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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

Govt to seek CBI probe into cadet’s death
Shimla, October 9
The Himachal Government will be writing to the Defence Ministry to order a CBI inquiry into the death of an Indian Military Academy (IMA) cadet, Devender Kumar Sharma, a resident of the Kandaghat area in Solan district.

Divisional Commissioner to probe allegations
Encroachment charge against Mayor
Shimla, October 9
With an eye on the Shimla Municipal Corporation elections in April next year, the government has now referred the case pertaining to the alleged encroachment by the Mayor, Mr Sohan Lal, to the Divisional Commissioner, Shimla, who will once again probe into the allegations.

3 suspected dengue cases referred to Chandigarh
Kumarhatti, October 9
The three suspected dengue cases were referred to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, from Baddi today. While confirming the development, Dr S.N. Sharma, CMO, Solan, said that the cases were referred to Chandigarh for further tests.

HIMUDA sells acquired land at 4 times cost price
Solan, October 9
Freehold residential plots offered by the Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) at Mandhala has annoyed the villagers from whom the land has been acquired. Land was acquired early this year but its award is awaited.






YOUR TOWN
Bilaspur
Dharamsala
Shimla
Solan
Nurpur


EARLIER STORIES



Dispossessed tailor protests
Bilaspur, October 9
Mr Farouq Ahmad, a tailor from an Antodaya family, along with his wife Zarina Begum and child, marched for about three km from his house in Dholera Sector to the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Changer Sector here today to protest against the injustice meted out to them by a relative in connivance with revenue officials and the police.

“Suspend” elementary education system
Nurpur, October 9
The Kangra District Government Teachers’ Union has demanded the suspension of elementary education system introduced by the state government piecemeal in senior secondary schools on October 1.

Sonia to visit HP on October 30
Shimla, October 9
All-India Congress Committee (AICC) President Sonia Gandhi will address a public meeting at Dharamsala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on October 30 during her one-day visit to the state.

Instant money order service in state soon
Shimla, October 9
The Himachal Government owes over Rs 16 crore to the Department of Posts on account of non-payment of the non-refundable contribution for the 436 economically unviable post offices in the hill state.

Woman dies of rabies, dog causes panic
Dharamsala, October 9
A rabies-carrying dog has wreaked havoc in the Jamula area of Palampur subdivision, claiming the life of 60-year-old Giani Devi of Kedara village, near here, last night.

Elephant herd finds new habitat in HP
Shimla, October 9
Enthused by the long sojourn of a herd of elephants in the Simbalwara sanctuary in Sirmaur and the Kalesar National Park across the border, the forest authorities of Himachal and Haryana will work jointly to help make the tuskers permanent residents of the area.

 

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Govt to seek CBI probe into cadet’s death
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 9
The Himachal Government will be writing to the Defence Ministry to order a CBI inquiry into the death of an Indian Military Academy (IMA) cadet, Devender Kumar Sharma, a resident of the Kandaghat area in Solan district.

A delegation comprising relatives and villagers from Hathon Tanaina, the native place of the cadet, today met the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, in this regard. The Chief Minister assured them that the government would soon write to the Defence Ministry to order a CBI inquiry into his death.

Cadet Devender Kumar Sharma (23) was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his room at the academy in Dehra Dun on October 1. While the Army authorities said that he had committed suicide, family members ruled it out. They pointed out that he died under mysterious circumstances and the case should be handed over to the CBI. No suicide note was found near the body.

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Divisional Commissioner to probe allegations
Encroachment charge against Mayor
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 9
With an eye on the Shimla Municipal Corporation elections in April next year, the government has now referred the case pertaining to the alleged encroachment by the Mayor, Mr Sohan Lal, to the Divisional Commissioner, Shimla, who will once again probe into the allegations.

The office of the Divisional Commissioner has sought the entire documents and files pertaining to the case from the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, and the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, so that the case can be re-examined. It is being felt that the government is adopting delaying tactics so that a final decision in the case can be avoided before the elections, as it will have a negative bearing on the outcome of the MC elections.

On the basis of an inquiry conducted by the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, it had been stated that the Mayor, Mr Sohan Lal, had encroached upon municipal land. The Mayor had, however, stated that he had not encroached on the land, and Sohan Lal whose name figures in the list of encroachers was someone else. On the other hand, as per the inquiry conducted by the tehsildar, it was the Mayor who had been found to be the encroacher.

An inquiry conducted by Commissioner, MC, had not found any substance in the allegations of encroachment against the Mayor. The supporters of Mr Sohan Lal, however, point out that Mr Sohan Lal's name is being dragged in the matter. The possession of the structure alleged to have been constructed by the Mayor also happens to be with someone else.

It is on the basis of the affidavit filed by Mr Sohan Lal, seeking land as he belonged to a weaker section, that the inquiry was ordered. He had given complete details along with the names of his family and children, stating that they were totally dependent on him.

