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Outrage over brutal murder of RTI activist/SC leader in Himachal, role of state police in question again

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RTI Activist murder in Himachal pradesh

Shimla: The case of the alleged murder of Kedar Singh Jindan in Shillai region of Sirmaur district on Friday is becoming more complex as more details are pouring in from his wife Hem Lata, locals and various organizations and groups that have come out in protest, demanding a fair investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Social and RTI activist and the Scheduled Cast Community are terrorized as well as enraged over the alleged murder of Kedar, who was also one of the SC leaders and an advocate by profession. Kedar was the sole bread earner of the family. He has left behind two daughters and a wife.

RTI Activist Kedar Singh Jindal Murdered

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

Though two persons were arrested for the alleged murder, the Himachal Pradesh Police has again come under the scanner of the people as it is being alleged that this brutal murder was planned in connivance with local police.

The terrorized family of the slain activist had requested a post-mortem of the body in Shimla alongwith shifting the investigation of the case from Sirmaur.

After the post-mortem at the Indira Gandhi Medical College & Hospital on Saturday, protestors including the Member of Legislative Assembly Rakesh Singha tried to carry the dead body of Kedar to the Chief Minister’s residence but were stopped by police on the Shimla Ridge Maidan.

The protestors placed the body in the Rain Shelter and continued their protest throughout the night in rain. The Deputy Inspector General, Asif Jalal, had come and meet the protestors. The protestors including the wife of the victim labelled serious allegations against the police for its failure to provide security to her murdered husband despite the fact that he had already requested security from police.

The family alleged that a couple of months ago, Kedar had already requested the police to provide him security as he had been receiving threats to his life. He had named several people who were threatening him. Moreover, he was assaulted at least on two to three occasions earlier too. Despite it, the family alleged, the police did nothing.

My husband was the only bread earner and now there is nobody in the family to take care. He had already asked for security as he was threatened for life and police did not take any action. He was attacked by these people earlier also,

the wife of Kedar told media.

Kedar, who was an RTI activist, social worker, leader of Schedule Caste community, and a politician, was allegedly hacked to death in a brutal manner on Friday. Afterwards, he was crushed under an SUV deliberately in broad daylight in Bakras in Shillai.

It was also alleged that before running-over Kedar with an SUV (Scorpio) owned by a member of panchayat Jai Prakash, more than two people assaulted him with iron rods.

In June 2018, Kedar had exposed a big fraud in the registration of families under the Below Poverty Line scheme and had demanded a probe into the matter. He had alleged that about six families of a panchayat in Sirmaur were able to get government jobs using fraud BPL certificates. The arrested accused belonged to one of these families and was a member of the panchayat (up-pradhan).

Though district police is not commenting over the case saying the investigation is under progress, the State president of Welfare Association of Schedule Caste and Tribe Employees, Sita Ram Bansal said there were some eyewitnesses too. One of them was said to have asked for security as the accused belong to influential families.

The Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj and the DIG met the protestors early morning on Saturday and assured that as per provisions, the family would be given Rs 20 lakh compensation, government job to victim’s wife, and free education to children upto graduation. It was only after this confirmation that the protestors allowed the body to be carried for cremation.

Under pressure from the protestors, the DIG had to make calls to administrative officials on the spot to confirm the details of the relief to be given to the family.

Further, Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch held a protest in Nahan demanding a judicial probe.

Kedar Cremated under Heavy Security

On Sunday, the dead body of Kedar was taken to his native village Paab in Shillai where he was cremated. A large number people including MLA Rakesh Singh and several activists attended the funeral. The SP, Sirmaur, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Paonta Sahib, and some other administrative officials were also present.

The trust of the people in government and in the state police is again put to a test, especially what happened in Shimla’s Gudia case. It is to be seen how swiftly the government and police work to provide security to the family and the eyewitnesses if any.

Misc News/Press Release

Hamirpur Blunder: 15 Returnees Sent Home, Later Found COVID-19 Positive

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Hamirpur covid-19 postive people sent to homes

Hamirpur– The District Administration, Hamirpur, has landed in a controversy after a blunder came to light on Wednesday night. As many as 15 people, who were sent to homes before the confirmation of their test report, were found to be COVID-19 positive late yesterday night. This blunder could lead to a catastrophe in the district. 

The samples of 43 returnees from Maharashtra were sent to IHBT, Palampur, and they were found to be negative in the first test. Their samples were taken again in which 15 tested positive. However,  these people were allowed to go to homes without confirming the report of the second test. As per the guidelines, such persons can only be allowed to go to homes after confirmation of the second report.

But after the confirmation of second reports, all 15 were brought back to quarantine centres in a haste on the intervening night of May 27 and 28.

