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CBI’s official statement on how it solved Shimla’s Gudiya case

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how cbi solved kotkhai gudiya case

Shimla: Amid the chatter among the people regarding the authenticity of the arrest made after an investigation in the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl, a resident of Shirgul in Kotkhai Tehsil of Shimla district, Central Bureau of Investigation has released an official media statement regarding the case.

The CBI is gathering a lot of appreciation in the national media as it told the media that it was a painstaking and sensitive case and that CBI teams worked day & night for the last nine months to finally crack the case.

The case was filed under the Police Station of Kotkhai.

The agency claimed it arrested the accused, who was identified as a resident of Baijnath Tehsil of Kangra, on April 13, 2018.

After thorough interrogation, on April 25, he was produced before the Designated Court and was remanded to Judicial Custody till May 2018, said the official statement.
In the instant case, it was alleged that the victim had left Government Senior Secondary School, Mahashu on July 4, 2017, at about 4:30 PM. She did not reach home and her dead body was recovered on July 6, 2017, from the forest area of Hailalla, Kotkhai.

CBI said it instituted an elaborate investigation and also announced a reward of Rs.10 lakh to anyone from the general public for providing credible information resulting in the arrest of real culprits.

After taking over the case, CBI formed separate teams including SP, ASP, DSP, Inspectors, and other supporting staff who were continuously camped in the region, the agency said.

The team started by thoroughly combing the various areas including forests where the body of the victim was found and questioned over one thousand people in this sparsely populated region.

The CBI said, its team collected around 250 blood samples and its CFSL experts conducted various scientific tests including DNA profiling by using advance techniques of percentage match’ and ‘lineage match’.

After thorough examining of these scientific tests, the DNA profiles extracted from samples seized from the scene of the crime were matched with the DNA samples.
The area of investigation included Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Uttarakhand etc.
It was also alleged that the arrested accused did not carry any mobile phone and was not in touch with his family but CBI kept watch on certain people whom he could call from public phones or phones of the other people.

The agency further claimed that subsequently, the suspect was tracked and apprehended from a Village near Hatkoti.

The agency maintained that the Director CBI, Alok Kumar Verma has been monitoring the progress of the case from day one. He expressed satisfaction at the work done by the investigative team and forensic experts of CFSL, CBI, for solving a sensitive and difficult case.

The agency said the further investigation into the case would continue.

Other Details Regarding the Case

CBI had registered two cases on July 22, 2017, on the orders dated July 19, 2017 of Hon’ble High Court of Himachal Pradesh, in CWPIL No.88 of 2017 and taken over the investigation of FIR No. 97 of 2017 dated July 6, 2017, under Sections 302, 376 of IPC & Section 4 of POCSO Act registered earlier at Police Station, Kotkhai, District Shimla relating to rape & murder of a minor girl.

The agency took over another FIR No. 101 of 2017 dated July 19, 2017, U/S 302 of IPC earlier registered at Police Station, Kotkhai relating to the custodial death of one of the accused arrested by Local Police in connection with the investigation of said FIR No. 97 of 2017.

The Himachal Pradesh Police had earlier arrested six accused in this case. Out of these six, one had died under alleged mysterious circumstances in police custody for which separate FIR No. 101/2017 was registered by local police, the agency said.

After taking over the investigation, CBI had arrested nine Police officials of Himachal Pradesh including then Inspector General of Police, Southern Range; then SP, Shimla; then DSP (SDOP), Theog; a Sub-Inspector & then SHO, Kotkhai; an ASI; three Head Constables and one Constable, all working in Himachal Pradesh on 29.08.2017 in a case relating to custodial death of one of the then accused Suraj Singh.

All the said arrested accused are presently in Judicial Custody.

Misc News/Press Release

Video: Fire Wreaks Havoc at Solan Mall Road

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Solan Fire Break out 2021

Solan-A fire broke out at the congested Solan Mall Road today evening, which engulfed about three shops including a medical store and garment and shoe shops. According to the initial report received from the district administration, the fire reportedly started from a medical store, which was closed.

People first noticed smoke rising from inside the building and informed the owner of the shop and fire services. By the time, fire tenders reached the spot, the fire had spread considerably to a large part of the multi-story building. Sounds of explosions from inside the medical store caused a panic among the adjoining shopping mall and people present on the scene. These sounds of explosions reportedly came from bottles of sanitisers and other flammables products kept inside the medical store.

No loss of life was reported.

According to a report, two fire hydrants installed at the Solan Mall Road for such emergency situation did not work, which led to delay in extinguishing the fire. Meanwhile, property worth lakhs in three to four shops turned to ash. It took over two hours to extinguish the fire with the help of locals. 

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Ajay Kumar, had arrived at the spot. The exact losses were yet to be assessed. It’s pertinent to mention that the Solan Mall is a congested place with a large number of shops and the fire could have easily turned into a bigger disaster if it were not controlled. 

The cause of the fire is believed to be a short-circuit. But it would be possible to cite the exact cause only after an inquiry, if conducted. More information was awaited.

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Himachal First State to Complete Assessment of Snow Leopard and its Wild Prey

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Snow Leopard Population Assessment in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-The assessment of snow leopard population in Himachal Pradesh has been completed by the state wildlife wing in collaboration with Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) Bangalore following the protocol aligning with the SPAI (Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India) protocols of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Himachal Pradesh has become the first state to complete assessment of snow leopard and its wild prey.

