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Misc News/Press Release

Kasauli Shootout: SC pulls up HP Govt and Police over poor security arrangements

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Solan: The Supreme Court of India has taken suo motu notice of the alleged murder of a lady officer while she was executing its orders to demolish illegal construction by hoteliers in Kasauli area in Dharampur of Solan district yesterday afternoon.

The court lashed out at the State Government for not ensuring adequate security due to which the accused opened fire in the presence of the police and even managed to flee the spot.

The court asked how it was possible for a person to shoot the official and a worker in broad daylight, in the presence of the police, and still manage to easily flee the scene.  

The accused still remain absconding as the police has launched a search operation to nab him

Supreme-court-on-Himacahal-PRadesh-Shooting

The police had already announced a reward of Rs. 1 lakh to anyone who will provide authentic information regarding the absconding accused.

Accused vijay Singh of narayani hotel

Absconding Accused Vijay Singh

The court said it would stop passing orders if government officials continue to be killed while executing its orders.  Further, the bench headed by justice MB Lokur directed the matter to be listed before the Chief Justice of India for proper hearing on Thursday.

A Bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur on April 17, 2018, had upheld the orders of the National Green Tribunal regarding directions to demolish illegally constructed parts or stories of as many as 13 hotels and guesthouses.

The illegal constructions had put the entire city in danger and were causing landslides, the SC had observed. It had further made it clear that human lives cannot be risked to make money.

The district police officials claimed that the deceased official did not inform them before going to the spot. However, opposed to the statements, some policemen are visible in videos recorded before the murder.

The Case

Shail Bala (51), one of the Assistant Town Planners of the Department, hailed from Mandi district. On Tuesday, Shail Bala was heading one of the four teams constituted by the district administration and HP TCP to undertake demolition drive to remove encroachments and illegal constructions from 13 hotels and guesthouses.

The teams faced resistance from the hotelier community. However, the teams were accompanied by heavy police security and did not step back.

While demolition was in process, the officer reached the Narayani Guest House where the owner’s son, Vijay Singh (51), and his mother Narayani Devi (70) were seen arguing with the team.

The owner had allegedly raised a six-story building while he had approval for only three. 

The accused was seen in videos showing maps of the building to the lady official and claiming his map was legally approved.  He first made requests and then threatened the team to commit suicide. 

Thereafter, the team walked towards another site. In afternoon, when the team returned to the said Guest House, accused Vijay tried to interfere in the execution of the orders.

When the official reportedly asked the police to intervene, the accused demanded more time. On being denied, he opened fire with his licensed gun. He fired at least three bullets which killed the lady official on the spot and injured a worker of the Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department (PWD).  

The life of the victim could have been avoided. The police should have detained the accused when he had threatened to commit suicide. The police either failed to sense the sensitivity of the situation .

Misc News/Press Release

Ban Speaker Rajeev Bindal, IPH Minister from Campaigning for Constantly Violating Model Code of Conduct, Misusing Govt Machinery: HPCC to CEO

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Rajeev Bindal and IPH Minister Mahender singh violates Model Code of Conduct

Shimla-Bharatiya Janata Party-led Himachal Pradesh Government is misusing government machinery and power in the by-elections to Pachhad (55) and Dharamshala (18) assembly constituencies, thus, violating Model Code of Conduct, alleged the HP Congress Committee in a memorandum submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer on October 14, 2019.

The memorandum was submitted by a delegation led by Hari Krishan Himral, political secretary to HPCC President, Kuldeep Rathor.

It’s pertinent to mention that Congress had expressed dissatisfaction over the functioning of the Electoral Officers, alleging that they are working under the pressure of the current government. Congress has also decided to hold a protest rally on October 15, 2019, against the inaction of the Electoral Officers against violators of MCC despite the submission of documentary proof.

The HPCC, in the memorandum, said that it has been constantly reporting violations of Model Code of Conduct in the poll-bound constituencies. Dr Rajeev Bindal, Speaker of HP Vidhan Sabha, is violating Vidhan Sabha Act by holding meetings in favour of BJP candidate. Congress said it has given documentary proof of his holding meetings in Naina Tikkar of Pachhad Constituency on October 4, 2019, and in Thakur Dwara on October 10, 2019. Bindal has already received a notice from the Election Commission, seeking his reply over allegations of campaigning in Pachhad constituency.

The Irrigation and Public Health Minister, Mahender Singh Thakur, has been camping in Pachhad constituency to lure voters by adopting unfair means and malpractices, Congress alleged. On his orders, the IP&H Department unloaded trucks full of GI pipes which are now stacked in different locations in Naina Tikkar, Rajgarh, Rasu Mandir, Dilman and Wasni panchayats, Congress alleged.

The Deputy Commissioner, Sirmaur, has been informed through SDM and Police complaints have been filed about violation of Code of Conduct by government officials, Ministers and Speaker. However, the DC is allegedly behaving as an agent of BJP itself, Congress said in the memorandum.

