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Jindan Murder Case: 3rd accused arrested, autopsy confirms assault with sticks/rods before being run over by SUV

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RTI Activist Kedar Singh Jindal Murdered

Shimla: The Special Investigation Team formed by the Himachal Pradesh Police to probe the case of the alleged murder of Kedar Singh Jindal in Bakras village of Shillai in Sirmaur district has arrested third accused on Tuesday.

Though the police is being careful in releasing details, it was confirmed that this third accused Karm Singh alias Kaku was also involved in the alleged murder of Jindan on September 7, 2018.

The police also confirmed receiving the autopsy report of the victim’s dead body. The autopsy has revealed that Jindan was first beaten with sticks/iron rods and then crushed under an SUV. Several pictures taken during the autopsy support this finding.

The eyewitnesses, regarding whom the police is not releasing much information, have also claimed witnessing an assault on Jindan by about half a dozen people.

The autopsy report suggests it to be a case of a pre-planned, cold-blooded murder due to personal grudges. Jindan was an RTI activist, social worker, and a politician. He had tried to expose a fraud in the Below Poverty Line scheme in which he had named the involvement of the up-pradhan, who was an influential man. The activist was demanding a probe in the fraud in which half a dozen people of the same panchayat allegedly used fake BPL certificates to avail government jobs.

Jindan used to raise the voice of SC/ST Community, but so far, the SIT is suggested that the cause of the alleged murder was not related to casteism.

The police had arrested the up-pradhan of panchayat Jai Prakash Singh and Gopal on the same day. The duo was on five-day remand till September 11. The court has extended the remand till September 17.

The SIT arrested the third accused after questioning over a dozen people and interrogation of the arrested accused. The reports of the forensic samples taken from the spot and vehicle used are still awaited. It was assured that all arrests were made on the basis of ample evidences. 

The SIT has not confirmed how many eyewitnesses have come forward. However, a report in a Hindi daily claimed there were two to five eyewitnesses who were not ready to give a statement to the police as they do not trust it. As per the daily, these witnesses said they would open their mouth only either in the court or in front of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

In the lack of a clear statement from the SIT, it is not known whether protection was provided to any witness or not. Ambiguous reports claimed that five witnesses were provided police protection.

As per SIT, it has almost solved the case and would make detailed revelations regarding it later.

The State police had to form a SIT in which no official of the Shillai station was included considering the distrust expressed by victim’s kin and other locals in them. The family alleges that Jindan had requested a police protection after he begun to receive threats to life, especially after exposing the alleged BPL scam.

However, he received a heavy security only for his funeral.

The family had made a special request to conduct an autopsy at the Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, instead of Siramur.

The local MLAs continue to maintain distance from the victim’s family as well as the alleged murder.

Further, the credibility of the State Police is also at stake after the nine-member SIT formed to probe Gudia case of Kotkhai ended up in jail for framing innocent persons and killing one of them during custody. The SIT was headed by the then Inspector General Zahur H Zaidi. In the current case, the six-member SIT is headed by ASP, Nahan, Virender Thakur.

In response to the protest and demand of the Rajput Sabha to drop charges of murder and charges under SC/ST act against the arrested accused, the Director General of Police SR Mardi said the case is registered under appropriate Sections, which would not be dropped.

A large number of people had staged protest under the banner of Rajpur Sabha demanding registration of this case of cold-blooded murder as a road accident. The Sabha has also expressed their distrust in local police. 

Misc News/Press Release

Holding Clean Elections India’s Biggest Challenge as Misuse of Money Increases By Leaps And Bounds: EC

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Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence

New Delhi: Conducting clean elections is now one of the biggest challenges in our democracy given the prevalent abuse of money power, particularly when it manifests in the inducement of voters, the Elections Commission of India said today.

Unfortunately, the use of the money during the elections has increased by leaps and bounds in recent times. Mischief mongers are ever devising more ingenious ways to beat the system, said the EC Larger seizures have been made by our enforcement teams in successive elections.

To address this paramount problem, the Election Commission of India headed by Chief Election Commissioner  Sunil Arora along with Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra today held a meeting of Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence.  Heads of Tax Boards, Law enforcement agencies, Central Paramilitary Forces and representatives of Financial Institutions attended the meeting.

The Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora along with the Election Commissioners, Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra at Meeting of Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence, in New Delhi on March 15, 2019.

He said Commission is determined to curb this menace and has issued detailed guidelines to monitor election expenditure incurred by candidates and political parties.  He said individually and collectively the agencies participating in the meeting are the bulwarks of clean elections. The outcome of synergised action should exceed the commitments made. 

To ensure clean elections, it is vital keeping track of the legal expenditure incurred by candidates and political parties for election campaigns. More importantly, it is imperative to ensure that there is no illegal use of money and other items for buying of votes, said Election Commissioner Chandra.

