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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. 

Misc News/Press Release

HP Civil Supplies Selling Onion at Rs. 64 per kg

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HP Govt Onion Sale in Himachal PRadesh

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Civil Supplies Corporation has purchased 1200 quintals of imported onion from M/s NEFAD Delhi, which is being distributed through various godowns and fair price shops of the Corporation, to provide relief to the consumers from unexpected rise in onions prices.

A spokesperson of the corporation informed that the onion are being made available to the common public at rate of Rs. 64 per kilogram as per the directions of the State Government, which would be available to the public on ‘first come first buy’ basis. Till now, almost 800 quintal onion has been distributed and the remaining 400 quintal onion would be distributed within a period of seven to ten days.

He said that the State Government has bought the onion from imported stock of the Union Government. Spokesperson said that department is keeping strict vigil on hoarding of onion and if any such case is found, strict action would be taken against the defaulter.

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Misc News/Press Release

More Rain/Snow in Himachal Till Jan 22: HP Met

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Snow prediction for shimla 2020

Shimla-Shimla has received yet another spell of snow on Thursday, leading to road blockage and blackouts in some places. In Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri and Hatu Peak were covered in thick layer of snow. The traffic movement on National Highway-05 was hit in the upper region of Shimla. Hundreds of people including tourists were stranded in snow.

Local police had to carry out rescue work till late at night. With the help of machines, the road was opened for hundreds of stuck vehicles, buses, and tourists.  

Driving towards Kufri has become a dangerous task due to frozen roads. Therefore, the local police has urged tourists to avoid driving towards Kufri.

Other than Shimla, Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba, peaks of Kullu, and Kinnaur have also witnessed a fresh spell of snow, affecting daily life.

Following it, the state is reeling under a coldwave. Keylong was coldest at -10 Degree Celsius, followed by Kalpa at -4.2, and Kufri -1.8, Dalhousie at -0.8, and Shimla at 0.6.

The HP Meteorological Department has predicted more rain/snow till January 22 except on January 19. According to the Met, while plans/lower hills are likely to witness rain/thundershowers at isolated places, the middle and higher hills can receive scattered rain/snow.

The Met has predicted widespread rain/snow on January 21.

 

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Campus Watch

Hamirpur’s Reena Among 100 Meritorious Students Invited to Watch Republic Day Parade from PM Box

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UHF Nauni Dr Reena Kumari

Solan-Dr Reena Kumari, a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Vegetable Science at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, has been invited to watch Republic Day Parade 2020 from the Prime Minister’s Box at Rajpath, New Delhi.

She is among the 100 meritorious students selected from across the country by the Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), Government of India to witness the event. The travel and lodging expenses are being borne by the MHRD. 

Hailing from a small village Kashmir in District Hamirpur, Dr Reena was the topper of her school in class 10 +2 and joined UHF in the year 2009. She completed her master’s and doctorate in the discipline of Vegetable Science under the guidance of Dr Ramesh K Bhardwaj and has worked on improvement and development of new varieties in cucumber. Dr Reena has scored 88.00 and 86.60 % marks in MSc and PhD programme respectively with a gold medal in her PhD programme.

She was the university merit scholarship holder during her graduation and post- graduation programmes. Besides, she has also published eight research papers, one book chapter, review paper and popular article. Dr Reena has qualified various examinations like JRF and SRF.

An ecstatic Dr Reena thanked the MHRD and the university and for giving her the once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the grand parade from the Prime Minister’s box. Dr Parvinder Kaushal, UHF Vice-Chancellor, senior officers and students of the university congratulated Dr Reena on her selection.

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