Misuse of government property like rain shelters, National Highway, both in Pachhad and Dharamshala, is being regularly reported, Congress alleged. They are being used to paste posters in favour of BJP candidates which is prohibited in MCC, it said. Congress said it has submitted four different complaints to the State Electoral Officer since October 9, 2019, but it appears that ministers, Speaker and government officials are not bothered to follow directions from the Election Officers and they still continue to violate MCC. BJP wishes to sabotage the by-elections by their misconduct and adoption of unfair means, it alleged. 

Congress has urged the Chief Electoral Officer to ban Bindal and Mahender Singh from campaigning for these elections for their misconduct and violation of MCC along with passing strict instruction to administration and police department to immediately remove stacks of GI pipes from the said locations and remove posters, hoardings and banners from government properties like NH and rain-shelters in both constituencies.

Congress also enclosed photographs with the memorandum as proof.

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Art & Culture

Devdhun Played by 2200 Bajantris at Kullu Dussehra Enters ‘India Book of Records’, Fest Concludes

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Video Dev Dhun at kullu dussehra enters india book of records

Kullu-The international Kullu Dussehra concluded on Monday with great fanfare and enthusiasm. More than 281 deities from various parts of Kullu district participated in this cultural extravaganza.

Other than Mega Natti performed by 4000 women on October 12, over 2200 Bajantris (instrumentalists) congregated at the Atal Sadan ground on October 13 in the presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to play ‘Devdhun’

Devdhun is the sound that resonates after playing different traditional instruments when deities move out of their temples to join local festivals. ‘Devdhun’ has been entered as a record in the India Book of Records with a record 2200 Bajantries playing the musical instruments simultaneously.

The Mega Natti performed in 2015 by nearly 10000 women at Kullu Dussehra has already entered into Guinness Book of World Records.

On Monday, Chief Minister presided over the concluding ceremony held at Lal Chand Prarthi Kala Kendra, Kullu. He announced to increase the nazrana (honorarium) of local deities participating in Kullu Dussehra festival by five per cent. He also announced an increase of 25 per cent in distance allowance (Duri Bhatta) given to the deities.

He announced 15 percent increase in remuneration of Bajantaris, who accompany the local deities to the festival besides increasing the amount for celebrating Haripur and Manikaran Dussehra from Rs 75,000 to Rs one lakh and for Vashisht Dussehra festival from existing Rs 50,000 to Rs. 75,000. He said that the ‘Gur’ of the Deities would be provided a separate amount of Rs 1000.

Kullu Dussehra provides a livelihood to the indigenous community as they provide them with a platform to display their products for a much wider audience. This festival was also contributing immensely in promoting tourism in the State with tourists visiting Kullu to watch this cultural extravaganza from the world over.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government would ensure that this event not only become a regular event but also an added attraction of International Kullu Dussehra. He said that in the present era of cut-throat competition, our age-old culture and traditions were slowly vanishing and urged the people to come forward to conserve the same. He announced Rs. 5 lakh from his discretionary fund to the Bajantaries who performed during the event.

The Chief Minister also inaugurated the building of Press Club, Kullu for facilitating the journalists of Kullu district.

He distributed prizes to the winners of different events on the occasion and released Souvenir brought out by the Dussehra Organizing Committee. He also released a poster of documentary ‘Gallantry Saga-BRO, released a booklet published by State Language and Art Academy and a souvenir ‘Atal Samritian’ published by Kullu Sanskriti Vikas Manch.

Chief Minister was also presented with a book ‘Indigenous Building Practice System in Western Himalayas-A Comparative Study’ authored by a young author, Architect and expert in traditional Kathkuni house, Rahul Bhushan.

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Misc News/Press Release

Search Operation in Kangra-Pathankot Bordering Areas Following Terror Alert in Pathankot   

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Terrorist search in kangra district

Kangra- Kangra police on Sunday carried out an extensive search operation in areas adjoining to Pathankot. After inputs by intelligence agencies about a possible terrorist attack, Pathankot, Gurdaspur, and Batala were on high-alert. Punjab police and commandos had already launched a massive cordon and search operation to root out any possibility of possible infiltration and suspected dropping of weapons through drones in these areas.

As a part of the Kangra district falls in the bordering area with Pathankot, jawans of Kangra Police headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Nurpur, Sahil Arora, along with commandos have been carrying out search operation in these areas. The search was also carried out in the Chakki Dariya region. The police searched the sheds of the Gujjar community and labourers working at crusher sites.

Other than that, a search was also conducted at the hostels of a private institute in Bhadroyan. The jungle under Dhangu Police Station was also searched as the area is in the vicinity of Pathankot Air Base. There is no habitat or movement of locals in the jungle adjoining to Pathankot Airbase, therefore, it is vulnerable to terrorist activities, the ASP said.

Other than that, areas falling under Indora Sub-Division -Majra, Damtal, Kandwal, Lodhwan etc – were also searched and habitants living in these areas were also questioned.

The Additional Superintendent of Police, Vimukt Ranjan, has warned the locals regarding the entry or movement of suspicious people or sighting of suspicious objects. The locals were asked to inform the police at once in case they come across any such suspicious person or object.

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