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Shocking: Elderly Woman in Himachal’s Mandi Branded ‘Dayan’ (Witch), Persecuted Mercilessly by Villagers

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Viral Mandi Video of old woman declared dayan

Mandi-In a shocking incident of superstitiousness, an elderly woman in Sarkaghat area of Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh, was allegedly persecuted mercilessly for religious reasons by mob in a village. Initial reports suggested that she is aged between 70 -80 years. Villagers allegedly also recorded this act on their phones.  The video is now going viral on social media. Furious over such insensitivity towards a helpless old woman, people demanded stern action against all culprits. 

In the video, an elderly woman can be seen with her face blackened, and a shoe garland around her neck. She is being forced to run in front of the rath (chariot) of the deity. Villagers are playing traditional instruments and chanting the name of the deity. In their local dialect, villagers are calling her a tantric and cursing and abusing her.  She is alleged of worshiping ‘Mashaan’. The lady is pleading for mercy and asking for water. A couple of villagers can be heard asking others to let her rest and give her water to drink. However, the majority is heard saying she does not deserve rest or water.

A few people were heard advocating that, at least, don’t manhandle an elderly woman. However, these voices went unheard. 

Others can be heard requesting a fellow villager to forward the video on WhatsApp. The hysteria was at such a level that children were heard cheering and enjoying it and there wasn’t even a single person who could rescue her from this barbaric treatment.

The Superintendent of Police, Mandi, Gurudev Sharma, confirmed the report of receiving this video. He informed that a case has been registered and the matter is being investigated by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sarkaghat, and action would be taken against those found guilty. Chief Minister Jairam was also apprised of this barbaric act in his home district. He also directed the SP to investigate the matter.

As per the available information, this shameful incident is believed to have occurred  in Gaahar Gram Panchayat, Sarkahat. Villagers picked the elderly woman from her house. The victim was identified as a widow and mother of three daughters. All daughters are married and the elderly woman has no one to look after her.

In her village, there is a temple of a deity. There is no permanent priest in the temple for the past couple of years. Taking advantage of it, some people have been acting as agents of the deity. These people branded this elderly woman as a ‘Dayan’ and instigated the villagers, reports said.
First, her house was ransacked recently. Later, she was again targeted, exposed to ill-treatment and humiliation publicly.

The reports said that earlier this woman had made a complaint to the panchayat regarding some people branding her as Dayan and harassing her. However, she was threatened with dire consequences in the name of the deity and made to withdraw her complaint.

Also, there have been complaints that prior to this incident a few other elderly people, especially those who live alone, have been targeted on the directions of so-called self-proclaimed agents of the deity. However, whoever complained it to the police or the panchayat was pressurized to withdraw it. These victims were threatened that they would face the wrath of the deity if they did not do so.

The details of the initial reports were yet to be confirmed officially by the police. 

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77.50% Voter Turnout in First Phase of Himachal’s Panchayati Raj Polls: EC

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Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The first phase elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions in Himachal Pradesh was today held in 1228 Gram Panchayats, informed a spokesperson of State Election Commission.

According to the information received till 7 PM, the overall polling percentage was 77.50%. As many as 123 COVID-19 patients and isolated voters cast their votes as per the Standard Operating Procedures, he informed.

Gram Panchayat Rihada in development block Naggar of Kullu district recorded the highest voter turnout (94 %). Counting of votes for Pradhan, Up-Pradhan and members will be completed today. Counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on 22nd January 2021 at block headquarters.

Further, 103-year-old Shyam Saran Negi, the first voter of independent India, cast his vote at a polling booth in Kalpa of Kinnaur district.

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

The second phase of polling for 1208 Panchayats will be held on 19th January followed by the third phase on 21st January 2021.

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Nauni Varsity Already Sold Over 90,000 Fruit Plants, Read About Next Open Sale

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Fruit plant sale at uhf nauni 2021

Solan-The restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of COVID 19 have not affected the annual sale of planting material prepared by Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni. Despite the restrictions on large gathering, over 90,000 temperate fruit plants have been sold to over 2,500 farmers from the four university nurseries in Nauni and Kandaghat.

This year, the university started the annual sale of planting material from 5th January in a staggered manner by limiting the number of farmers who were allotted plants on any given day ensuring strict compliance with the COVID 19 guidelines. The allotment list of the farmers who had applied for plants by filling the online demand form within the stipulated date was uploaded on the university website. This list mentioned the number of allotted plants along with the date, time and name of the university nursery from where these plants could be collected.

