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RTI activist murdered in Himachal in broad daylight, had exposed a BPL fraud

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RTI Activist Kedar Singh Jindal Murdered

Sirmaur: In a spine-chilling case, Kedar Singh Jindan, an RTI activist from Shillai region of Sirmaur district, was allegedly murdered in broad daylight on Friday afternoon while he was on his way to home. Kedar was over-run by a Scorpio vehicle, which has been seized by the police.

Earlier, the police was considering the possibility of a road accident, but after recovering the car, it arrested two men identified as natives of Bakras panchayat and registered a case under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. The Superintendent of Police Rohit Malpani has confirmed filing of a case.

The police had sent the body to Shimla for a postmortem. Some reports suggested he was first beaten and then his head was crushed under the said SUV.

One of the accused Jai Prakash was identified as a member (up-Pradhan) of the Bakras gram panchayat while the second one was identified as Gopal. For now, the police is speculating that the killing was motivated by some previous grudges between the two parties.

Though the police has not confirmed the exact cause, the alleged murder could be related to a alleged BPL fraud Kedar had tried to highlight earlier in June this year. 

Kedar Singh was not only an RTI activist but was also a social worker and SC/ST leader. He was an advocate by profession. He had been raising grievance of Scheduled Caste community from time to time.  In September 2016, Kedar was in news after he held a press conference without his clothes to highlight the poor quality of education being provided in government schools and the lack of facilities in them.  

He had fought the last HP Assembly elections on BSP ticket.

On June 29, 2018, Kedar Singh had held a press conference at the Press Club, Shimla, and had exposed a fraud in the list of families living below poverty line (BPL). In the press conference, Kedar had claimed that an RTI application filed by him has revealed that about six well to do families in the Bakras panchayat having wealth worth crores were wrongfully registered under BPL.

He had alleged that by forging records using his position in the panchayat, Jai Prakash had managed to get government jobs for his family members in government jobs.

Watch Video of Press Conference Held in Shimla on June 29, 2018

Kedar had shown photographs of the bungalow worth over Rs 50 lakh, houses and three vehicles including a Scorpio which the family owned.

He had alleged that neither the previous government nor the current one had taken any sort of action to investigate the matter. He had come heavily upon the panchayat members and the government for unlawfully giving benefits meant for poverty-stricken families to wealthy families through corrupt means.

In the same conference, Kedar had told the media that he had made a complaint to the Anti-Corruption Bureau demanding an inquiry into this alleged fraud. He had demanded action against all culprits involved in issuing fake BPL certificates and officials who helped them get government jobs.

As per reports, Kedar had been attacked earlier on at least five occasions. More details are likely to arrive after the ongoing investigation. 

Misc News/Press Release

447 Cases of Adverse Effect Including 3 in Himachal Reported Post COVID-19 Vaccination

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COVID-19-vaccination-adverse effect in himachal pradesh

Shimla– Amid skepticism over the COVID-19 vaccination, India has reported over 400 cases of adverse effect post-vaccination, informed the Ministry of Health. To be more specific, a total of 447 Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFIs) were reported on 16th Jan & 17th Jan’21.

Out of these, three required hospitalization. Of these, one was discharged from Northern Railway Hospital Delhi within 24 hours; one was discharged from AIIMS Delhi, and one is under observation in AIIMS Rishikesh and is being monitored.

Most of the AEFIs reported so far are minor like Fever, Headache, Nausea etc.

In Himachal Pradesh, about three cases of AEFIs were reported on day 1 of vaccination drive. These were reported from Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Tanda, Kangra, Civil Hospital Paonta Sahib, and Maharishi Markandeshwar University Medical College, Solan.

In these cases, symptoms reported included dizziness, anxiety, nausea and shivering and persons recovered after management as per protocol, it was informed.

In Himachal, 2,499 health care workers were to be administered dose through 27 identified sites in the State on January 16. However, only 1535 healthcare workers could be vaccinated on the first day. It was 61 percent of this set target. The second round would be held today.  

Two types of COVID-19 vaccines have been supplied for the vaccination drive. These include Covishield vaccine (made by Serum Institute of India Ltd) that has been supplied to all States/UTs.

The second is Covaxin vaccine (made by Bharat Biotech International Ltd) that has been supplied to 12 States.

An Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) is any unexpected medical occurrence which follows immunization. It may not be related to the vaccine or vaccination process. The Ministry had laid down protocols for reporting, immediate case management at vaccination session site, transportation and hospitalization and further care of such cases. Protocols are also in place for systematic investigation and causality assessment of serious AEFIs, the Ministry said.

India has vaccinated the highest number of persons on Day1 under its COVID19 vaccination program, the world’s largest such exercise.

Total of 2,24,301 beneficiaries have been vaccinated till today as per the provisional report.

The second day of the massive countrywide COVID-19 vaccination program was also conducted successfully. A total of 553 sessions were held in six States. As many as 17,072 beneficiaries were vaccinated on Day2, as per the provisional reports.

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Himachal Gets First Fully Automated ‘Doppler Weather Radar’, Would Provide More Accurate Short Range Forecast

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Dopper Weather Radar in Himachal Pradesh's Kufari

Shimla-India Meteorological Department (IMD) January 15, 2021, celebrated its 146th Foundation Day. IMD is one of the oldest, scientific service organizations in the country, in existence well before Independence.

On the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated Doppler Weather Radars at Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand and Kufri, Himachal Pradesh; Multi-Mission Meteorological Data Receiving and Processing System in IMD in collaboration with ISRO (MMDRPS).

According to the IMD, these modernized Radars would give a more specific short-range weather forecast.

It’s pertinent to mention that accurate and advance weather information is of utmost importance to Himachal Pradesh – a state largely dependent on agriculture and tourism.

The one installed in Kufari, Shimla, is Indigenous dual polarised X-Band Doppler Weather Radar. Two more Radars would be installed at Mandi and Dalhousie in Chamba district of the State. A site had already been finalized at Mandi and a site for Radar at Dalhousie would be finalized soon, the State Government informed.

This specific type of Radar uses the Doppler effect to gather velocity data. The Radar transmits a signal, which gets reflected when hits a raindrop. Based on the changes in the frequency of the reflected signal, data is obtained about the motion of droplets and intensity of the precipitation. Scientists can analyze this data to determine the structure and severity of storms.

Radar installed at Kufri is on test mode for a period of two weeks. Thereafter its data would be used for forecasting purposes. This Radar has a range upto 100 kilometres in radial distance. It would observe and provide the weather data of 100 kilometres in all directions, which would be used for forecasting purpose, especially for the short-range forecast. More précised area-specific weather forecast and warning can be issued for a particular place, for the weather phenomenon like thunderstorm, lighting, hailstorm, heavy rainfall/snowfall, gusty winds etc.    

This Centre would help the horticulturists and farmers of the State by providing them with accurate weather information.

The DWR Kufri would run round the clock and it is fully automatic. It would transmit the data in various digital format and picture form.

 Forecasting monsoons is the lifeline to India’s food security and affect the economy as the nation’s GDP is dependent on agriculture. Moreover, weather prediction is critical to reducing the loss of lives from various extreme events like a cyclone, heavy rain, thunderstorm, heatwave and cold wave, monsoonal floods and droughts.

India Meteorological Department says that it is modernizing its observational network in the Central and Western Himalayas by the installation of Doppler Weather Radars in a phased manner, at different locations.

IMD said that this radar will be providing severe weather information to the weather forecasters, thus, improving the safety of the public in the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. It will also provide support to the disaster managers and the pilgrims undertaking the pilgrimage to Kailash Manasarovar and Char Dham yatra. 

 

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Misc News/Press Release

77.50% Voter Turnout in First Phase of Himachal’s Panchayati Raj Polls: EC

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Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The first phase elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions in Himachal Pradesh was today held in 1228 Gram Panchayats, informed a spokesperson of State Election Commission.

According to the information received till 7 PM, the overall polling percentage was 77.50%. As many as 123 COVID-19 patients and isolated voters cast their votes as per the Standard Operating Procedures, he informed.

Gram Panchayat Rihada in development block Naggar of Kullu district recorded the highest voter turnout (94 %). Counting of votes for Pradhan, Up-Pradhan and members will be completed today. Counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on 22nd January 2021 at block headquarters.

Further, 103-year-old Shyam Saran Negi, the first voter of independent India, cast his vote at a polling booth in Kalpa of Kinnaur district.

Election-related process and results have been uploaded for the general public on sechimachal.nic.in., the spokesperson said.

The second phase of polling for 1208 Panchayats will be held on 19th January followed by the third phase on 21st January 2021.

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