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Himachal braveheart among 40 CRPF jawans martyred in Pulwama attack

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Himachal CRPF Jawan Tilak Raj of Kangra

Kangra- The 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force martyred in Pulwama, Jammu & Kashmir, in one of the most ghastly terror attacks also included a braveheart of Himachal Pradesh.

Tilak Raj, 32, hailed from Dhewa village in Jawali area of the Kangra district. He was survived by wife and two sons. His second son is only 22 days old. He had returned to join the duty on February 11, 2019, after attending the birth of his second baby.

The family was left heartbroken as the news of his martyrdom reached them. The villagers were visiting his house to consol the grieving family.    

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur expressed grief over the departure of all Jawans. He announced a compensation of Rs. 20 lakh to the family of martyr Tilakraj.

Tilakraj was a talented man, a good singer, and an athlete. He had written, sung, and released some of the songs. Some songs like Neelam Gaddan, Pyari Monika, Apne Ghar are also available on his YouTube channel Tilak Shanu Productions.

The entire nation was shocked when the news of the attack broke out yesterday evening. A suicide bomber reportedly rammed an SUV loaded with over 300 kg of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) into the vehicles of the CRPF convey.

The anguish against terror groups as well as Pakistan broke out in India and several foreign nations also condemned this despicable act.  Hashtags seeking revenge were trending on social media. 

The terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), founded by Masood Azhar, and claimed the responsibility for the attack. The suicide bomber who rammed the explosive-laden SUV into the convoy was identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, also known as Adil Ahmad Gaadi Takranewala. He was a resident of Gundibagh village in Pulwama district of South Kashmir 

Governor Acharya Devvrat also expressed deep grief over the attack. The Governor also called off the dinner to be organised on Friday evening at Raj Bhawan for the Members of the state Assembly.

Statement of HP Chief Minister

Expressing his grief, the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government would provide all possible assistance to the bereaved family members of the martyr Tilak Raj. He said that this incident was a very unfortunate and cowardly act by the militants and that those involved in this incident would not go unpunished. 

Statement of Prime Minister

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that perpetrators of Pulwama terror attack act will be punished. He has warned the perpetrators and those aiding and abetting terrorists that they have made a big mistake and will have to pay a heavy price. Stating that free hand has been given to the security forces to act, PM dared Pakistan not to live in the illusion that it can destabilize India.

Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the leaders of the opposition, Indian National Congress, said they stand with the government amid this dreadful terror attack.

With this attack, several questions are being raised over the failure of the Intelligence Agencies and State Police. About 2500 jawans were travelling in a convoy of 70 vehicles, which was not a usual protocol. 

The State Police or surveillance agencies had no clue that such a massive amount of explosives was present in an SUV, which managed to get on the road and ram into the convey.

At the same time, it’s worth pointing out that contamination of the working culture of the Defense sector with politics is also responsible for inciting terrorist groups.

After the militant attack in Uri in 2016 in which 19 jawans were martyred, politicians marketed the surgical strike of the Indian armed forces like a product for image building. Some veterans of the armed forces and political leaders had also asserted that information related to such operations should not be publicized.  Sadly, the valour of the armed forces was exploited for political gains.   

The government even started observing Surgical Strike Day. There was an effort to send a message that the victims of the Uri attack were avenged and that terrorists were hit and afraid.  It was obvious that terrorist groups would react to it with bigger, more damaging attack whenever they would receive any opportunity.  

Currently, as a response to the attack, India on Friday announced that it had decided to withdraw the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status granted to Pakistan and would take all possible steps to isolate the country at the international level. 

A curfew was imposed in the affected region and teams of the NIA and NSG were on their way to visit the spot of the attack. Some suspects were also detained in relation to the attack.

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4,145 New Covid Cases, 56 Deaths in 24-Hours; HP Govt Forms Paediatric Task Force to Tackle Third Wave

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covid himachal

Shimla-The death toll in Himachal Pradesh climbed to 2,241 on Saturday after 56 Covid patients lost their lives in the last 24-hours. Meanwhile, 4,145 new cases of infection were reported on Saturday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 1,57,862 according to official data released by the state.

Kangra district reported the highest casualties with 19 deaths, while in Shimla, 15 patients died of severe symptoms of coronavirus. 13 patients who lost their lives were below the age of 50.

Daily Covid testing on Saturday reached 15,461, out of which test results of 1,876 samples remain awaited.  According to the state health department, 17,12,566 people have received their first dose of vaccine till Saturday, while 4,34,307 people across the state have received both doses of Covid vaccine.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 15, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

daily cases in himachal

As the rate of new cases and fatality remains high, the corona curfew in Himachal Pradesh has been extended till May 26 after a meeting of the state government cabinet was held on Saturday. The state also announced some rules and provisions to curb the spread of infection in the state. Medical Colleges, Zonal and Regional Hospitals, and hospitals with a bed capacity of 200 and above were allowed to hire vans to carry dead bodies. Weddings in the state are now only to take place in residences or courts, with a maximum gathering of 20 people.