The state has an estimated population of up to 73 snow leopards.

It is the first scientifically robust estimate of snow leopards and its prey for the State. Since snow leopard is the state animal, the study assumes great significance for Himachal Pradesh.
The exercise revealed that snow leopard density ranged from 0.08 to 0.37 individuals per 100 sq.km., with the trans-Himalayan regions of Spiti, Pin valley and upper Kinnaur recording the highest densities, both of the predator and its prey, mainly ibex and blue sheep.

This study covered the entire potential snow leopard habitat of Himachal Pradesh: an area of 26,112 sq.km., utilising a stratified sampling design. Camera trapping surveys were conducted at 10 sites to representatively sample all the strata i.e. high, low and unknown. The camera trap deployment over the mountainous terrains was led by a team of eight local youth of Kibber village and more than 70 frontline staff of HPFD were trained in this technique as part of the project. Snow leopards were detected at all the 10 sites (Bhaga, Chandra, Bharmour, Kullu, Miyar, Pin, Baspa, Tabo, Hangrang & Spiti) suggesting that snow leopards are found in the entire snow leopard habitat in Himachal Pradesh either as resident individuals of a population or as dispersing individuals navigating through these connecting habitats.

Another revelation from the study is that a bulk of snow leopard occurrence is outside protected areas, reiterating the fact that local communities are the strongest allies for conservation in snow leopard landscapes.

The NCF and wildlife wing collaborated in the effort and it took three years to complete the assessment. MoEFCC had launched the First National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India, on the occasion of International Snow Leopard Day. You can read the complete protocol here.

Snow leopard is the icon of high mountains of Asia. In India, they inhabit the higher Himalayan and TransHimalayan landscape in an altitudinal range between approximately 3,000 m to 5,400 m above MSL, spanning c. 100,000 km2 in the five states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. This area contributes to about 5% of the global snow leopard range.

Snow leopards occur over a vast, relatively remote and difficult to access mountainous area. Together with their elusive nature, this makes a complete population census of snow leopards an unfeasible goal. Even their distribution remains unclear. For example, recent surveys show that they do not occur in 25 % of the area that was thought to be their range in the state of Himachal Pradesh Their density is expected to be variable in space, dependent on several factors such as habitat suitability, prey availability, disturbance and connectivity. Variation in density across space also poses the risk of biased sampling, and, indeed, most of the snow leopard population assessments conducted so far across the world are biased towards the best habitats.

Feature Photo: Pexels/Charles Miller

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Records 81% Turnout in 3rd Phase of PRI Polls, Congress Makes a Come Back in Theog MC after 20 Years

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third phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The third phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutes in Himachal Pradesh recorded around 81 percent polling on January 21, 2021. The elections were held in 1137 Gram Panchayats in this phase. The highest 94 percent polling was registered in Lodhi Majra Panchayat of Nalagarh development block in Solan district. This information was released by a spokesperson of HP Election Commission

District-wise, Sirmaur recorded 85% turnout, followed by Solan (85%) Kullu (84%),Chamba (82.8%), Mandi (82.7%), Una (81.1%), Shimla (82%),Una (81%), Bilaspur (80.3%), Hamirpur (78.1%), Kangra (78%), and Kinnaur (70%).

 Further, 48 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation also cast their votes.

The Spokesperson said that the poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state.

Counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on January 22, 2021, at block headquarters.

Congress made a come back to Theog Municipal Council after 20 years. While Vivek Thapar was elected as the Chairman of the MC, Reen Roy was elected as the Vice-Chairman. Congress has already registered wins in Rohru and Rampur MCs and Chopal, Kotkhai and Sunni Nagar panchayats.

Theog MC Polls 2021

Congress After Registering Victory in Theog MC Elections

The HPCC chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore, while speaking to media persons yesterday, said that of the total seven Wards of the Theog MC, Congress has claimed victory on four wards while remaining three Wards went to independent candidates. Congress alleged that BJP had left no stone unturned to pressurize, lure, and threaten elected members to gain their support. 

Rathore mocked at the defeat of BJP MP’s bother in Mandi district. Further, the candidate in Ghumarwin of Bilaspur – home district of BJP Chief Jagat Prakash Nadda-  had also faced defeat, Rathore said. BJP candidate in Sujanpur – home to Union Minister for State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur-could also not register a victory and lost, he said.

Congress also registered a victory in elections to Parwanoo MC. Kuldeep Singh Rathore, said that winning candidate Nisha Sharma joined Congress yesterday. She had won twice from the same Ward on BJP ticket. This time, she was denied ticket and fought the elections as an independent candidate. 

Parwanoo Counciloor Nisha sharma

Nisha Sharma Joins Congress

Rathore alleged that the government has been trying to threaten Nisha by registering a fake case of illegal construction. Similarly, husband of Chandrawati – another Congress councilor in Parwanoo- who runs a depot was fined wrongfully yesterday, Rathore alleged.   

While BJP has been making claims of victory on the majority of seats, Congress had been terming it as a bluff.  Also, it had been alleging BJP of misusing government machinery. Independent candidates are being bought and allurements are being given to winning Congress candidates, Rathore alleged.  

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