Owing to its high quality, the planting material prepared by the university sees a huge demand among the farmers of the state and the many parts of the country. This year, apple varieties like Jeromine, Red Velox, Scarlett Spur, Granny Smith and Gala Group were among the varieties which were popular among the farmers. Continuing with the trend, the demand for various stone fruits also witnessed an increase along with demand for apple plants from the lower regions.

On Saturday, Dr Parvinder Kaushal, UHF Vice-Chancellor chaired a meeting of the Seed and Planting Cell of the university. It was decided during the meeting that as the university has already provided plants to a majority of the farmers who had filled the demand form, the remaining plants will be open for sale for all farmers. The sale of the remaining planting material of select varieties of apple, pomegranate, plum, pear, peach, apricot, walnut, fig, etc will be open to everyone from 18th January. The farmers have been advised to confirm the availability of the desired variety of fruit plants from the nursery before visiting.

The numbers of the nurseries are as follows- Fruit Science- 9418127315, Model Farm, Nauni -82196 68423, KVK Solan (Kandaghat)- 70188 56503, and Seed Science- 9418140341.

In addition to the planting material provided by the university nurseries in Nauni and Kandaghat, the regional stations/ KVK of the university at Mashobra, Bajaura, Reckong Peo, Rohru, Tabo, and Chamba also supply temperate plants to the growers at different dates. 

 

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COVID-19 Vaccination Drive Launched in Himachal, 1,536 Healthcare Workers Vaccinated on the First Day

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COVID-19 vaccination drive in himachal pradesh

Shimla– The COVID-19 vaccination drive in Himachal Pradesh started from IGMC Shimla after the Nation-wide vaccination drive was launched today by the Centre Government.

In the first round itself, 3 crore people are being vaccinated across the country. This drive would be taken up to 30 crores in the second round when elderly and people with serious co-morbidities will be vaccinated. There are only three countries- India, USA and China, who have a population of more than 30 crores. 

Two types of COVID-19 vaccines have been supplied for the vaccination drive. These include Covishield vaccine (made by Serum Institute of India Ltd) that has been supplied to all States/UTs.

The second is Covaxin vaccine (made by Bharat Biotech International Ltd) that has been supplied to 12 States.

In Himachal Pradesh, the first phase, 93000 doses would be administered to the front line warriors including health care workers of the State, the government informed.

Today 2,499 health care workers were to be administered dose through 27 identified sites in the State. However, only 1535 healthcare workers were vaccinated on the first day. It was 61 percent of this set target. Though a media report highlighted that a few minor incidents where beneficiaries showed symptoms of dizziness, anxiety, nausea and shivering were reported, the government did not dwell upon it much.

Further, about 74500 health workers would be vaccinated and each beneficiary would be provided two doses and the second dose would be administered after an interval of 28 days, the government informed.

State Vaccination Store has been set up at Shimla while Regional vaccine store has been established at Mandi and Dharamshala. District Vaccine Stores have been set up in all the 12 districts of the State besides 386 cold chain points in the State.

AEFI Committees at State and District level has also been notified with additional members of Pulmonologist and Medicine Specialists for casualty assessment of AEFI cases.

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, however, urged the people of the State to ensure that all precautions are maintained despite having administered COVID-19 vaccine.

Further, in India’s vaccination campaign, those who are at the maximum risk of getting infected will be vaccinated first. Doctors, nurses, hospital sanitation workers and para-medical staff will get the doses first. This priority is available to the medical hospitals in both the public and private sectors.

After the medical staff, the members of essential services, and those responsible for the country’s security and law and order will be vaccinated.  Security forces, police personnel, fire brigade, sanitation workers will be given priority. This number will be nearly 3 crores and Government will bear the expense of their vaccination.

According to the Centre Government, on the first day of the countrywide COVID-19 vaccination program, a total of 3,352 sessions were held wherein 1,91,181 beneficiaries were vaccinated as per the provisional reports. Additional 3,429 beneficiaries were vaccinated in Defence institutions.

Further, according to the official statistics of the HP Health Department, the State reported only 71 new COVId-19 positive cases on January 16, 2021. Only one COVID-19 death was reported in which a 80-year-old male died in Kangra district. So far, the State has reported a total of 56973 cases and claimed 952 lives. If the statistics to be believed, the number of active cases has dropped to 755 today evening. 

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