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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. 

Election Watch

In Himachal, Over 50 Lakh Voters to Cast Vote in 7730 Polling Stations on May 19

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Polling in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla– Over fifty lakh voters are set to vote in 7730 polling stations in four parliamentary constituencies of Himachal Pradesh in the last phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha election on May 19.

Talking about the poll preparations, Additional Chief Electoral Officer DK Rattan said, “53,30,154 voters will vote in 7730 polling stations on May 19. 373 polling stations are critical, 47 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed there.

It’s being ensured that voting takes place peacefully at all polling stations. Rattan said that polling agents have either reached their respective polling stations or are on their way

“Polling party for the remote, tribal polling station at Bara Bhangal in Kangra district was sent on May 15. In Shimla’s Dodra Kawar, teams and material were sent for seven polling stations on May 16,”

he said

“In Lahaul Spiti district, the polling station has been set at an altitude of 15,256 feet at Tashigang. This is the world’s highest polling station,”

he added. (ANI)

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Campus Watch

Nauni Varsity Scholar Selected for World Congress on Agroforestry 2019, France

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Krishan Lal Gautam of UHF Nauni in France

Solan: Krishan Lal Gautam, a doctorate student of Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has been selected to give a poster presentation at the 4th World Congress on Agroforestry, being held in Montpellier, France from 20-22 May 2019.

Based on the abstract the scientific committee of the Congress has selected Krishan Lal for receiving 1921 euros grant for attending the event. This includes 340 euros for registration and other fees while another 1,481 euros is being paid to facilitate travel, accommodation, visa and living expenses.

Krishan Lal has completed his B Sc (Hons) Forestry and M Sc Agroforestry from UHF. He is presently pursuing his doctorate in Agroforestry from the university. The title of the poster presentation is ‘Effect of different types of organic manure on the production of Lepidium sativum under Morus based agroforestry system’.

Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice-Chancellor said that it was a great achievement for a student to be selected for an international academic event of such high repute. He hoped that Krishan Lal will not only represent the institution but also shine at the event. The Dean College of Forestry and the faculty also wished him success at the event.

The 4th World Congress on Agroforestry will see the participation of more than 1000 delegates and leading keynote speakers from all over the world to address a wide range of key agroforestry research issues. It will gather facts and figures from developing and developed countries and support a collaborative effort with broad social participation. Special attention will be given to vulnerable countries and populations.

The overall objective of the Congress is to contribute to the progress of agroforestry science and practice in order to bridge the science-policy gap. Some of the topics which will be covered during the congress are agroforestry and climate change, agroforestry, food security and nutrition, adoption of agroforestry, agroforestry policies etc.

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Misc News/Press Release

Shimla Rape Case: An Eyewitness Confirms Part of Victim’s Statement

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Update on Shimla Rape Case Victim

Shimla-The alleged case of rape with a 19-year-old in Shimla’s Bhattakufar area has become more complicated as an eyewitness confirmed a part of the victim’s statement given to police. As per reports, this eyewitness, in his statement, told police that he was parking his car on that night (28 April) when this girl came to him rushing and asking for help.

“He claimed the 19-year-old was in a semi-nude condition and was begging for help when he came across her near the Hill Grove on the Dhalli-Bhattakufar road,”

reported News 18

She was so scared that she tried to enter his car, he said. She asked him about the name of the location. The eyewitness told her that it was Hill Groove.

This eyewitness said he told the girl to not to worry and even told her that he would call her wife if that makes her feel safe.

A few minutes later, the eyewitness told the police, two persons came on a bike. One of the boys gave his shirt to the girl and took her with him. The eyewitness also gave initials of the bike number, and said he could not remember the complete number as it was dark.

The eyewitness also identified the boy in front of police later.

The police also questioned the boy, who is said to be a friend of the girl. As per the boy, he later provided the girl with his sister’s clothes. The sister of the boy also confirmed the same, said a Hindi Daily.

The eyewitness said that on reaching home he had told about this incident to his wife as well.

Sources said the girl had mentioned in her complaint seeking help from a man after she was allegedly raped, which has been now confirmed. The girl had made a call to his friend and on the Gudiya helpline between 9:20 PM and 10 PM. Police has not revealed any further details about the call records of the girl’s phone.

However, the appearance of this eyewitness has raised questions over the claim of the police that the girl’s statement was not matching with its findings.

Earlier, police had claimed that CCTV footages of about 1.5 km area concerned to the alleged crime did not corroborate with the girl’s statement regarding kidnap. Also, police had claimed that the girl had withdrawn her statement and denied her own allegations in her statement given before the magistrate under CrPC 164.

As a contrast to it, now police said a sketch of the accused have been prepared on the description given by the girl.

The report of the second opinion on medical examination of the girl has not been made public yet.

The report of the magisterial probe into the role of Lakkar Bazaar police that was to be submitted by Thursday evening has also been delayed.

As per the English Daily The Tribune, police have questioned about 70 persons in connection to the alleged crime.

“The girl had said the accused was not known to her and was in his early 30s, wore specs and had a mole on his lower lip.

the Daily reported.

So far, police is clueless about unidentified accused.

Another striking aspect related to the case is that the family of the victim has not given any statement so far.

Family of Victim Under Pressure from BJP Govt in Haryana: Rathor

On the other hand, the President of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee, Kuldeep Rathor, in a press conference in Solan district on Thursday claimed, the family of the girl was being pressurized to hush-up the matter. He alleged that he has received this information from credible sources. As the girl hails from Haryana, and BJP is in power in both Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, her family was pressurized to not speak of it. This is the reason that after filing an FIR, the girl had to withdraw her statement, he alleged.

Rathor has also demanded a judicial probe under the supervision of the State High Court for a fair investigation.  

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