The state government also held a high-level meeting on Saturday to constitute a Paediatric Task Force to tackle the anticipated third wave. According to reports, the third wave will most likely affect children and teenagers. Earlier this month, the principal scientific adviser to the central government, K VijayRaghavan, had said at a briefing that the high levels of the virus meant “a phase 3 is inevitable.”

The Paediatric Task Force would study the availability of medical infrastructure in various Pediatric Intensive Care Units, Neonatal Intensive Care Units, Sick Newborn Care Units, and Newborn Stabilization Units, to formulate plans for augmentation of machinery, equipment, and Human Resources.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths for May 15, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

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HP Cabinet Decisions: Curfew in Himachal Extended, Free Wood for Cremation, Marriages Allowed Only in Homes or Courts

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hp cabinet decision may 2021

Shimla-Corona Curfew in Himachal Pradesh has been extended further till May 26 as the state has witnessed no respite in a surge in daily Covid-19. The decision was taken after a meeting of the HP Government Cabinet today.

To check the exodus of labourers and workers all the shops dealing with construction materials would also remain open on Tuesday and Friday a week for three hours.

The Cabinet also decided to allow hiring dead body vans to all the Medical Colleges and Zonal and Regional Hospitals and hospitals with a bed capacity of 200 and above.  The forest department would provide free wood for the cremation of corona deceased where forest rights are enforced. The forest corporation would provide fuelwood in other areas. All the MCs would be allowed to hire dead body vans.

The Cabinet also decided that no marriages would be allowed to hire marriage palaces, community halls and tent houses and outside catering and DJ/Band. Marriage would be only held in houses or Courts with the restriction of 20 persons. There will also be no procession of Barat.

The Cabinet gave its consent to fill up 219 posts of different categories on a contract basis under the National Health Mission in the State to provide better health care facilities to the people.

The Cabinet also gave its nod to procure CT Scan 128 slice and MRI 1.5 Tesla Machines worth Rs. 20 crore in Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru Government Medical College, Chamba to facilitate the people.

It accorded its approval its ex-post-facto permission to the executing agency of Makeshift Covid-19 Hospital at Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Medical College, Ner Chowk Mandi to include construction of one labour room and one operation theatre etc. to facilitate the people.

It also decided to open Health Sub Centre at Sartyaula in Mandi district alongwith creation of requisite posts to man the Sub Centre.

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Himachal’s Distressed Tourism Industry Stakeholders Write to CM Jairam Thakur, Seeks Financial Package

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Himachal Pradesh Hoteliers Association to hp govt

Shimla-Tourism Industry Stake Holders Association on Friday wrote a letter to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur seeking financial aid from the state government to save the industry amid COVID-19 resurgence. They also highlighted the shared plight of hotels and restaurants falling in debt and failing to provide for the expenses.

“Since the beginning of last year, hotel industry continues to take hits due to the coronavirus. A seven-to-eight-month long lockdown in the entire country affected industry stakeholders. Tourism industry appeared to have revived in the month of October and expectations were high for the next tourist season” the association said.

Several hoteliers and restaurants had spent on maintenance hoping for a good season this year. But since most of the states have now imposed lockdowns, all hopes were dashed to the ground and the industry is facing a huge financial crisis.

The tourism units are not able to pay the interest and EMI of loans raised by them due to loss faced by the industry for the consecutive second year. The stakeholders fearthat  the loan raised by them may slip to NPA

The Association said that hoteliers and businessmen involved in the hospitality industry did not receive any relief from the government and managed their units/services by spending from savings or by raising loans.

The units have somehow managed to pay salaries and other expenses for the April month, the association said, but expressed inability to do so for the May month as the working capital has dropped to zero.

Mohinder Seth, President, Tourism Industry Stake Holders Association, has written to the Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India and Governor, RBI, requesting for the deferment of loans and to save the loans from becoming NPA.

Seth has also requested the central government to provide Himachal Pradesh’s tourism industry with a financial package to deal with the devastation caused by the second wave of COVID-19.

“We support the measures taken by the government to break the chain of coronavirus. If the government plans on extending the lockdown to seventeen more days, we will support the decision because we understand the need to save people’s life is important. Similarly, it is important to save the industry – source of employment to lakhs of people. We request honorable CM to extend financial aid to the industry stakeholders,” Mohinder Seth concluded.

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