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Shocking Video: 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

Himachal Scientist Conferred National Fellowship for Outstanding Work in Floriculture, Landscaping

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Dr YC Gupta, a senior scientist of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni 1

Solan: Dr YC Gupta, a senior scientist of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has been conferred fellowship of the Indian Academy of Horticultural Sciences. The fellowship was conferred for Dr Gupta’s outstanding contributions to the field of floriculture and landscaping.

Dr Gupta is presently working as the Dean of College of Horticulture and Centre of Excellence for Horticulture, Research and Extension, Thunag, Distt Mandi. He was conferred with the fellowship during the Indian Horticulture Congress 2019 at NAAS Complex, New Delhi held recently.

Born in Mandi, Dr Gupta obtained his BSc and MSc in 1986 from Agra University. After completing his doctorate in horticulture (Floriculture and Landscaping) from IARI, New Delhi, Dr Gupta joined UHF as Assistant Floriculturist in 1988. He served as Professor and Head of Department of Floriculture and Landscape Architecture for 12 years after which in 2019 he became the founding dean of the fourth constituent college of the university at Thunag.

Dr Gupta During the Indian Horticulture Congress 2019 at NAAS Complex, New Delhi


Dr Gupta has been associated in the development of seven hybrids of Gladiolus, five hybrids in Marigold, four hybrids in Antirrhinum and 3 hybrids in Pansy besides a patent named ‘HIMFLORA- a computerized botanical database of wild ornamentals of Himachal Pradesh’. Two varieties, Solan Mangla of Gladiolus and Solan Shringar of Chrysanthemum were released in 2014 and Virbhadra Singh, a variety of carnation was released in 2016.

Besides being the National Chairman for DUS testing of Carnation and Lilium under PPVFRA, Dr Gupta is a life member of various professional societies. The American Biographical Institute, USA conferred on him an honorary appointment in the year 2000. He is also the Fellow of Society for Recent Development in Agriculture and Indian Society of Ornamental Horticulture (ISOH) and the recipient of ISOH’s Lotus Puraskar 2011. He also won the Dr Manmohan Attawar Gold Medal Award in floriculture for the year 2016 by the Horticultural Society of India.

In his career spanning over nearly 31 years in teaching, research and extension including administration, Dr Gupta has guided several MSc and PhD students and has numerous research papers, books, book chapters, popular articles, and technical bulletins to his credit.

He has handled more than 17 externally funded and 8 state-funded research projects. UHF University Vice-Chancellor Dr Parvinder Kaushal and other scientists and staff and students congratulated Dr Gupta on his achievement.   

 

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ITBP Head Constable from Himachal Among 6 Shot Dead by Own Colleague

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Himachal ITBP head constable mahinder singh

Shimla-Six personnel reportedly died and two were injured when one of them opened fire with his service rifle following some dispute at an ITBT camp in insurgency-hit Narayanpur district of Bastar, Chhattisgarh on November 4, 2019.  This information was released by the Director General of Police,Chhattisgarh, DM Awasthi.

One of the personnel, Head Constable Mahender Singh, hailed from Barthi area of Bilaspur district. He is survived by his parents, wife, and two sons.

As per the DGP, there was some dispute which led to this fratricidal incident in which one of the personnel, Constable Masudul Rahman (West Bengal), opened fire on his colleagues at the Kedarnar camp of ITBP’s 45th battalion.  

“The ITBP personal who shot his five colleagues committed suicide with his own rifle and died on the spot,”

TOI quoted DGP.

As per another report, while the reason for the dispute is still not known, there is a speculation that the constable accused of opening fire was upset as he wasn’t granted leaves. However, the exact cause was yet to be ascertained.

Other four deceased included Head Constable Daljit Singh (Punjab), Constable Surjit Sarkar (West Bengal), Biswaroop Mahtoo (West Bengal) and Brijeesh (Kerala).

 Injured were identified as constable SB Ullass (Kerala) and constable Sitaram Doon (Rajasthan).

A probe has been ordered, ITBP officials confirmed.  

 

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Monkey Sterilization in Himachal Working, Farmers Feeling Relieved, Claims Forest Minister

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Monkey Sterlization in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Forest, Transport and Youth Sports Minister, Govind Singh Thakur, claims that sterilization of monkeys has proved to be a successful solution in Himachal Pradesh and providing relief to the farmers. So far, one lakh 57 thousand monkeys have been sterilized in eight monkey sterilization centres of forest department in the state, the Minister claimed.

While the people did not report any relief from monkey menace, the Minister claimed the situation has improved as per the government.

He said the incentive to capture monkeys has been increased to Rs. 1000. Local people would be given training by the forest department to capture monkeys. It was discussed that workshops should be organized in vulnerable panchayats to provide training to the locals.

The Minister was presiding over one day workshop on ‘Human-Wildlife Conflict’ at Shimla organized by the Wild life wing of Himachal Pradesh Forest Department on November 3, 2019.

Forest Minister said that 548 panchayats of the state are vulnerable to monkey menace.

Principal Chief Conservator Dr Savita said 1100 monkey hotspots have been identified in the state. She informed that 91 Tehsils/sub-Tehsils and Municipal Corporation Shimla area have been declared vermin for a period of one year.

Emphasis was laid on the plantation of fruit-bearing saplings in forests so that monkeys don’t enter human settlements in search of food.

However, no discussion was done on keeping human settlements clean and discourage littering of food waste which attracts monkeys, especially in cities.

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