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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. 

Campus Watch

As major achievement, Nauni varsity scientists bag International project on oilseed research

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Nauni varsity scientists bags international project

Solan: Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, was in news last week after Jagriti Thakur, a research scholar at the varsity, won US-based International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Scholar Award for the year 2018.

This week, in a major achievement, the scientists of Department of Plant Pathology at the UHF, have bagged an International collaborative project on developing cutting-edge technology for inducing biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in mustard rape for economic and environmental sustainability.

The University will work with nine leading research organisations of the country besides seven renowned research institutes of United Kingdom in the project. The three-year project has a total budget outlay of more than Rs 7.27 crore as Indian component, which will be distributed to the 10 Indian institutes, which are part of the project. Each Indian institute will work on a different aspect of the project with a researcher working on the same area in the UK.

The project has been sanctioned under the prestigious NEWTON BHABHA Fund UK- India Pulses and Oilseed Research Initiative (PORI). The fund has been created by BBSRC of the Government of the United Kingdom and the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, GoI.

BBSRC which is a part of UK Research and Innovation, a body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations and government for promoting research and innovation is also making upto £3.5 million available to support the UK components of this research.

Dr HR Gautam, Professor and Head of Department of Plant Pathology informed that Dr Anil Handa, Professor of Plant Pathology will be the Principal Investigator and coordinator of this project while Dr Rajnish Sharma working in the Department of Biotechnology will act as the Co-Investigator.

He added that this achievement is one of the cherished moments in 55 years history of the department. Dr JN Sharma, UHF Director of Research, said that the University is making continuous efforts to get projects from various funding agencies and engage in collaborative work to strengthen the research capabilities and infrastructure.

India is one of the major producers and consumers of oilseeds crops in the world. The university scientists will work on ‘Genomics-led improvement of biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in mustard rape for economic and environmental sustainability’ by utilizing state-of-art advanced molecular approaches like CRISPER/Cas9 for mapping the genes conferring resistance to turnip mosaic virus (TuMV).

UHF Nauni Lab

The Plant Virology laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology

The Plant Virology laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology is an internationally acclaimed laboratory and has facilities for conducting molecular level research for determining the genetic diversity of TuMV in Northern India and developing a panel of Indian TuMV isolates for evaluating European and Indian sources of resistance.

Besides Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, the University of Delhi, South Campus; NIPGR, New Delhi; NBPGR, New Delhi; NRCPB, New Delhi; IARI, New Delhi; PAU, Ludhiana; CAZRI, Jodhpur; DRMR, Bharatpur and IIT Kharagpur will be a part of the project. The University of York, University of Hertfordshire, University of Warwick, University of Essex, Earlham Institute and Rothamsted Research will be the investigators from the United Kingdom.

While congratulating the scientists, UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr HC Sharma said that the project will go a long way in using the latest techniques in biotechnology for disease management to increase the productivity of oilseed crops. This project will also help train our students in using molecular markers for crop improvement.

Through this collaborative project, efforts are being made to encourage multi-institutional collaborations between UK and Indian researchers to undertake high-quality research aimed at increasing crop productivity, resilience, sustainability and quality of pulses and oilseeds grown for food or feed in India. Pulses and oilseeds are important crops in India.

Pulses are relatively under-used crops in the UK but are a major source of dietary protein in India. Oilseeds are grown in both countries and are a valuable source of oil for a variety of uses, as well as animal feed. This collaborative project aims to develop exploit genomic and bioinformatic resources to aid the development of improved varieties for sustainable crop production.

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MoU to construct Naina Devi-Anandpur Sahib ropeway signed

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naina devi-anandpur sahib ropeway mou signed

Shimla: A Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) to build ropeway between Shri Naina Devi and Shri Anandpur Sahib was signed by Additional Chief Secretary Tourism Ram Subhag Singh, Himachal Pradesh and Secretary Tourism Punjab Vikas Pratap Singh, in Chandigarh today.

The MOU in the presence of Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and his Punjab counterpart Captain Amrinder Singh.

This ropeway will be constructed by Shri Naina Devi and Sri Anandpur Sahib Ji Ropeway Company Pvt Ltd with an estimated cost of Rs. 210 crores. The ropeway would cover a distance of 3.5 km.

A 10-member Board of Directors would be formed, and each government would nominate five members. The Chairman of the Board of Directors would be nominated by the Punjab government and the Managing Director would be appointed by the Himachal government. Both the governments will deposit 50 Lakhs each as an initial investment.

Chief Minister said that the lower terminal of this project would be at Rampur near Shri Anandpur Sahib, the Intermediate station will be at Toba in Himachal and the upper terminal point would be at Shri Naina Devi. The tourism departments of both the states would work as nodal agencies for this work.

The Tourism and Local Bodies Ministers Navjot Singh Sidhu said that inking of MoU by both the Chief Ministers on the auspicious birthday of Sheed-e- Azam Bhagat Singh is a big gift to the mankind.

In 2012-13, the efforts were made to build this ropeway and 14 acres of land was also acquired for this but due to some circumstances, the work could not be completed.

Naina Devi is one of the 52 famous Shakti Peethas of the country and is one of the most prominent religious places for not only the peoples of the country but the entire world. Likewise, Shri Anandpur Sahib is also a prominent international the religious place.

This project would boost the tourism sector in both the states alongwith strengthening the bond between two states besides facilitating the devotees visiting these two religious places.

It was informed that 80 percent pilgrims come to Shri Naina Devi from Punjab and during last one year, 20 Lakh devotees paid their obeisance in this Shakti Peeth.

The Chief Minister informed that for the construction of this impending ropeway, the matter had been taken up with his Punjab counterpart Captain Amarinder Singh on February 26, 2018.

The Chief Minister of Punjab said that with the construction of this ropeway the pilgrims of Punjab would get rid of the difficulty in reaching Shri Naina Devi.

He said that people of both the states would like to see this project completed at earliest and three year’s time frame has been fixed for its completion.

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Himachal suffers Rs. 1479 crore losses in 4 days alone, Centre releases Rs. 122 crore for rehabilitation

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Monsoon losses in Himachal pradesh in 2018

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh has suffered losses of about Rs. 1479 crore and during the last four days alone. Five choppers of Indian Air Force had been pressed into service to evacuate the stranded tourists and local people.

Chief Minister, who chaired a review meeting today, informed that the Centre Government has released Rs. 122 crore as the first instalment for the State for undertaking immediate rehabilitation measures.

himachal cm in meeting

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur during meeting held today

Over one thousand people have been rescued from Lahaul valley out of these 147 have been airlifted and remaining have been evacuated by road.

He said the road would be cleared upto Baralacha by this evening. All the rescued people were being taken for medical examinations. Efforts were being made to restore communication network in Lahaul valley.

He directed the officers to ensure adequate availability of essential commodities in the valley. He said that a team of BSNL would visit Sisu today for the restoration of communication in the area. The Government has assured all possible help to the BSNL in restoration work.

Out of 18 towers of BSNL in the valley, seven were working properly.

It was informed in the meeting that 18000-litre petrol and 27000-litre diesel was made available. LPG and other food items were also in sufficient quantity. It was informed in the meeting that water Supply to Manali has been restored and Lahaul valley was also almost restored.

Till the electricity supply was restored in the valley, efforts would be made to provide solar lamps and lights to the people, it was informed. Small transformers would be airlifted from Kullu to replace damaged transformers.

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