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Shimla Rape Case: SIT Formed, Magisterial Probe Ordered Over Alleged Police Inaction

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Rape in shimla in moving car

Shimla-In the case related to alleged kidnapping and rape of a 19-year old girl near Sanjauli of Shimla city, the Director General of Police R.S. Mardi has formed a Special Investigation Team comprising of seven members. The Chief Minister Jairam Thakur has also ordered a magisterial probe into allegations against police officials of Lakkar Bazaar Police Post for not taking action on the complaint of the victim.

The matter was registered last evening, the investigation has begun. It’s a very unfortunate incident, should’ve never happened. I’ve directed to take the strictest action in this matter. The girl is recording her statement before Judicial Magistrate.

the Chief Minister told ANI.

The investigation by the SIT will be monitored by the Deputy Inspector General (Southern Range) and Superintendent of Police, Shimla, on a daily basis. Further, the DGP said the investigation will be done on a priority basis.

The SIT will be headed by Additional Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Praveer Thakur and will include ASP Abhishek Yadav, DSP City Yogesh Joshi, SHO Dhalli PS Raj Kumar, Sub-Inspector Dimple, Assistant Sub-Inspector Dayawanti of Mahila Police Thana, Assistant Sub-Inspector Ranjana and Assistant Sub-Inspector Rajeev Kumar.

The Magisterial probe will be conducted by Additional District Magistrate, Shimla, Prabha Rajeev. The ADM has been asked to submit a report the probe within 24 hours.

Further, as per reports, statement of the victim was also recorded before the Judicial Magistrate under CRPC 164.

As per the FIR filed at Dhalli Police Station, the victim said she had tried to file a complaint at Lakkar Bazaar police post. However, despite the fact that it was night time, she was told to go to Dhalli Police Station. While she was on her way to Dhalli, she was forcefully dragged into a car by some men and raped.  The girl recognized these men because they had molested her earlier.

With this statement, the State Police’s alleged dereliction of duty has come under the scanner.  If the allegations proved to be true, then it would mean that this crime would have been easily preventable if she was attended appropriately.

The police, however, claims that there were gaps in the statement given by the victim. So far, only partial details were released by police.

The Chief Minister said the State Government is serious about maintaining law and order in the State and action would be taken at the earliest against those involved in this crime. Sensing unrest in public and criticism from oppositions, the CM has begun to ask the parties to not politicize it.

Further, after the initial medical examination of the victim at Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Shimla, more tests were conducted at the Kamala Nehru Hospital. As per reports, the first examination had confirmed rape while findings of the second examination were not released.

Opposition Stages Protest, CPI(M) Warns of Public Protest

Along with the general public, the opposition Congress and Communist Party of India launched an attack on the State Government over worsening law and order situation in the State. Congress also staged a protest and alleged that the current government was seeking votes in the name of Gudiya Helpline, claiming that women were now safer. Congress said this crime has revealed the ground reality of the government’s claims.

Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee also submitted a memorandum to the President through Governor of the state demanding the dismissal of the state government.

Sanjay Chauhan, a senior leader of State Unit of CPI(M) also expressed concern over such heinous crime in the city and said that it raises serious questions over the law and order situation in Devbhoomi known for its peaceful environment.

He further alleged that the number of crimes against women has witnessed a rise and the government has failed to deter criminals. He also said that after Gudiya rape and murder case, then Congress government had to face the consequences and was thrown out of power by the people. He alleged that the failure of investigation agencies to bring culprits to justice is only encouraging criminals.

He warned of public protest if proper and timely action was not taken against culprits. He also demanded appropriate compensation to the victim.

On Tuesday, the BJP Mahila Morcha also submitted a memorandum to the Shimla Deputy Commissioner Rajeshwar Goel demanding swift action.

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CM Jairam Thakur Tests Positive for COVID-19, Quarantined

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HImachal Pradesh CM Tests Positive for COVID-19

Shimla-Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur, have tested positive for COVID-19 and has been quarantined at his official residence. The report was confirmed by the Chief Minister through a tweet in which he informed that he was under quarantine at his residence after coming into contact with a COVID-19 positive person. On the appearance of symptoms, he got himself tested and the report was found to be positive, he informed.

According to the initial report, the Chief Minister had come in contact with some COVID-19 positive persons in Manali. MLA of Banjar, Surinder Shourie, who was positive for COVID-19 had participated in the event organized on the occasion of the inauguration of Rohtang Tunnel, had also tested positive. Shourie had spent the entire day with the Chief Minister, reports said.

His private secretary had also tested positive, and there are chances that the Chief Minister might have contracted the infection from him. However, there is no certainty regarding the contact who infected the Chief Minister.

Other than Chief Minister, three Cabinet ministers – Urban Development Minister Suresh Bharadwaj, Power Minister Sukh Ram Chaudhary, Jalshakti Minister Mahender Singh- have tested positive so far.  Over ten MLAs have already tested positive and some of them have recovered too.

