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Kinnaur Youth Missing for 8 Days After Scuffle with Sand Mafia, Suspicious Over Police Investigation, Locals Block NH, Demand CBI Inquiry

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Kinnaur Sonam Murder case

Kinnaur – Over the suspected murder of a youth in Kinnaur’s Pooh area following a scuffle with sand mafia, locals from several villages today blocked the traffic on the National Highway -5 near Powari. They demanded an enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation expressing concern that some wealthy and powerful people involved in this case are influencing the police investigation as well as the district administration. They alleged that owing to his influence on the administrative level, tricks are being played to save the main culprit. The agitation went on for about four hours before the road could be opened for traffic after the ADC agreed to send a request to Home Ministry for a CBI inquiry.

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The case is related to Sonam Negi, a resident of Khab village of Namgya panchayat in Pooh area of Kinnaur district. On the night of September 7, 2019, Sonam had gone to Bhagat Nala on the banks of Sutlej river to fetch sand for the construction work of his building, which was ongoing. Three labourers accompanied him during this time. Some people were already present there, who were said to be related to the sand mafia. Over some matter, a brawl broke out between two parties. The three labourers reportedly fled the scene after the situation got ugly. One of the labourers informed the relatives of Sonam regarding the brawl.  The relatives informed the police.  

However, by the time the police arrived at the spot, only Sonam’s vehicle loaded with sand and a pair of sleepers were found. Since this incident, Sonam went missing. Next day, when the police and villagers visited the spot again, they found stains of blood on rocks. Based on these stains, they suspected that Sonam was murdered and thrown into Sutlej.

Father of Sonam, Praksah Chand, filed a complained at the Pooh Police Station suspecting a murder. He also named some of the locals. However, the slow pace of investigation agitated the villagers who protested outside Pooh Police station for two days.  As per local sources, enraged villagers of about eight villages had gheraoed the Pooh Police station. The locals believed that some influential people including some contractors were involved in the case and that they were affecting the investigation.

Following the protests, the police arrested nine people in relation to the case after three days. A case was filed against all the accused under Section 302, 364, 341 and 34 of IPC. The police had taken all accused on a five-day remand on September 10. The report was confirmed by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kinnaur, Vipin Kumar.  He had also confirmed that the police was questioning the accused.

The remand period was ending today, however, still the police could not trace missing Sonam after eight days of his disappearance. The locals today showed distrust in local police and district administration and blocked the National Highway -5 demanding a CBI inquiry.

The enraged locals warned the administration that more people would join the protest if justice is not delivered to the victim. The villagers ended the agitation and opened the road only after the ADC assured that a request would be forwarded to the Home Ministry seeking a CBI enquiry and a search operation would be launched by the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) to find missing Sonam.

Local sources also suggested that villagers from more regions in the district were planning a massive protest.

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Records 81% Turnout in 3rd Phase of PRI Polls, Congress Make a Come Back in Theog MC after 20 Years

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third phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The third phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutes in Himachal Pradesh recorded around 81 percent polling on January 21, 2021. The elections were held in 1137 Gram Panchayats in this phase. The highest 94 percent polling was registered in Lodhi Majra Panchayat of Nalagarh development block in Solan district. This information was released by a spokesperson of HP Election Commission

District-wise, Sirmaur recorded 85% turnout, followed by Solan (85%) Kullu (84%),Chamba (82.8%), Mandi (82.7%), Una (81.1%), Shimla (82%),Una (81%), Bilaspur (80.3%), Hamirpur (78.1%), Kangra (78%), and Kinnaur (70%).

 Further, 48 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation also cast their votes.

The Spokesperson said that the poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state.

Counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on January 22, 2021, at block headquarters.

Congress made a come back to Theog Municipal Council after 20 years. While Vivek Thapar was elected as the Chairman of the MC, Reen Roy was elected as the Vice-Chairman. Congress has already registered wins in Rohru and Rampur MCs and Chopal, Kotkhai and Sunni Nagar panchayats.

