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Nurpur Tragedy: Sobbing parents rub noses, crawl to DC Office, seek CBI probe

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parents rub noses seeking CBI probe into Nurpur tragedy

Shimla: Yesterday, after a banner with pictures of children killed in Nurpur school bus accident was seen near Hanuman Temple in Kachehri market of Dharamshala in Kangra district, several parents were seen rubbing noses on the ground while crawling to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, Sandeep Kumar.

For onlookers, it was a disheartening scene to see that the people were rubbing their noses to get justice as the government neglects their grievance. Parents seek a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation saying that only the agency could expose all those responsible for this accident.

Nurpur school bus accident parents rub noses

Pic: News 18

The parents carried photographs of their deceased children and broke out while pleading to the DC to carry their request for a fair probe to the Chief Minister.

Related Story: Banner with plea of 24 children killed in Nurpur tragedy to CM for justice

When the DC talked about the memorial that the government has announced in memory of the killed children, the parents said,

We do not want a memorial; we want justice”

The parents submitted a written plea for a fair probe into the tragic incident that killed their pre-school going children. The parents said they were not satisfied with the magisterial probe and its report, which is not being made public. The district administration has asked parents to file an RTI to obtain a copy of the report.

parents of nurpur tragedy victims protest in dharamshala

Pic: TNS

We came here to demand justice for our children. We are demanding CBI inquiry as the administration has tried to hide the things. There are three to four departments involved in this case and CBI can reveal the things. We want strict punishment for the persons responsible for this accident,

Beena Pathania, one of the victim’s grandmother told ANI.

The ADM told us yesterday that all reports were based on facts but he didn’t say anything about retaining wall or the truck. We are not happy with this report,

said Naresh Singh, another victim’s father.

The parents also alleged that the official who conducted the probe either did not meet them or hear them. The parents said the government is protecting the responsible government officials as well as the contractor.

Also Read: Findings of magisterial probe into Nurpur Tragedy exposes HPPWD’s blunder

Five months have passed since April 9, 2018, when the school bus had rolled down a gorge in Nupur’s Guchal village at a black spot, killing 27 persons including the driver and 23 children on the spot. One of the kids died a week after the accident.

The parents said the government and Chief Minister had assured them that culprits including the officials of the State Public Works Department and contractor responsible for not repairing the collapsed part of the road, which had resulted in a tragedy that scared the parents for rest of their lives.

An accident had taken place at the same spot in which a truck had fallen into the same gorge. All formalities including the insurance claim were completed for the said truck, but still, it was not removed. The parents alleged it made the bus accident more fatal. The questions why the authorities did not ensure removal of the truck. 

Some parents also alleged that there were irregularities in the passing of the bus despite being a very old model. The parents said they have knocked almost every door including the State High Court but are still deprived of justice for their children. They said their deceased children won’t find peace even in death until the culprits are brought to justice.

The parents said they have also written a letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on the behalf of the deceased children as no one is listening to them.

Moreover, the parents are left alone to fight this battle as they are hardly receiving any support from the people or social organizations. So far, the Chief Minister has not issued any statement regarding the plea of the parents.

Feature Image Credits: Divya Himachal/Amar Ujala/News18

Misc News/Press Release

CM Jairam Thakur Tests Positive for COVID-19, Quarantined

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HImachal Pradesh CM Tests Positive for COVID-19

Shimla-Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur, have tested positive for COVID-19 and has been quarantined at his official residence. The report was confirmed by the Chief Minister through a tweet in which he informed that he was under quarantine at his residence after coming into contact with a COVID-19 positive person. On the appearance of symptoms, he got himself tested and the report was found to be positive, he informed.

According to the initial report, the Chief Minister had come in contact with some COVID-19 positive persons in Manali. MLA of Banjar, Surinder Shourie, who was positive for COVID-19 had participated in the event organized on the occasion of the inauguration of Rohtang Tunnel, had also tested positive. Shourie had spent the entire day with the Chief Minister, reports said.

His private secretary had also tested positive, and there are chances that the Chief Minister might have contracted the infection from him. However, there is no certainty regarding the contact who infected the Chief Minister.

Other than Chief Minister, three Cabinet ministers – Urban Development Minister Suresh Bharadwaj, Power Minister Sukh Ram Chaudhary, Jalshakti Minister Mahender Singh- have tested positive so far.  Over ten MLAs have already tested positive and some of them have recovered too.

Meanwhile, despite community spread, the testing and tracing seem to have fallen and the fatality rate has witnessed a steep rise. Till 12 pm today, the COVID-19 death tally for the state was 245, and the total number of cases registered was 17414. But these are official statistics and these numbers are likely to be much higher. 

