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Rumours of Child-lifter Gangs in Himachal Continue to Create Panic, Leading to Unnecessary Violence



Child-lifter gang in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Rumours of child-lifter gangs in Himachal Pradesh has created panic among the public and are causing huge law and order trouble for the police. These rumours are leading to unnecessary violence. Several incidents have been reported from districts like Solan, Mandi, Bilaspur, Kangra etc. where some persons were rounded up by locals on the suspicion of being child-lifters. They were interrogated by mobs and thrashed brutally.

The fact that is most worrying is that people are taking law into their own hands instead of informing the police. In some other cities of India, such rumours have led to mob lynching of innocent people. Uttar Pradesh is the worst hit. The government is forced to invoke the National Security Act (NSA) to deter such incidents. Fortunately, no one has been lynched in Himachal so far. However, there are chances that soon someone would fall victim to angry and misguided mob.

In Jwalamukhi, a middle-aged couple was attacked by locals on the suspicion that they belonged to a child-lifter gang. In another incident, a minor made a fake complaint about his attempted kidnap. Later, the police investigation found that the minor did not want to go to school, so he spread a rumour about his own attempted kidnapping.

SP, Kangra, Vimukt Ranjan, confirmed that there is no child-lifter gang active in the region and advised people to not believe in rumours.

On August 23, three people including two males, who were impersonating as transgenders and roaming in Chailchowk bazaar of Gohar sub-division of Mandi district, were almost lynched by a mob. They were rounded up on the suspicious of being child-lifter. They were rescued by police. None of them belonged to any such gang, the police investigation found.

At the beginning of August, a man was caught by locals in Solan district and thrashed before handing him over to the police. On probing the matter, the police found that the man did not belong to any such gang and was stone-seller. He roamed in different localities and used to sell artificial gems. The Superintendent of Police, Solan, in a statement to media, had clarified that reports about child kidnapping gangs are a hoax and had requested the people to not believe them blindly.

In Hatwad area of Bilaspur district, two migrant labourers, who were going to market to buy vegetables, were also mistaken as child kidnappers and beaten publicly. Later, the district police found that these two people were merely migrant labourers. The police found that they were registered with the Hatwar panchayat as well as the local police station. Following it, the SP, Bilaspur, Sakshi Verma, had also issued a statement to media terming reports regarding child-lifter gang being active in the district as a hoax.

On August 27, in Dharampur of Mandi district, a woman carrying her child was mistaken by villagers as a child-lifter. She was also beaten before the police arrived. Following it, a rumour of child-lifter gang comprising of four to five members spread in the region and people began to search the villages and jungles.

As per a Hindi daily, during this search, a female teacher and two other males had a narrow escape from public thrashing as someone recognized them.

Though the police had issued a advisory to be vigilant and not leave children alone or with strangers, it has repeatedly rejected the reports of any child-lifter gangs being active in the region and requested the public to not take law into their own hands. However, Hindi dailies are also seen fuelling these rumours and challenging statements of the police. These rumours are mostly spread through fake videos or photos on social media showing people being beaten or detained by police for kidnapping children.

However, fact-checking of such videos and photos have revealed that the content of these multimedia is manipulated and attached with false information to fuel the rumours.

Misc News/Press Release

HP Health Dept Issues Clarification Over Alleged Irregularities in ‘Ventilator Purchase’



Himachal Pradesh Health Department Ventilator purchase

Shimla-The Health and Family Welfare Department, Himachal Pradesh Government, today issued a clarification regarding alleged irregularities in purchase of ventilators in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.   

It’s pertinent to mention here that the Health Department is already under the scanner of Vigilance & Anti-Corruption Bureau for alleged scam in purchase of PPE kits which was reported on May 20 after an audio clip related to the same appeared. Following it, the Director, Health Services, AK Gupta was arrested and later suspended by the Government after a departmental inquiry.

Name of a leader of the ruling party was linked to the scam, following which Rajiv Bindal suddenly resigned. He said he resigned on “moral ground.”

Also Read: HP Health Dept Scam- There is More to It Than Just Alleged Bribery

This time, however, the Department was quick in releasing clarification.

After a news report appeared in the section of media based on a complaint of alleged irregularities in purchase of ventilators by the Health Department, a report with all documents was sought from the Director Health Services in this regard, said a spokesperson of the Department.

Also Read: Accused Ex-Director in Health Dept Scam Granted Bail

The Director, Health Services said that the Department intended to purchase the ventilators to strengthen all health centres of the Health Department.  For this, on March 28 2020, a committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Deputy Director Health Services to suggest technical standards for purchasing the ventilators and on the basis recommendation the purchase of ventilators were made.