The government, especially the ruling party, has been placed in a very embarrassing situation with the name of the Mayor figuring in the list of encroachers. The BJP will make the issue of encroachment by the Mayor a major topic.

There are 24 municipal wards and the elections to the Shimla MC are considered prestigious.

As per the orders of the High Court, all encroachers have to be evicted within a period of four months but the MC authorities are taking the plea that completing all formalities was a time-consuming process and it could even take longer. Out of the total encroachments found in the town, there are over 800 cases of encroachment in the Krishnanagar locality.

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3 suspected dengue cases referred to Chandigarh
Our Correspondent

Kumarhatti, October 9
The three suspected dengue cases were referred to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, from Baddi today. While confirming the development, Dr S.N. Sharma, CMO, Solan, said that the cases were referred to Chandigarh for further tests.

The patients had been suffering from high fever for the past few days and were under treatment at Baddi.

Vishal (10) from Chamba was gripped by high fever. He was under observation at the Primary Health Centre, Baddi. He has come to his father who was employed in a unit at Baddi two days back.

Vikram Singh (35) from Nanakpura, the adjoining area to Baddi in Haryana, had been suffering from fever for the past few days. He was getting treatment in ESI Dispensary, Baddi, before he was asked to get a test conducted at Chandigarh today. He was employed in a unit at Barotiwala.

The third suspected dengue case was also an industrial worker. Pawan Kumar, who was employed in a unit at Baddi, was down with fever.

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HIMUDA sells acquired land at 4 times cost price
Our Correspondent

Solan, October 9
Freehold residential plots offered by the Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) at Mandhala has annoyed the villagers from whom the land has been acquired. Land was acquired early this year but its award is awaited.

The HIMUDA has neither bothered to get the land mutated in its name not has dispensed compensation to the villagers. The land was acquired at rates much lower than that prevailing in the market. now it is being offered at prices which are more than four times. This has upset the farmers who feel cheated at the raw deal given to them.

This land was acquired at price of Rs 7 lakh per bigha but it is being offered at price ranging Rs 25 lakh to Rs 36 lakh. The land has not found much favour with investors. An investor from Chandigarh Mohan Lal Mittal, who visited the site today said, It is highly misleading that HIMUDA has mentioned Baddi against the site while the place Mandhala is more than 3 km away. With neither approach road nor carved plots there is no fun in setting up any housing venture here.

I want there in the hope of finding well demarcated plots like offered by HUDA in Haryana but it was disappointing the place did not have even a proper road. Wading through a virtual forest the site appears ill-located from the point of view of housing said another investor.

HIMUDA is selling applications for 675 plots through the UTI bank. The applicants are supposed to deposit 1.5 lakh as earnest money for these plots. Executive Engineer of HIMUDA Umesh Sharma, defending the deal said the owners would be given a 12 per cent interest on the award for any delay from the date of agreement. These plots would be developed in six months and this condition has been mentioned in the terms and conditions of the brochure. 

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Dispossessed tailor protests
Jai Kumar

Bilaspur, October 9
Mr Farouq Ahmad, a tailor from an Antodaya family, along with his wife Zarina Begum and child, marched for about three km from his house in Dholera Sector to the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Changer Sector here today to protest against the injustice meted out to them by a relative in connivance with revenue officials and the police.

In a representation to the Chief Minister, handed over to the Deputy Commissioner after their dharna, Mr Farouq Ahmad said on September 30, a kanungo and a patwari, along with a number of policemen, accompanied their relative Riyaz Ahmed and their neighbour Achhar Dev Pawar to their house.

He alleged that in his absence, they dragged his wife out of one of the rooms, threw out all their belongings and demolished the room, after which masons and labourers they brought along with them started constructing a wall.

He said they did not say under which authority they were indulging in this activity, but instead, misbehaved with his wife and tore her clothes when she resisted the trespass.

He said they had been in possession of the room for the past 18 years while their relative had earlier filed a case in court for the same and lost it.

Mr Farouq Ahmad said he had met the Deputy Commissioner and given him a representation, demanding action against the persons responsible, and the Deputy Commissioner had marked the representation to the Station House Officer, but nothing had happened so far.

He said had to resort to a peaceful protest on Gandhian lines by carrying a lantern alight during the day as injustice had been meted out to him.

He said he was poor and could neither afford costly litigation, nor waste man days, while persons having power and money were out to grab his land, to which he was trying to draw the attention of the government.

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“Suspend” elementary education system
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, October 9
The Kangra District Government Teachers’ Union has demanded the suspension of elementary education system introduced by the state government piecemeal in senior secondary schools on October 1.

Mr Onkar Rana, district president of the union, in a statement here yesterday, alleged the government had launched the system in haste without caring weighing the pros and cons.