Meanwhile, despite community spread, the testing and tracing seem to have fallen and the fatality rate has witnessed a steep rise. Till 12 pm today, the COVID-19 death tally for the state was 245, and the total number of cases registered was 17414. But these are official statistics and these numbers are likely to be much higher. 

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Himachal: COVID-19 Kills 59 in 9 Days, Govt Still Clueless About Actual Number of Cases

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Himachal PRadesh Jairam Thakur

Shimla-COVID-19 continue to wreak havoc in Himachal Pradesh as the death tally spirals upward rapidly. Currently, 240 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19. Fifty nine of these deaths have been reported during the last nine days of October month, which is quite alarming. But contrary to that, the attitude of the state government, as well as, the public is becoming more casual. The SOPs issued by the government are hardly being followed anywhere. The fact that with the community spread, the cases of COVID-19 are falling in the official information released by the state Health Department.

On October 9, the Department traced only 199 cases but reported seven deaths. The total number of active cases was cited to be 2856. The deceased included three females and four males aged between 49 -75 years. View details of the deceased in the below-given table:

Shimla-covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh

The total number of cases, as per the official statistics, had reached 16977 till yesterday evening (9 PM). But these are official statistics and the real number is likely to be much higher due to a community spread. Similarly, the actual number of COVID-19 deaths could be higher than the official statistics. Despite it, the state government is reluctant to release any projection regarding the real numbers. No statements have been issued regarding the current situation and strategy to combat the rising fatality rate. Rather, the state appears to be refraining from bringing up the matter.

The oppositions, HP Congress and CPI (M), are targeting the government over its failure to combat the spread of COVID-19. However, this opposition is quite feeble and hasn’t resulted in any reforms in the attitude of the government.

In a statement to media, Sanjay Chauhan, former Mayor of Shimla and a senior CPI (M) leader, said that the rise in fatalities is the result of the government’s lackadaisical attitude. The suicide committed by a positive patient at the DDU COVID-19 hospital is evidence of it, he said. He said this approach has endangered health lives of ministers, officials, and the staff at their offices. Further, he said, health staff, paramedical staff, and police staff are getting infected, and even losing lives due to the government’s unpreparedness.  The government had even compromised the safety of the Prime Minister and Education Minister by violating norms set regarding COVID-19, he said.

HP Congress chief, Kuldeep Rathor also expressed shock over the presence of COVID-19 positive MLA of Banjar, Surender Shourie, in the event organized for the PM. He alleged that by violating all norms, the MLA concealed information regarding his COVID-19 positive status and did not quarantine himself, which reflects the state government’s attitude toward management of the corona pandemic. He had demanded registration of an FIR against Shourie and action against erring officials.

Sanjay Chauhan, further said that the government did not prepare itself to combat the pandemic the way it was expected to. The people of the state had followed the lockdown and sacrificed their livelihood with a hope that the government would prepare itself during this period to combat the spread and to strengthen the health infrastructure and services. But instead, the government indulged itself in making people clap and beat ‘thalis’.  The Chief Minister adopted and preached unscientific practices like performing a ‘havan’.  Despite a steep rise in fatalities, the government is still not serious about the situation, he said. 

He said the CPI (M) demands that the government starts working on war footing to prepare a strategy by involving health experts, strengthening the health services by recruiting doctors, para-medical and other staff, and constitute a task force to deal with the situation. The government should work diligently on following the norms set for prevention from COVID-19, he added.  

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Shocker for Himachal as Ex-CBI Chief & Governor Ashwani Kumar Found Dead at His Shimla Residence

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Himachal IPS Officer Ashwani Kumar found deat in shimla

Shimla-Ashwani Kumar – 1973 IPS officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre who had served as the Director-General of HP Police (2006-2008) and CBI chief (August 2008 to November 2010), and was later appointed the Governor of Nagaland in 2013-was found dead at his residence in Shimla on Wednesday evening. The news came as a shocker as Kumar was considered as one of India’s finest and honest officers.

Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Mohit Chawala, in statement to news agencies, confirmed the report. According to the initial report, he reportedly hanged himself and ended his life. However, no formal statement was issued regarding the suicide. According to the police, a suicide note was also recovered from the spot. However, the note was yet to be verified.

Kumar was a well known name as he had dealt with famous cases including that of Arushi Talwar murder and fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in which current Home Minister Amit Shah was arrested in 2010.

He was one of the first appointees made to resign from the post of Governor, Nagaland, as soon as the current ruling party came into power in 2014. He also remained Governor of Manipur for a short period of time. After his retirement, Kumar was serving as the Vice-Chancellor of a private university in Shimla.

The officials who have served under Aswani Kumar have expressed shock over his demise in such a manner. 

Director-General of Police, Sanjay Kundu, and a team of medical staff was rushed to the spot. More details are awaited as the district police have not issued any formal statement regarding the incident.

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