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Cruelty Against Elderly Woman: Bail Plea of 24 Accused Rejected, Sent to 14-Day Judicial Custody

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Mandi case of cruelity against old lady

Mandi-Court has rejected the bail plea of 24 villagers, who were booked and arrested in the case relating to brutality against an 80-year-old woman in an act of religious extremism in Gaahar panchayat in Sarkaghat of Mandi district. The accused were sent to 14-day judicial custody. The accused include 15 men and 9 women. The accused also include victim’s own relatives. 

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Chander Paul Singh, confirmed the report. Meanwhile, medical of the victim was conducted at a hospital in Hamirpur. The victim is now living with her daughter and son-in-law. Two police personals have been deployed for the protection of the family as they have been receiving threats from relatives of the arrested villagers.

The state government, district administration, and district police are under immense pressure as the State High Court, Women’s Commission and Human Rights Commission have also taken cognizance of this heinous crime and sought reports on the same. Serious allegations of inaction despite being aware of the crime have been labeled against the local police too. 

As per the police, the investigation during the remand period has revealed that the 22-year-old daughter of the deceased ‘Gur’ (priest) of the local deity along with some others including a few relatives of the victim had conspired against the old lady to discourage her from worshiping any other deity, thus, create fear among others who either did not believe in the local deity or had faith in other deity or gods. She allegedly manipulated the religious sentiments of the villagers, provoking them to torture the lady.

On November 6, 2019, a section of villagers including victim’s relatives, had branded the elderly lady as a sorceress, her face was blackened, and then paraded in the village with a shoe-garland around her neck. This shocking act of cruelty and superstition was captured by villagers on mobile cameras. On November 9, 2019, two videos of the incident went viral on social media. The state government and the district police came under heavy pressure as the incident enraged common people of the state. The incident also made headlines on national level, bringing bad name to the state. 

After video went viral, the police came into action and booked 24 villagers under various sections of IPC.

Another victim of a similar conspiracy- a retired teacher- also came ahead and filed a complaint with the police. A separate FIR has been registered in this case, the police said. The teacher was allegedly targeted, threatened, and even his house was ransacked after the daughter of the ‘Gur’ provoked villagers against him. The teacher had approached the police with a complaint, but he was made to withdraw it.

It’s being claimed that the police has gathered sufficient evidence against accused in the case. The Superintendent of Police, Mandi, Gurdev Chand, is himself supervising the investigation, the sources said. 

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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