“Choatic and disorderly conditions prevails in the senior secondary schools following the launching of the system as no policy has been framed regarding adjustment of teachers,” he explained.

The government should first frame recruitment and promotion rules for teachers and headmasters and then fill vacant teaching posts in government schools,” he added.

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Sonia to visit HP on October 30

Shimla, October 9
All-India Congress Committee (AICC) President Sonia Gandhi will address a public meeting at Dharamsala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on October 30 during her one-day visit to the state.

HPCC general secretary and spokesman Kuldeep Rathore said that during her visit to the state, Ms Gandhi would unveil the statue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and address a public rally at Dharamsala. — UNI

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Instant money order service in state soon
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 9
The Himachal Government owes over Rs 16 crore to the Department of Posts on account of non-payment of the non-refundable contribution for the 436 economically unviable post offices in the hill state.

Mr S. Vijaykumaran Nayar, Chief Postmaster-General, said these post offices were opened on the request of the state government which had undertaken to pay the non-refundable contribution (NRC) to make up the operational loss. However, once the offices were made functional it backed out of its commitment and stopped paying the NRC. The department subsequently brought these branches under the mainstream services but the arrears had not been cleared by the government so far.

He announced that the web-based instant money order (iMO) service would be launched in the state from the General Post Office, Shimla, next week. It would enable people to transfer money instantly to a large number of cities in the country at reasonable charges.

Money remitted at the post office was transferred immediately but it would be disbursed only on the presentation of a 16-digit computer-generated secret code which would be supplied to the sender by the post office along with a proof of identity by the receiver.

Under the service Rs 1,000 to Rs 50,000 could be transferred. The service would be made available at all the major post offices in due course. At present the facility was available at 41 locations and it would be extended to another 21 post offices during the current month.

The speed post service had been doing exceedingly well in the state and up to September 30, 2006, a revenue of Rs 1.34 crore had been generated.

The department, he said, was encouraging philately in various ways and it would issue a fragrant stamp and a miniature sheet on sandalwood next month. Tiny globules had been embedded during the course of printing of stamps which would give fragrance on scratching the surface.

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Woman dies of rabies, dog causes panic
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, October 9
A rabies-carrying dog has wreaked havoc in the Jamula area of Palampur subdivision, claiming the life of 60-year-old Giani Devi of Kedara village, near here, last night.

Chief Medical Officer Dr J.S. Chandel said the dog had bitten three more persons in the area, including the daughter of an ayurvedic practitioner.

Twenty persons involved in taking care of the deceased, including members of her family and relatives, were also suspected to be infected with rabies.

“We have rushed a doze each of the anti-rabies vaccine to them, with the advice that the suspected patients should complete the course, and a team of doctors has been sent to the spot”, he said.

Giani Devi had been bitten by the dog in July and she had stopped treatment after two anti-rabies shots.

She had developed rabies symptoms nearly a fortnight back and was referred to the Dr Rajendra Prasad Zonal Hospital at Dharamsala and later to the PGI in Chandigarh.

She had reached the last stage of rabies and breathed her last at her house in Jamula last night.

Local residents said the dog was moving around freely and had not been taken away by the municipal authorities.

They said it had puppies, also believed to be infected, which could be a threat to residents of the area.

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Elephant herd finds new habitat in HP
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 9
Enthused by the long sojourn of a herd of elephants in the Simbalwara sanctuary in Sirmaur and the Kalesar National Park across the border, the forest authorities of Himachal and Haryana will work jointly to help make the tuskers permanent residents of the area.

The north-western extreme of the Asian elephant’s habitat extends up to the Rajaji Park in Uttaranchal and it is unusual to find herds of the giant animal in Haryana and Himachal. Occasionally, solitary tusker did stray into the area. However, it is the first time that a herd of seven elephants has been staying put in the area for the past more than three months.

Dr Vinay Tandon, Additional Principal chief conservator of forests, who is also the Chief Wildlife Warden, yesterday held a meeting with his Haryana counterpart, Mr Jakadi, in this regard.

The wildlife authorities of both the states see it as an achievement and evidence of the successful management of protected areas. They were keen to see the two sanctuaries emerge as the natural habitat of elephants by ensuring their safety and also providing a safe corridor for their movement between the Rajaji Park and the twin sanctuaries.

The plan was to put in place a mechanism for the joint management of the two protected areas so that the presence and movement of elephants could be closely monitored and in a coordinated manner, Dr Tandon explained. If the herds started residing in the area the range of the Asian elephant would be extended from the Rajaji Park to Simbalwara which would be a big achievement, he added.

The herd, which first came to notice in July, was still in the area and it was seen in Simbalwara on September 30 and Kalesar three days ago. While the wildlife authorities had confirmed that there were seven members in the herd, one of which was born during the summer sojourn in the area. However, villagers have been maintaining that the strength of the herd is eight.

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