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MP Ramswaroop, His Staff Neither Tested Nor Quarantined Before Entering Himachal, Didn’t Cite Emergency: Chauhan

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MP Ramswaroop sharma violates lockdown and curfew

Shimla-Entry of Ramswaroop Sharma, Member of Parliament, alongwith his staff into Himachal Pradesh, amid nationwide lockdown and state-wide curfew, has raised eyebrows of not only opposition parties but also of the people. Questions are being asked from the State Government and the Police Department over bending of rules and regulations for VIPs. Demand is being made to file FIR against the MP for not following lockdown guidelines which permits interstate movement only in cases of emergencies.

The MP, who was in Delhi at the time of the end of the Lok Sabha Session and announcement of the lockdown, returned to Jogindernagar, Mandi district, on April 10. Most parts of Delhi has been declared COVID-19 hot-spots, and despite that, the MP decided to travel to Himachal.

In his defense, the MP said he had obtained all required permissions from administration in Delhi as well as in Mandi district. He also said that he has self-quarantined himself alongwith the staff that traveled with him. The Director-General of Police, Sita Ram Mardi, has clarified that the MP has not violated any rules and had obtained required permissions, therefore, no FIR can be lodged against him.

The Superintendent of Police, Mandi, Gurudev Chand Sharma, also termed his movement legitimate.

However, the MP or the Police did not cite the emergency that made the MP and his staff eligible for permission to travel from a hot-spot State to Himachal. The only reason that the MP gave is that it is his duty to be among his people in a time of need.

Reacting to the MP’s this response, Sanjay Chauhan, former Mayor of Shimla, took a jibe asking as to why the MP did not return to the State soon after the end of the session and stayed in Delhi till April 10.

Chauhan has also raised another point which has not been answered yet. According to the lockdown guidelines, every person entering the State must be tested and quarantined, but the MP and his staff were exempted from it, he said. Rapid testing kits are available in the State, therefore, testing shouldn’t have been a problem. He also pointed out that the DGP has been making a regular appeal to obey the lockdown guidelines along with warnings of action against those entering into the State without testing and mandatory quarantine. But no action is being taken against the MP for violating the same guidelines, he said.

In fact, the State Government has directed the district officials to test all persons with permits in the boarder areas for COVID-19 and allow only those who are found negative. But, as per the Chauhan’s allegations, the MP and his staff was exempted from this rule. 

Further, Chauhan has alleged that there were irregularities in the permit issued by the District Magistrate, Mandi, to the MP. He targeted the Government alleging that such permits have been issued to other BJP affiliated persons, and has asked the Government to make details of all such persons public.

He termed it discrimination to deny permission to thousands of other Himachali’s stuck outside the State to return due to lockdown but allow a VIP to enter the State even when there is no emergency.

Chauhan has demanded that same legal action which is being taken against others who defied the lockdown and entered the State should be initiated against the MP and his staff. All officials who facilitated his entry into the State should be held responsible for this carelessness amid a pandemic.

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Himachal Pradesh: 662 New Cases & 7 Deaths in 24 Hours, Over 4500 Cases & 55 Deaths in 9 Nine Days

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Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 report

Shimla– The number of new daily COVID-19 cases and deaths in Himachal Pradesh was reported to be 662 and seven respectively on Friday till 7 pm. Kangra district reported the highest 165 new cases and four fatalities, while Sirmaur, Shimla, and Mandi recorded one fatality each.

View details of COVID-19 deaths below:

Daily covid 19 deaths

Source: HP NHM

Solan followed Kangra district with 132 new cases.

Find district-wise details of new cases below:

Daily COVID-19 deaths in himachal pradesh

Source: HP NHM

The COVID-19 case and death tallies have now reached 68173 and 1090 respectively. In April, the state has recorded a huge surge in cases. In the nine days of this month, the state has recorded 4568 new cases and 55 COVID-19 deaths – a rate of more than six deaths per day.

The state government today reviewed the situation in its Cabinet meeting and expressed concern. However, no restrictive measures were taken except extending the closure of all educational institutes till April 21.

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had been maintaining that a lockdown would be the last resort.

Further, the state government today said that to make vaccination people’s movement, 11th to 14th April may be celebrated as ‘Teeka Utsav’.

The government said that the biggest matter of concern was that the virus was spreading at a fast pace. In addition to this, the number of death has also increased rapidly. All the districts have been advised to enhance their capacity be it bed capacity, quarantine capacity and medical equipment capacity etc.

