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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: 80% Voter Turnout in 2nd Phase of Panchayat Polls

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Second phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Election Commission informed that the elections for 1208 Gram Panchayats were held today in the second phase in which around 80 percent polling was registered.

Overall, 75 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation cast their votes as per the standard operating procedures.

The highest polling has been registered in Nandpur Gram Panchayat of Nalagarh developmental block of Solan district where the voter turnout was reported to be 96 percent.

The poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state. The counting of votes for Pradhan, Up-Pradhan and members was under the process and the results were awaited till late evening. The counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on 22 January 2021 at block headquarters.

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

The election for third and final phase for 1137 Panchayats would be held on 21 January 2021.

The first phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions in Himachal Pradesh was held in 1228 Gram Panchayats on January 17, 2021. The overall polling percentage in the first phase was reported to 77.50%.

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Bird Flu Confirmed in Dead Poultry Dumped Near Himachal Borders, Ban on Poultry Products Extended   

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Himachal Pradesh Extends Ban on poultry

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government has temporarily extended the ban on entry of poultry and poultry products into the State from neighbouring states for one more week. A notification to this regard was issued on January 18, 2021.

 The Government said that during the past few days, there had been incidences of dumping of dead poultry in the border areas of the State. Samples were collected from these dead birds, and disposed of the remaining birds as per protocol, it said. NIHSAD Lab, Bhopal, has confirmed Avian Influenza-H5N8 in the dumped birds.

Hundreds of dead poultry birds were found dumped along the Parwanoo-Solan stretch on the National Highway. The police was yet to identify culprits responsible.

However, the State Government said that the Flu has not been detected in the local poultry.

The State Government said that a “Bird Flu” outbreak was notified on January 6, 2021, in Pong Dam wetland of district Kangra. The count for migratory bird death due to the Flu had mounted to 4936 till January 18, 2021. On January 17, only 21 migratory birds died in the Pong Dam wetland area.

The State Government said a sharp decline was reported in death of migratory birds due to avian influenza outbreak in the Pong dam lake wildlife sanctuary.

Ten Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) of Wildlife Wing would continue to work in the wetland for collection and safe disposal of dead birds as per protocol till no mortality is recorded. 

Till January 18, 2021 outbreaks of Avian Influenza have been confirmed in 5 States for poultry birds and in 9 States for crows, migratory and wild bird.

Culling of poultry birds had to be taken in all the affected epicentres including CPDO, Mumbai. Culling operation of poultry in Haryana was also underway. The outbreak has is causing losses worth crores to poultry farmers. 

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447 Cases of Adverse Effect Including 3 in Himachal Reported Post COVID-19 Vaccination

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COVID-19-vaccination-adverse effect in himachal pradesh

Shimla– Amid skepticism over the COVID-19 vaccination, India has reported over 400 cases of adverse effect post-vaccination, informed the Ministry of Health. To be more specific, a total of 447 Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFIs) were reported on 16th Jan & 17th Jan’21.

Out of these, three required hospitalization. Of these, one was discharged from Northern Railway Hospital Delhi within 24 hours; one was discharged from AIIMS Delhi, and one is under observation in AIIMS Rishikesh and is being monitored.

Most of the AEFIs reported so far are minor like Fever, Headache, Nausea etc.

In Himachal Pradesh, about three cases of AEFIs were reported on day 1 of vaccination drive. These were reported from Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Tanda, Kangra, Civil Hospital Paonta Sahib, and Maharishi Markandeshwar University Medical College, Solan.

In these cases, symptoms reported included dizziness, anxiety, nausea and shivering and persons recovered after management as per protocol, it was informed.

In Himachal, 2,499 health care workers were to be administered dose through 27 identified sites in the State on January 16. However, only 1535 healthcare workers could be vaccinated on the first day. It was 61 percent of this set target. The second round would be held today.  

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.

An Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) is any unexpected medical occurrence which follows immunization. It may not be related to the vaccine or vaccination process. The Ministry had laid down protocols for reporting, immediate case management at vaccination session site, transportation and hospitalization and further care of such cases. Protocols are also in place for systematic investigation and causality assessment of serious AEFIs, the Ministry said.

India has vaccinated the highest number of persons on Day1 under its COVID19 vaccination program, the world’s largest such exercise.

Total of 2,24,301 beneficiaries have been vaccinated till today as per the provisional report.

The second day of the massive countrywide COVID-19 vaccination program was also conducted successfully. A total of 553 sessions were held in six States. As many as 17,072 beneficiaries were vaccinated on Day2, as per the provisional reports.

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