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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.

Misc News/Press Release

IIT Roorkee Proposes Earthquake Early Warning System for Himachal

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Earthquake Early Warning System for Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Seismic hazard in Himachal Pradesh is very high as the maximum area of the state lies in the Himalayas, which is one of the most seismically active regions in the world. A developed Earthquake Early Warning System could be an effort in the direction to mitigate the seismic hazards in the state.

Therefore, IIT Roorkee has sent a proposal to the State Government to establish an Earthquake Early Warning System(EEW). IIT Roorkee has already installed such Earthquake Early Earning System in Uttarakhand with the help of State Government, which is running very effectively by generating a database of earthquake events, generating public awareness and detailed research on seismic activities.

According to IIT Roorkee’s proposal, Himachal Pradesh may put earthquake sensors in different parts of the State which will detect earthquake activities in real-time. The warning may be communicated to the general public by a network of sirens. If the earthquake has its epicentre in Kangra or Mandi regions, the people in the State Capital may get lead time to take action say by 30 to 35 seconds.

Similarly, the expected lead time to the major cities if 1905 Kangra earthquake repeats in the region would be Solan 42 seconds, Mandi 20 seconds, Dalhousie 8 seconds, Dehradun 77 seconds, Chandigarh 43 seconds, Ludhiana 37 seconds, Amritsar 38 seconds, Panipat 93 seconds and Delhi 123 seconds.

Timely action may save many lives if there is an earthquake in the State in future and such an early warning system is in place and institutionalized and such EEWS will help generating a database of earthquakes in the state and generating mass awareness on earthquake safety.

Regarding this proposal, a meeting to develop Earthquake Early Warning System in Himachal Pradesh was held under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management Onkar Chand Sharma today.

After detailed deliberations, Onkar Sharma said that the State Government may consider and more discussion will be held to take up this proposal.

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Misc News/Press Release

HP Excise and Taxation Department Collects Rs. 6421.55 crore in 2018-19 Financial Year: Govt

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HP Excise and Taxation Department tax collection for 2018-29

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Excise and Taxation department collected Rs. 6421.55 crores towards government ex-chequer during the financial year 2018-19 against the target of Rs. 5860.63 crores.   The department has collected Rs. 1159.74 crores up to May 2019 during current fiscal. This information was released by Principal Secretary (E&T) Sanjay Kundu.

Kundu stressed on the need to run special campaigns for the realization of arrears due under all heads so that more revenue could be added to government ex-chequer. He also directed to work for plugging loopholes and leakages at all levels.

While expressing concern over pending arrears, he directed the department to take a fresh look at the provisions of Excise and Toll policy to make it more effective and realistic to achieve and secure higher revenue. He exhorted to make the excise policy more tourist-friendly by amending the relevant provisions and also by securing the government revenue. 

He emphasized conducting intensive and adequate training programmes for capacity building and to emulate the best practices and models available in the country.

He directed that the department should adopt a more proactive approach for revenue enhancement under Goods & Services Tax Act. The departmental officers in the field should take more interest in tax collection from the service sector in co-ordination with various government departments.

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Campus Watch

HPU VC Faces Backlash After Varsity Releases PG Merit List Without Settling UG Results

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ABVP Protest at HPU against suspension 3

Shimla– The Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh Univesity, Sikander Kumar, is facing backlash from students after he made the varsity a laughing stock by releasing merits list for PG classes without completely declaring and settling results of UG classes.

Both student organisations, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Student Federation of India (SFI) are up in arms against the VC, alleging him of incompetence to handle the affairs of the varsity properly. Also, both students organizations have been alleging the varsity of irregularities in admissions to P.hD and MCA.  

The students are alleging that not only the dictatorial attitude of the VC mentally harassing thousands of students across the state but also harassing those students who are protesting against prevailing disorder and irregularities in the working of the authorities.

It’s pertinent to mention that the varsity on Thursday suspended 10 members of the ABVP for staging protest over delay and irregularities in the UG results due which students were facing huge inconvenience.

ABVP, during another protest on July 19, termed it a dictatorial and one-sided action aimed at suppressing the voices protesting against corruption and the harassments students were facing.

SFI also criticized this action of the varsity. Irrespective of the organization to which they belong, SFI condemns the suspension of these students who were protesting against prevailing disorder at the campus, said SFI campus secretary Jeevan Thakur.

Today, ABVP staged another protest over the suspension of its members at the campus in which students laid down on the ground pretending to be dead bodies, terming it a symbolic representation of the future of students.

ABVP Protest at HPU against suspension5

The students warned that a movement similar to JP Narayan of 1975 that was organized to end the emergency like situation would be re-created against VC’s dictatorship.  ABVP demanded to revoke the suspension of 10 students and properly declare the UG results. The organization warned that if the varsity does not accept these demands, a massive protest would be organized on July 22 – the foundation day of HPU. Chandel has warned that not even the Chief Minister would be allowed to enter the varsity campus on that day.

ABVP Protest at HPU against suspension6

SFI also alleged the current VC of adopting a completely dictatorial attitude towards students and raised questions over the working of the varsity authorities.

The varsity failed to settle the results of the sixth semester of UG classes by July 19. The students are compelled to visit the varsity themselves to get their results corrected. Moreover, without settling UG results, the varsity has released the merit lists of the entrance exams for PG classes, said SFI.

It said the VC is more concerned about protecting his staff responsible for creating disorder and indulging in corrupt practices. Letters with false allegations against them were being sent to the parents of those students who were taking part in protests, which is leading to mental harassment of both students and parents, SFI alleged.

Students are being treated like captives in hostels. Even 24×7 library was made inaccessible to students. The inter-hostel outing in girl hostels was also suspended, said SFI.

The campus president of SFI Vikram Thakur alleged that the varsity is consistently depriving students of their democratic rights. He urged the students to unite in order to end this dictatorial attitude of the VC.

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