in cities.

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