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First HP Govt Failed Him, Now FIR Against 88-Year-Old for Collecting Funds for Construction of Retaining Wall

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Elderl man in kangra arrested for collecting toll tax

Kangra-After a video of an 88-year-old man stopping vehicles on Nadaun-Majheen road to collect funds for the construction of a collapsed retaining wall, that was posing threat to his house, went viral on social media, the local police yesterday arrested the man and filed an FIR agianst him for extortion and blocking traffic.

The elderly man, who was identified as Jaggar Nath of Faquaid village in Kangra district, had been moving from pillar to post, making rounds of government offices for years to make his grievance heard. 

He also approached the officials with his grievance at Janmanch program of the state government but did not get any relief. A couple of months ago, the man had approached the MLA of Jawalamukhi Constituency, Ramesha Dhawala. He was given assurance but no relief. As per the man, he was afraid for the safety of his family, so he started to collect funds by stopping vehicles on Nadaun-Majheen road. He asked the commuters to pay Rs 10. He referred to it as a toll tax for collecting money to raise the retaining wall.

Some people gave him money while others refused. A video of the same was recorded by a local and shared on social media. Himachal Watcher had first published a news regarding the same. It was a disheartening scene to see an elderly person compelled to resort to such a method to make his voice heard. In the video he can be seen stopping a car, asking for toll tax. When the person refused to pay, the elderly man is seen running alongside the car in protest. The car was followed by an HRTC bus. The elderly man told the driver that he is collecting money through toll tax to construct his retaining wall. Someone from the bus gave him some money, and the elderly man at once removed the chair and plank to let the bus pass.

Everyone who came across the video and the news covered by media thought the local MLA or the district administration would now take note of this man’s grievance and provide him some relief. However, opposed to this expected action, the man was arrested and slapped with charges of extortion. He was released on bail.

Now, the people are shocked over the working of the local MLA and district administration, and the attitude of the government towards the elderly of the state. They are asking whether this man needed relief or an FIR. This matter should have been solved amicably by attending to the elderly man. However, the district administration preferred booking him.

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HP By-Polls 2021: Silence Period Extended to Three Days

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Shimla-The campaigning period during Himachal Pradesh by-elections has been fixed from 10 am to 7 pm every day. The silence period has been extended from two days to three days before the closing date of voting, which will start after 6 pm on 27th October 2021.

During the no active campaigning by the candidates or political parties is allowed, and television or any digital media cannot carry any election-related matter.

This information was released by Chief Electoral Officer, Himachal Pradesh, C. Paulrasu. He said that the Election Commission of India has limited the period of campaigning during by-election 2021 in view of the guidelines issued for the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has urged all the candidates and political parties participating in the by-elections of Mandi Parliamentary Constituency and Fatehpur, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Arki Assembly Constituencies to comply with these guidelines related to the election campaign.

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Nauni Varsity Scholar Naincy Bags Scholarship to Pursue PhD in France

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Naincy Sagar uhf nauni scholar

Solan: Naincy Sagar, an alumna of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has bagged a fellowship for pursuing PhD from France. Nancy has reached France and will be pursuing PhD in Forest Genetics from the University of Orléans under INRAE fellowship. INRAE is France’s National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Naincy has completed her BSc Forestry from College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri in 2018 and MSc Forest Biology and Tree Improvement and Genetic Resources from UAS, Dharwad, under ICAR’s National Talent Scheme. Before leaving for France last week, Naincy was working as a Junior Research Fellow in a research project at COH&F, Neri.

She had applied for a PhD with a scholarship in Forest Genetics which was advertised by INRAE. Naincy was successful in the interview and was awarded a fellowship for three years for pursuing PhD at the University of Orléans. During the course of the PhD, she will receive a total scholarship of around Rs 70 lakh along with medical reimbursement. Naincy will be working on forest tree larch species in the Project titled ‘Vigour at what cost? ‘Trade-off’ of hybrid vigour in Larch-Phenological, morphological and physiological determinants of hybrid superiority in Larix X eurolepis’ with a team of 20 scientists of Joint Integrated Biology Research Unit having expertise in genetics, genomics and physiology for the enhancement of tree and forest diversity

Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor of the university spoke to Naincy via web conferencing and congratulated her. Dr. Kaushal, who has also done his doctorate from France, shared some tips and suggestions. He asked Naincy to explore this opportunity to learn about new cultures along with doing research that could help to enhance and conserve forest wealth in the future.

Naincy expressed gratitude towards her father Satya Prakash Sagar (Retd. SDO BSNL) and mother Monika Sagar, who is working as SDO in BSNL for their continuous support for higher studies. She also thanked Vice-Chancellor Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Dean Dr. Kamal Sharma and Dr. Dushyant Sharma, Project Investigator and all the university staff for their support and guidance. The university administration, Dean of COH&F Neri congratulated Naincy and wished her success.  

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Bad Weather Warning for Himachal, Tourists and Locals Advised Not to Venture into Higher Hills

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Shimla– The Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department, Shimla, has predicted heavy to very heavy rains for middle and lower hills on October 17th and 18th. The Met has also issued orange and yellow alerts for various districts.

Meanwhile, heavy snowfall has been predicted in higher hills and advisory has been issued for both locals and tourists to avoid travelling to higher hills.

While a yellow alert with a prediction of thunderstorms and lightning at isolated places has been issued for Una and Hamirpur district on October 17, an orange alert with a prediction of heavy rainfall, thunderstorm, lightning and hailstorm at isolated places has been issued for Bilaspur, Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, and Kinnaur.

For October 18, a yellow alert has been issued for Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Chamba, and Kullu districts and an orange alert for the remaining districts.

The Deputy Commissioner, Lahaul-Spiti, warned that in view of the Met Department’s forecast for the next two days, locals and tourists should avoid Manali-Leh National Highway (NH-03) and refrain from venturing into higher hills.

In case, travel is unavoidable due to some compelling circumstances, such candidates have been asked to confirm weather and road conditions on given telephone numbers, which are 9459661355, 01900-202509, 510, 517 and 1077.

The DC also informed that in case of any emergency, people should contact the District Disaster Management Cell, Lahaul-Spiti, on 01900 202509, 510, 517, and Tall Free -1077.

The weather is predicted to be dry on October 19 and 20. 

Feature Photo: Photo by Rodrigo Souza from Pexels

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