Theog MC Polls 2021

Congress After Registering Victory in Theog MC Elections

The HPCC chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore, while speaking to media persons yesterday, said that of the total seven Wards of the Theog MC, Congress has claimed victory on four wards while remaining three Wards went to independent candidates. Congress alleged that BJP had left no stone unturned to pressurize, lure, and threaten elected members to gain their support. 

Rathore mocked at the defeat of BJP MP’s bother in Mandi district. Further, the candidate in Ghumarwin of Bilaspur – home district of BJP Chief Jagat Prakash Nadda-  had also faced defeat, Rathore said. BJP candidate in Sujanpur – home to Union Minister for State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur-could also not register a victory and lost, he said.

Congress also registered a victory in elections to Parwanoo MC. Kuldeep Singh Rathore, said that winning candidate Nisha Sharma joined Congress yesterday. She had won twice from the same Ward on BJP ticket. This time, she was denied ticket and fought the elections as an independent candidate. 

Parwanoo Counciloor Nisha sharma

Nisha Sharma Joins Congress

Rathore alleged that the government has been trying to threaten Nisha by registering a fake case of illegal construction. Similarly, husband of Chandrawati – another Congress councilor in Parwanoo- who runs a depot was fined wrongfully yesterday, Rathore alleged.   

While BJP has been making claims of victory on the majority of seats, Congress had been terming it as a bluff.  Also, it had been alleging BJP of misusing government machinery. Independent candidates are being bought and allurements are being given to winning Congress candidates, Rathore alleged.  

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Himachal: 80% Voter Turnout in 2nd Phase of Panchayat Polls

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Second phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Election Commission informed that the elections for 1208 Gram Panchayats were held today in the second phase in which around 80 percent polling was registered.

Overall, 75 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation cast their votes as per the standard operating procedures.

The highest polling has been registered in Nandpur Gram Panchayat of Nalagarh developmental block of Solan district where the voter turnout was reported to be 96 percent.

The poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state. The counting of votes for Pradhan, Up-Pradhan and members was under the process and the results were awaited till late evening. The counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on 22 January 2021 at block headquarters.

Election-related process and results have been uploaded for the general public on sechimachal.nic.in.

The election for third and final phase for 1137 Panchayats would be held on 21 January 2021.

The first phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions in Himachal Pradesh was held in 1228 Gram Panchayats on January 17, 2021. The overall polling percentage in the first phase was reported to 77.50%.

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Bird Flu Confirmed in Dead Poultry Dumped Near Himachal Borders, Ban on Poultry Products Extended   

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Himachal Pradesh Extends Ban on poultry

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government has temporarily extended the ban on entry of poultry and poultry products into the State from neighbouring states for one more week. A notification to this regard was issued on January 18, 2021.

 The Government said that during the past few days, there had been incidences of dumping of dead poultry in the border areas of the State. Samples were collected from these dead birds, and disposed of the remaining birds as per protocol, it said. NIHSAD Lab, Bhopal, has confirmed Avian Influenza-H5N8 in the dumped birds.

Hundreds of dead poultry birds were found dumped along the Parwanoo-Solan stretch on the National Highway. The police was yet to identify culprits responsible.

However, the State Government said that the Flu has not been detected in the local poultry.

The State Government said that a “Bird Flu” outbreak was notified on January 6, 2021, in Pong Dam wetland of district Kangra. The count for migratory bird death due to the Flu had mounted to 4936 till January 18, 2021. On January 17, only 21 migratory birds died in the Pong Dam wetland area.

The State Government said a sharp decline was reported in death of migratory birds due to avian influenza outbreak in the Pong dam lake wildlife sanctuary.

Ten Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) of Wildlife Wing would continue to work in the wetland for collection and safe disposal of dead birds as per protocol till no mortality is recorded. 

Till January 18, 2021 outbreaks of Avian Influenza have been confirmed in 5 States for poultry birds and in 9 States for crows, migratory and wild bird.

Culling of poultry birds had to be taken in all the affected epicentres including CPDO, Mumbai. Culling operation of poultry in Haryana was also underway. The outbreak has is causing losses worth crores to poultry farmers. 

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