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur said that strict action must also be taken against those involved in gross violation of SOPs. He said that the hoteliers must also strictly follow the SOPs so that the State Government may not be forced to take action. He said that laxity shown by the people has resulted in sharp resurgence of Covid cases in the State.

It’s pertinent to mention that during the campaigning for the elections to Municipal Corporations, all parties and their leaders including the Chief Minister violated all SOPs without attracting any action. The parties also faced criticism for ignoring public health for the sake of political interests, thus, setting wrong examples for the public.  

Feature Image: Pexels@polina-tankilevitch

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HP Cabinet Decisions: Educational Institutes Closed Till April 21 Amid COVID-19 Surge, No Decision on Other Restrictions

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HP Cabinet decision on curfew

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet today held a meeting in which it expressed concern over the sharp surge in Covid-19 cases in the State. The Cabinet decided to keep all educational institutions closed till April 21. The institutes would also remain closed for teaching and non-teaching staff except the staff required for exam duties till the 21st of this month.

A decision was taken to fill up 311 posts of Forest Guards in the Forest Department on a contract basis through direct recruitment. These include already approved 113 posts of Forest Guards by the State Cabinet during its meeting held on 9th of March this year.   

The Cabinet decided to fill up 25 posts of Agriculture Development Officers on a contract basis in Agriculture Department through HP Public Service Commission against direct recruitment quota. 

It decided to implement the central sector scheme SVAMITVA in the state for surveying the land parcels in rural inhabited areas using Drone technology. For this, Revenue Department would be designated as the Nodal Department for implementation of the scheme with the support of the Panchayati Raj Department. For this, MoU would be signed with the Survey of India for starting the scheme in the State. A State Steering Committee, State Project Management Unit and District Project Monitoring Unit would also be constituted for effective implementation of the scheme.

The cabinet also gave its nod to extend employment on compassionate ground to the eligible indigent of the deceased employees against available vacant posts of Class-III and Class-IV in relaxation of five percent quota as against the available vacant posts of class-III and Class-IV in DC offices of Shimla, Kinnaur, Solan and Kangra and office of Settlement Officer Kangra Division.  

It also gave its consent that the project for the development of multi-storey parking-cum-shopping complex at U-Block Mandi may be awarded under PPP mode to the highest bidder at an annual concession fee of Rs. 63,63,000 plus GST and all other applicable taxes per annum, as per terms and conditions of RFP. The selected bidder would also pay an upfront premium of Rs. 2 crores to the authority by way of five equal instalments of Rs. 40 lakh each for 24 months starting from the compliance date.

The cabinet also gave its approval for the creation of five posts of different categories for each newly created Nagar Panchayats viz Shahpur, Chirgaon, Nerwa, Nirmand, Anni, Kandaghat and Amb for smooth functioning of these newly created Nagar Panchayats.

Presentations were also made before the Cabinet by Jal Shakti Department on the prevailing drought situation in the State. It was decided to hold a review meeting under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister including all the stakeholder departments for further decisions.

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Una Murder Case: Body of 22-Year-Old Girl Exhumed, Enraged Villagers Create Ruckus

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una girl murder case

Una-The alleged murder of a 22-year-old girl in Jadla Kohri village under the Gagret sub-division of Una district created a stir on Wednesday as the police exhumed her body from near a temple complex.

According to the allegations, a man who was identified as one of the ‘pujaris of the temple, has admitted killing the girl. He reportedly admitted hitting her on the head with an iron rod and later burying the body.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Amb, has confirmed the report.

Una murder case

According to the initial information, the girl was missing since April 3, 2021, and a complaint regarding the same was filed at the local police station in Gagret the next day.

The police zeroed in on the said accused based on call details and reached the temple today. A large number of villagers also followed the police. When the police exhumed the body based on the location identified by the accused, angry villagers turned violent and demanded handing over the accused to them. A minor clash between police and villagers was also reported. Villagers vandalized the temple premises.

Amid this tense atmosphere, police somehow protected the accused from the enraged mob and managed to get him out safely.

The body of the girl was sent for post-mortem, the Superintendent of Police, Una, Arjit Sen, confirmed.

Though not officially confirmed, some local media reports suggested that the deceased and the accused were known to each other. The girl had recently got engaged to another man.

 Further details are awaited.

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