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Kotkhai Custodial Killing: Three Accused Police Officers Reinstated, Ready for Fresh Posting

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Police officials accused in kotkhai custodial death reinstated

Shimla- Amid demand for a fresh probe in Kotkhai Gudia rape and murder case, three of the nine police officials accused in the custodial killing case have been reinstated by the Himachal Pradesh Government. These three officials include Zahur H Zaidi, DW Negi, and Manoj Joshi. They were behind bars for allegedly framing innocent persons in Gudia case and hack one of these persons to death at Kotkhai Police Station.

The government revoked their suspension in back dates. Now, these officials are waiting for orders of fresh posting.

The Director-General of Police, SR Mardi, confirmed the report. The suspension of Zaidi was revoked with effect from November 2, 2019. The suspension of Negi and Joshi has been revoked with effect from 16 November.

These three officials were booked and arrested by the Central Burau of Investigation on August 29, 2017, for allegedly framing innocent people for the rape and murder of 16-year-old school going girl and torture one of them to death.

DW Negi, who was then-Superintendent of Police, Shimla, was arrested later in November 2017.

Zaid was then Inspector General, Southern Range, and Joshi then DSP, Theog. Zaidi was heading the Special Investigation Team formed to probe the case of rape and murder of Gudia. The body of the victim was recovered on July 6, 2017, in the forest of Halaila in Shimla district. Six suspects were arrested by this SIT on July 13, 2017. On July 18, one of these arrested persons, a Nepalese labourer Suraj was killed while he was locked up at Kotkhai Police Station. The police framed a co-accused Rajinder for the killing of Suraj, and then SP DW Negi also supported it.

However, after public outrage when the case was handed over to the CBI, the case witnessed twists which shocked the entire state. CBI arrested nine police officials for the alleged killing of Suraj. In the charge sheet, CBI has stated that all six accused were arrested and tortured without sufficient evidence.

All nine police officials remained behind bars for about 17 months before Zaidi, Negi, and Joshi managed to obtain bail from the court in April 2019.

After getting bail, these officials reported at the State Police Headquarter, Shimla.  Now, they are ready for fresh posting.

In 2018, after an investigation of eleven months, CBI claimed that it had cracked the case and arrested one accused for raping and murdering Gudia. It denied the report that it was a gangrape. The arrested accused was a woodcutter. The family and public were not satisfied with the findings of the CBI and believed that real culprits were still roaming free.

A few days back, the investigation of CBI came under scanner after two forensic experts testified in the court that analysis report of forensic tests suggested the involvement of more than one person in rape and murder of Gudia.

Activist groups are now raising demand for a fresh probe.  

 

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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