Issues Discussed at Committee on Election Intelligence

  • Ways of Curbing of covert expenditure by candidates and political parties
  • Sensitisation of the law enforcement agencies about their role during elections
  • Co-operation and sharing of intelligence of economic offences amongst law enforcement agencies for effective action
  • Preparation of road map for action during the elections
  • Mapping of constituencies by concerned agencies to check transportation of smuggled goods, drugs, liquor, and cash, including fake currency, through seaports, inter-state borders and international borders and pro-active and preventive action by each law enforcement agency

The Heads of Tax Boards, Law enforcement agencies, Central Paramilitary Forces and representatives of Financial Institutions assured the Commission of prompt 24X7 expenditure monitoring and surveillance action.

The Commissions said a greater synergy amongst various enforcement agencies is needed to develop a collective strategy to fight this menace.  Therefore, the Commission expects that all enforcement agencies should have proper sharing of information for taking coordinated action rather than working in silos.

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Campus Watch

Nauni Varsity’s Apiculture Centre Judged as India’s Best Research Center, Bags Award

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Nauni Varsity’s Apiculture Centre bags award

Solan: The apiculture research centre of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, has again bagged the ‘Best Research Center (2016-18)’ award. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) confers the award every year.  This is the second year in a row that the centre has bagged this award.

 University’s Department of Entomology runs the Solan centre of the All India Coordinated Research Project on Honeybees and Pollinators AICRP (HB&P).

Scientists from 27 AICRP centres from across the country participated in the meet and presented their work. Three scientists from the UHF centre; Dr Harish Kumar Sharma, Dr Kiran Rana and Dr Meena Thakur also attended the meeting.

The Principal Investigator Dr Harish Sharma said that the centre is engaged in research in diversified aspects of apiculture including managed honeybee pollination, bee botany, bee breeding, honeybee disease identification and their management, and standardization of technology for hive products.

This is the only centre in the country where bumblebee rearing and its utilization in protected cultivation has been standardized.

he said.

Elaborating on the work done by the entomology department of the university, HOD Dr Divender Gupta told that the centre has been working for the overall upliftment of apiculture in the state with special emphasis on pollination management.

In addition, the centre has been providing specialized training on queen breeding and bee breeding to beekeepers from across the country including the north-east. 

In order to establish bee breeders, the scientists have been providing technical backup for production of quality queens for increasing honey production and pollination efficiency,

he added.

The award was given at the Biennial Group Meeting of AICRP (HB&P) organized by ICAR at the School of Agricultural Sciences and Rural Development, Nagaland University last week.

Dr PK Chakravarti, ADG ICAR conferred the award at the plenary session of the workshop in the presence of eminent apiculturist and former national coordinators of the AICRP (HB&P) Dr RK Thakur and Dr RC Mishra. Dr RK Thakur, who is currently serving as the Joint Director (Communication) at UHF also delivered the lead lecture during the event.

UHF VC Dr HC Sharma and Dean College of Horticulture Dr Rakesh Gupta congratulated the whole team for bringing laurels to the university.

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Misc News/Press Release

Kinnaur Avalanche: 4 Bodies Including 3 Jawans of Himachal recovered, 2 Still Missing

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Army jawans killed in avalanche in Kinnaur

Kinnaur-The search operation for the missing jawans of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, who were buried in an avalanche in Himachal Pradesh about three weeks ago, has entered its 20th day on Monday.

On February 20, 2019, an avalanche hit a patrolling party in Namgia Dogri region in Kinnaur district along the  Indo-Tibetan border. It swept away and buried six jawans of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles.

Bilaspur Jawan Rakesh Kumar Martyred in Avalanche
Bilaspur Jawan Rakesh Kumar Martyred in Avalanche

One of the jawans – Rakesh Kumar (41) of Bilaspur district – was rescued on the same day, but succumbed to injuries on the way to Pooh hospital.

The body of Rajesh Rishi (25), a native of Nalagarh sub-division of Solan district, was recovered on March 2. It was followed by recovery of another jawan Govind Bahadur Chhetri’s body on March 4. Govind hailed from West Bengal. 

On March 9, the search team recovered the body of Rifleman Nitin Rana (27). Nitin was cremated with state and military honour on March 10 in his native village Ritt in Jaisingpur of Kangra district.  His father is an ex-serviceman, and his brother is also serving in the Indian Army.

Three of the jawans martyred hailed from Himachal.

The search operation continues and the team is likely to find two more jawans soon.

In a separate incident, Amit Kumar (29)- a Garud Commando in special forces unit of the Indian Air Force – was killed during a parachute jump in Agra on March 7, 2019.  Amit belonged to village Bussal of Kangra district. 

Almost 500 jawans of Indian-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Army have been searching for the missing jawans since their disappearance. Villagers were also assisting in the operation. The teams are using everything from machinery, metal detectors, sniffer dogs to thermal sensing equipment to find the jawans.

A team of the Defense Research Development Organization(DRDO) also visited the site.

Meanwhile, the General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF), a wing of the Indian Army, has also deployed its machinery to remove snow.

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