The Spokesman said that the committee constituted at Directorate level under the chairmanship of Joint Director Health Services and the process for purchasing the ventilators was started and the rates and standards of ventilators available on GeM Portal were also studied.  The committee that on March 29, 2020, the rate of ventilator mentioned was Rs. 9.9 lakh.

Also Read: Official Suspended in ‘HP Secretariat Sanitizer Scam’

Meanwhile, the committee also studied the process of purchase of ventilators adopted by other states and it was observed that the Odisha Medical Supplies Corporation, which is an enterprise of the Odisha Government, had purchased the 20 joint ventilators on March 20, 2020, at the cost of Rs. 1.83 crore, which excluded GST.

“Keeping the value of time in mind and with the view to strengthen the Health Centres, the committee directed for purchase of 10 ventilators keeping, out of which seven ventilators were received on April 15, 2020, which were sent to Health institutions with immediately,”

 the spokesperson said.    

Director Health Services in his report informed that after that Haryana Medical Supplies Corporation purchased the above-mentioned ventilators on April 16, 2020, and the amount spent on each ventilator was Rs. 10.29 lakh, which is equal to the amount spent on the purchase of the entire lot by Directorate of Health Services.  Director Health Services in his report submitted that the cost of these ventilators on GeM Portal was Rs. 10.30 lakh till date.

The ventilators provided to Department include original instruments, medical air processor, basic accessories, adult/ paediatric, Neo-Natal implication accessories, optional accessories, ETCO 2 application accessories, SPO 2 application accessories, humidifier with a five-year warranty, the State Government has claimed.

The spokesperson said that Health Directorate has primarily found no irregularities in the purchase of ventilators. To make the process more transparent, a High-Level Investigation Committee would be constituted under the chairmanship Director Industries and Controller of stores. Director Medical Education, Principal IGMC and Deputy Controller Finance and Accounts, Directorate of Medical Education would be other members of the committee. The committee would submit its report within 10 days, the spokesperson informed.    

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Misc News/Press Release

Educational Institutes in Himachal to Remain Closed in June, Will Take Decision Over Re-Opening in July: CM (Video)



Himachal Pradesh Educatinal INstitutes to remain closed in june

Shimla– Himachal Pradesh Government had earlier announced vacations in both private and Government schools in the State till June 15 and till June 10 in University and Colleges. Following this announcement, it was being speculated that the schools/colleges can be re-opened in June.

However, on June 1, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur informed that the decision to open educational institutes in Himachal would be taken in July. Further, the Education Minister on June 2 said that no risk would be taken with school children, especially primary classes. Board classes would be started first whenever the situation would be favorable. 

Further, he spoke about the new guidelines and opening of religious places and temples from June 8 onwards. He said only people of the State would be allowed in the temples and hotels can only serve those who have arrived from other district or other States for official/business purposes.

Also Read:New Guidelines Regarding Quarantine and Its Requirements

Further, the Chief Minister said that the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) has resumed bus services on 2222 routes from 7 AM to 7 PM in State.

Also Read: All Directions for Passengers, Staff, Management

He said that the bus services were resumed after complete preparations and that conductors and drivers were given masks, face masks shield, sanitizer and gloves.

The Government claimed that buses are being sanitized before sending to bus stands and destinations. Important guidelines were provided by police personnel to the passengers. The health screenings of the passengers were also done by the health department. According to the Government, buses on 1500 routes were operated by HRTC till 4 PM on June 1.

Also Read: All New Guidelines, What’s Re-Opening/Permitted and What’s Not

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Misc News/Press Release

HP Govt Launches Skill Register, Invites Unemployed Returnees/Migrants to Register to Get Jobs



Himachal Pradesh Skill Register Launched on June 1, 2020

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government on June 1, 2020, launched “Skill Register” to create a sound database of migrants, who have entered Himachal Pradesh during the lockdown in the wake of Corona pandemic.  Interested persons can register through Skill Register ( The Government claimed that various companies and industrial houses can also register their requirements on this portal. The portal has been developed by the Information Technology Department.

Click Here to Register 

People who have returned to the State can upload educational qualification, skills and job requirement on this portal, the Government informed. It would also help in identifying skill available in the State and in the analysis of skill upgradation requirements, the Government said, adding that industries will also get help in getting information regarding skilled manpower at a click of the button. 

This registration would be based on mobile number and Aadhar number, and it would be intimated through SMS. The reports regarding skill would be prepared district wise, educational qualification wise and work experience-wise, the Government claimed.

The skill register would be linked with the industrial houses which would get access to consolidated information according to their requirements. There Government said it would also make provision of skill upgradation if required.

  Managing Director H.P. Kaushal Vikas Nigam Rohan Chand Thakur made a presentation on the occasion of the launch.


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