These persons had returned from Mumbai and Thane in a special train and were quarantined at Navodya Vidyalaya at Dungri, Deotsidh and Nadaun, the Deputy Commissioner, Hamirpur, Harikesh Meena, told PTI.

In another statement to an English Daily, the DC termed it a result of miscommunication. He said a probe has been ordered into the matter.

The Chief Medical Officer, Archan Soni, said responsible administrative and health staff would be held responsible.

Hamirpur is already on the top of the list with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 positive at 93, of which 84 are active. This blunder could create chaos as these 15 people were assured that they tested negative and might not have taken many precautions on reaching homes, which put their families at a high risk of contracting the infection.  

Earlier, this morning, the Bilaspur city was declared a containment zone and sealed after a person tested positive from Bamta area along with six others. The administration suspected that this person concealed his travel history and might have gone out and come in contact with other people in the market.

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Panic Grips Bilaspur as City Sealed after COVID-19 Positive Man Suspected of Hiding Travel History

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Bilaspur city sealed and declared containment zone

Bilaspur-In district Bilaspur, the Administration on Thursday morning sealed the entire city including Bamta area after declaring it a containment zone. All shops in the market were shut-down and movement of people and vehicles except those falling in exempted categories have been prohibited completely. This sudden move of the administration created stir in the area. 

The areas falling under containment zones include Ward No 11, village Nihal of Gram Panchayat Bamta, HRTC Colony in Ward No 1 of Municipal Council Bilaspur, Danoh and Kosarina village of Bamta, Gurudwara market, Gandhi market and College Chowk markets falling under the MC.

In the buffer zone, all the remaining area that did not fall under the containment zone in Ward No 1 has been declared a buffer zone. Similarly, Kosarian Ward of Bilaspur MC, Nihal-1 upto ITI Bilaspur, main market and Changer sector have also been included in the buffer zone.

The order of declaring the city as a containment zone came after seven persons were reported to have tested positive in Bilaspur on Wednesday evening. According to the district administration and police, one of these persons had not disclosed his travel history and there was a risk that he might have come in contact with others in the city as he was not under institutional quarantine.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Bilaspur, Sanjay Sharma, confirmed the report and said the entire containment area has been sealed and traffic movement brought to a halt. He said action would be taken against any person who would be found moving around in this area without a specific reason.

However, an official confirmation regarding contacts of this person is still awaited. Health officials were tracing the contact history of this person.

According to the notification issued by the district administration on Thursday, no movement of vehicles allowed except those involved in the enforcement of containment plan, emergency services and vehicles passing through NH-205. The passing vehicles through the NH would not be allowed to stop and passengers/driver can’t get out or board anyone in the containment zone.

The supplies of essential goods like milk, groceries, fruits, vegetables, medicines, cooking gas etc. in the above-mentioned containment zone would be made through the Government delivery committee, headed and formed by the SDM concerned, the notification said.

These orders would remain in force till further orders.

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COVID-19 Update: 26 More Test Positive in 4 Districts, 70 in 3 Days, State Tally Rise to 273

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Himachal Pradesh daily COVID-19 data for may 27

Shimla: New COVID-19 cases continue to spiral in Himachal Pradesh. According to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s daily COVID-19 bulletin released on May 27 (9:00 PM), 26 persons were tested positive in four districts of the State. Of these, 15 cases were reported from Hamirpur,  seven from Bilaspur, three from Kangra, and one from Una district. In the last three days, the State has reported 70 cases, which is alarming. 

In Hamirpur, five persons hailed from Badsar area, three from Naduan, six from Hamirpur and one from Bhoranj. The majority of them have recently returned from Maharashtra.

Total for Hamirpur district has reached 73 – highest in the State, followed by Kangra with 65 cases.

In Bilaspur, two persons were said to be bus and cab drivers. Details of other patients from the district were awaited.

In Kangra, three persons who tested positive were identified as a 29-year-old resident of Fatehpur, a 30-year-old from Khaniyara, and a resident of Palampur. These people had returned from Delhi and Gurugram recently.

In Una, a person who had returned from Delhi with his family was tested positive.  

Most of the person who tested positive were under institutional quarantine except for three persons in Kuther of Bilaspur district who were home-quarantined.  

Refer to the below-given table for more details on district-wise COVID-19 data:

District-Wise COVID-19 Cases in Himachal Pradesh Till May 27, 2020 (9:00 PM)

Himachal Pradesh District wise Covid-19 data till 27 May

The number of total confirmed positive cases in Himachal has risen to 273, of which 198 are active. So far, 66 patients have recovered, five died, and four migrated to outside the State for treatment.

Further, today 1480 samples were sent for testing, of which 912 tested negative and the reports of 560 persons were still awaited.

 

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