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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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Season’s First Spell of Snow in Shimla, Manali, Cold Wave Intensifies Across State

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Snowfall in Shimla and Manali 2019

Shimla-Manali and Shimla received the first spell of snow in this season on Thursday. Tourist destinations like Kufri, Narkanda, Kharapather, Kotkhai etc were covered in snow.

The Rampur-Shimla Highway was closed to traffic after snow piled up. The traffic on this route was re-routed through Basantpur. About 20 routes in the upper Shimla region, including Chaupal and Rohru, are also hit by snow. 

After some minor accidents were reported, Shimla Police has requested drivers to be careful while driving in snowy conditions.

Drive Carefully! With season's first spell of snow, roads in #Shimla became riskier to drive. On Thursday morning, an…

โพสต์โดย Himachal Watcher เมื่อ วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 12 ธันวาคม 2019

Another popular tourist destination of the state, Manali, also received the first spell of snow in this season, cheering the hospitality industry. Solang Nala and Gulaba received about one foot of snow, while Marhi received two feet. Rohtang Pass has received over three feet of snow. All traffic on Rohtang Pass and Solang Nala routes was stopped near Nehrukund. Snow has hit traffic movement and electricity supply in some parts of Manali.

Other than these destinations, Lahaul-Spiti, Pangi, and Kinnaur were also disconnected from the rest of the state due to snow. Over 75 routes across Himachal were hit by snow.

Some parts of Sirmaur including Churdhar and higher reaches of Mandi district, including Shikari Devi and Kamarunag, also received a spell of snow. 
Shimla city and plains witnessed rain since morning.

The cold wave has intensified in the state with the ongoing spell of snow and rain. The Himachal Pradesh met department has predicted more snowfall on December 13. The Met on Wednesday had issued a yellow weather warning for 12th and 13th December with a prediction of rain and snow in most places across the state.

The Met has predicted that the state could receive more snow and rain till December 15, which would further intensify cold wave.

Weather Prediction for Himachal Pradesh 2019

Source: HP Met

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Missing Youth Case: Friend to Face Polygraph Test, Family Questions Police Investigation

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Missing Shimla Youth Shubham

Shimla-In the case related to the disappearance of Shubham, a local of Shimla’s Rohru, his arrested friend, Puneet, will go through a polygraph test. It was informed by an official of the Shimla Police on Tuesday.

After local police remained clueless in the case, a plea was submitted to a court seeking permission to conduct polygraph test on the suspect. The court has granted permission, the official informed.

The family of the missing youth is now raising questions over the investigation. They expressed a possibility that police could be working under some kind of pressure.

After 11 days of Shubham’s disappearance, the district police has revealed new details, which are obtained by questioning the suspect. Following the dissatisfaction expressed by the family, the SP has announced formation of a Special Investigation Team to investigate the case. The district police has already announced reward for anyone who would provide information related to Shubham.

As per the statement by the Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Ompati Jamwal, search operations are being conducted under the supervision of the DSP, Theog.  Daily 25-40 police personnel have been searching the area from where Shubham had gone missing. He also said that dog squad and drones were being used in the search operation.

Shubham had left with his friends to attend a car rally. His friend, Puneet had asked Shubham to photograph him during the rally. They were returning to Jubbal from Deha when Subham went missing.

“According to the version given by Puneet (to the police), along with 15 other youth, they had stayed at some house and had consumed liquor. After they left the house, Puneet stopped the vehicle (Gypsy) somewhere in Deha as Subham said he wanted to vomit. Subham got out of the car,”

SP Jamwal told media.

“Puneet said he fell asleep, and when he woke up, Shubham had not returned,”

Jamwal said. However, Jamwal said this information is based only on initial investigation and claims of the suspect were yet to be confirmed.

Father of Shubham, Krishan Chand, has expressed suspicion on Puneet. On Monday, the disheartened father of the missing youth held a press conference in Shimla where he burst into tears.

“I am sure that Puneet is behind all this, and he knows about my son,”

the father told media.

“The entire area is a jungle. For the last 10 days, over 100 people along with 60-70 locals from Deha village have been searching the area. We did not find anything. Still, the police is only searching the same area every day,”

the father said.

“I request the government to find my son. No matter in what condition, but find him soon,”

he said.

The SP hoped that a polygraph test would help crack the case. The test could be conducted within this week.

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Snowfall, Rain Predicted in Himachal, Yellow Warning Issued for 12, 13 Dec

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Snowfall in shimla and kullu manali in december 2019

Shimla– At least seven districts of Himachal Pradesh are likely to witnesses snowfall and rain till 16 December 2019.  The Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department, Shimla, has issued a yellow-coded weather warning for 12 and 13 December. The warning is issued for Mandi, Shimla, Kullu, Sirmaur, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts.

Rain and thundershowers are predicted at most places in the plains and rain/snow in Middle Hills on 12 December. For Higher Hills, the Met predicts rain/snow in most places.

On 13 December, widespread rain/snowfall is predicted in Middle and Higher Hills. Plains are likely to receive widespread rain.

snowfall in shimla and kullu in december 2019

Source: HP Met

Further, Met dept. predicts rain/snow in Middle and Higher Hills at isolated places from 14-16 December. The weather is likely to remain dry on 15 and 16 December in the plains.

Following the prediction of the Met Department, District Administration, Shimla, has issued an advisory requesting trekkers and locals to avoid going to higher reaches of the district on 12 and 13 December. The administration said Narkanda, Kharapathar, Kufri could receive snow on the said dates.

The district administration said it is prepared to keep roads open in case of snow.

The temperature is likely to drop, intensifying the cold condition across the state.

It is important to note that Rohtang Pass remains closed to traffic and locals are left to cross the pass on foot. The locals complained that the only link between Lahaul-Spiti and Kullu in winters is the Rohtang Tunnel, which is non-functional, and no helicopter flights are being provided.

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