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Himachal: COVID-19 Kills 59 in 9 Days, Govt Still Clueless About Actual Number of Cases

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Himachal PRadesh Jairam Thakur

Shimla-COVID-19 continue to wreak havoc in Himachal Pradesh as the death tally spirals upward rapidly. Currently, 240 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19. Fifty nine of these deaths have been reported during the last nine days of October month, which is quite alarming. But contrary to that, the attitude of the state government, as well as, the public is becoming more casual. The SOPs issued by the government are hardly being followed anywhere. The fact that with the community spread, the cases of COVID-19 are falling in the official information released by the state Health Department.

On October 9, the Department traced only 199 cases but reported seven deaths. The total number of active cases was cited to be 2856. The deceased included three females and four males aged between 49 -75 years. View details of the deceased in the below-given table:

Shimla-covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh

The total number of cases, as per the official statistics, had reached 16977 till yesterday evening (9 PM). But these are official statistics and the real number is likely to be much higher due to a community spread. Similarly, the actual number of COVID-19 deaths could be higher than the official statistics. Despite it, the state government is reluctant to release any projection regarding the real numbers. No statements have been issued regarding the current situation and strategy to combat the rising fatality rate. Rather, the state appears to be refraining from bringing up the matter.

The oppositions, HP Congress and CPI (M), are targeting the government over its failure to combat the spread of COVID-19. However, this opposition is quite feeble and hasn’t resulted in any reforms in the attitude of the government.

In a statement to media, Sanjay Chauhan, former Mayor of Shimla and a senior CPI (M) leader, said that the rise in fatalities is the result of the government’s lackadaisical attitude. The suicide committed by a positive patient at the DDU COVID-19 hospital is evidence of it, he said. He said this approach has endangered health lives of ministers, officials, and the staff at their offices. Further, he said, health staff, paramedical staff, and police staff are getting infected, and even losing lives due to the government’s unpreparedness.  The government had even compromised the safety of the Prime Minister and Education Minister by violating norms set regarding COVID-19, he said.

HP Congress chief, Kuldeep Rathor also expressed shock over the presence of COVID-19 positive MLA of Banjar, Surender Shourie, in the event organized for the PM. He alleged that by violating all norms, the MLA concealed information regarding his COVID-19 positive status and did not quarantine himself, which reflects the state government’s attitude toward management of the corona pandemic. He had demanded registration of an FIR against Shourie and action against erring officials.

Sanjay Chauhan, further said that the government did not prepare itself to combat the pandemic the way it was expected to. The people of the state had followed the lockdown and sacrificed their livelihood with a hope that the government would prepare itself during this period to combat the spread and to strengthen the health infrastructure and services. But instead, the government indulged itself in making people clap and beat ‘thalis’.  The Chief Minister adopted and preached unscientific practices like performing a ‘havan’.  Despite a steep rise in fatalities, the government is still not serious about the situation, he said. 

He said the CPI (M) demands that the government starts working on war footing to prepare a strategy by involving health experts, strengthening the health services by recruiting doctors, para-medical and other staff, and constitute a task force to deal with the situation. The government should work diligently on following the norms set for prevention from COVID-19, he added.  

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Shocker for Himachal as Ex-CBI Chief & Governor Ashwani Kumar Found Dead at His Shimla Residence

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Himachal IPS Officer Ashwani Kumar found deat in shimla

Shimla-Ashwani Kumar – 1973 IPS officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre who had served as the Director-General of HP Police (2006-2008) and CBI chief (August 2008 to November 2010), and was later appointed the Governor of Nagaland in 2013-was found dead at his residence in Shimla on Wednesday evening. The news came as a shocker as Kumar was considered as one of India’s finest and honest officers.

Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Mohit Chawala, in statement to news agencies, confirmed the report. According to the initial report, he reportedly hanged himself and ended his life. However, no formal statement was issued regarding the suicide. According to the police, a suicide note was also recovered from the spot. However, the note was yet to be verified.

Kumar was a well known name as he had dealt with famous cases including that of Arushi Talwar murder and fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in which current Home Minister Amit Shah was arrested in 2010.

He was one of the first appointees made to resign from the post of Governor, Nagaland, as soon as the current ruling party came into power in 2014. He also remained Governor of Manipur for a short period of time. After his retirement, Kumar was serving as the Vice-Chancellor of a private university in Shimla.

The officials who have served under Aswani Kumar have expressed shock over his demise in such a manner. 

Director-General of Police, Sanjay Kundu, and a team of medical staff was rushed to the spot. More details are awaited as the district police have not issued any formal statement regarding the incident.

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