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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

7 killed, 40 injured in bus accident
Jogindernagar, December 6
Local residents help shift an injured person to a hospital in Jogindernagar in Mandi district on Wednesday. Seven passengers, including three women, were killed and 40 others, including two children, were injured, seven of them seriously, when a private bus skidded on the descending road, then overturned and rolled down into the 150-foot gorge at Dalar, near here, on the Dharamsala-Jogindernagar road today.
Local residents help shift an injured person to a hospital in Jogindernagar in Mandi district on Wednesday. — Photo by Mahesh Chander Sharma

HC ban on big building projects in Kasauli area
Shimla, December 6
In a significant order, the Himachal Pradesh High Court today imposed a complete ban on big building projects in the Greater Kasauli area.

Rejection of hydel project proposal brings cheers
Chamba, December 6
The rejection of a proposal for setting up of a new 126 MW Chamba hydroelectric project by the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet has brought cheers to the people of this region.

Shimla to have residential college
Shimla, December 6
After upgrading the local Government Degree College to a model institution, the Himachal Government proposes to open a coeducational residential college of global standards in east Shimla.






YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Kangra
Shimla
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EARLIER STORIES



2nd AIDS drop-in-centre to be set up at Barmana
Shimla, December 6
Himachal Pradesh will set up the second drop-in-centre for AIDS patients at Barmana within a month. With one drop-in-centre already functioning at Poanta Sahib in Sirmour district, the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) has approved the opening of the second one at Barmana.

Ambedkar remembered
Shimla, December 6
Tributes were paid to Baba- saheb Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, on his 50th death anniversary by Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, at a state-level function here today. He laid a wreath on the statue of Babasaheb at Chaura Maidan.

Cold wave intensifies in HP
Shimla, December 6
Wintery conditions intensified in Himachal Pradesh following a fresh spell of snowfall in higher altitude areas and rains in mid and lower hills of the state during the past 24 hours, the met sources said today.

Man axes leopard to death to save wife
Shimla, December 6
Mr Surat Singh, a patwari posted in Khangtedi village of Rohru subdivision, fought a huge leopard in a one-on-one battle to pull back his wife from the jaws of death yesterday.

SPO’s body found
Chamba, December 6
Mystery shrouding the disappearance of a special police officer (SPO) on the border sector of Kihar in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh adjacent to Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir was dispelled when the corpse of the deceased SPO was recovered near the Khundi Adhwar outer checkpoint (OCP) yesterday.

Man behind triple murder identified
Palampur, December 6
The police has established the direct involvement of Harish Kumar of Haryana in the triple murder committed at Kandaran village. Disclosing this to media persons here today, Mr K.C. Sharma, Deputy Superintendent of Police, said a report from the State Forensic Lab, Junga, had matched the finger prints of Harish.

Man, son die in mishaps
Kangra, December 6
A man and his son died in road mishaps. Twentytwo days back, three youths going on a motor cycle dashed against a bus and died on the spot at Birta on the outskirts of this town, Tano Pawa (16) too died in this mishap.

Two killed in mishap
Nahan, December 6
Two persons were killed and one was injured in an accident at Yashwant Nagar village on the Rajgarh-Solan road 110 km from here today.

A clarification
Chandigarh, December 6
Reacting to a news-item headlined "Man defrauds SBI" carried in these columns on November 16, the president of the Tax Bar Association, Parwanoo, and chartered accountant, Mr Surinder Babbar, has clarified that he has nothing to do with the opening of an account with the bank.

 

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7 killed, 40 injured in bus accident
Kuldeep Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Jogindernagar, December 6
Seven passengers, including three women, were killed and 40 others, including two children, were injured, seven of them seriously, when a private bus skidded on the descending road, then overturned and rolled down into the 150-foot gorge at Dalar, near here, on the Dharamsala-Jogindernagar road today.

The fall was so deadly that bus tossed into the air before it broke into mangled remains, killing six persons on the spot. Those killed have been identified as Dhoti Ram (Chauntra), Isha Awasthi (a student of a Jogindernagar college), Sunita (Baijnath), Prem Lata (ward sister, Civil Hospital, Jogindernagar), Paramjit (driver of the bus) and Chur Singh (conductor). Phula Devi died on the way to the Civil Hospital here.

The condition of the six serious victims - Raj Kumar (Chauntra), Gian Chand (Dak Bagra), J.P. Sharma (Paprola), Sansar Chand (Baijnath), Col Sobh Singh (principal of a private school, Jogindernagar) and Payar Chand - were reported to be serious and have been referred to hospitals at Dharamsala and Yol Camp.

The two providential survivors are Kushbu, an 11-month-old baby of Rajesh Kumar (Bir), and Akriti, a nine-month-old daughter of Nisha Kumar. Both were travelling with their parents and but all of them survived.

Akriti has been improving at the Civil Hospital here, while Kushbu and Mahesh Kumar (36) have been referred to the Zonal Hospital, Mandi, for treatment.

The Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Dr V.N. Sharma, said that the condition of 34 passengers was stable.

Meanwhile, a team of doctors from the Zonal Hospital, Mandi, reached the hospital to assist in the treatment of the patients.

According to the injured passengers, Shanta Kumar and Ramesh Rana, the bus was in normal speed and then suddenly they heard "something breaking near the steering wheel". The driver applied brakes and the bus slowed down, but skidded sideways, overturned and plunged into the gorge.

The private bus (HP-39-4655) was on its way from Dharamsala to Manali and belonged to the New Prem Bus Service.

IPH Minister Kaul Singh Thakur and former Vidhan Sabha Speaker Gulab Singh Thakur visited the injured in the hospital along with officials and expressed their sympathies with the family members of the victims.

The SDO (Civil), Jogindernagar, Mr R. Gautam, said the government had given immediate relief of Rs 10,000 each to next of kin of those dead and Rs 10,000 to those who were seriously injured and Rs 5,000 and Rs 3,000 to the lesser injured passengers.

The injured passengers included Archna (Chauntra), Vishnudas (Chauntra), Suman Prabha (Chauntra), Om Parkash (Ladruni), Ramesh Rana (Ladruni), Jivan Lal (Kajeru), Sunil Kumar (Gurdaspur, Punjab), Arun Kumar (Kajeru), Seema (Masera), Sushil Kumar (Sibhal), Nisha (Bir), Pratap, Sanjiv, Mohamad Sultan, Sarla Devi, Archana (Mohanghati), Puran Chand (Nepal), Mahsesh Kumar (Jogindernagar), Shiksha Gupta, Rajesh Kumar, Rajinder Rana (Bersol), Manjit Katoch, Ram Singh, Kali Das, Onkar Chand, Bishan Das, Nirmala Devi, Santosh Kumar, Anil Kumar (Dak Bagra) and Punvanshi, (Chauntra).

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HC ban on big building projects in Kasauli area
Our Legal Correspondent

Shimla, December 6
In a significant order, the Himachal Pradesh High Court today imposed a complete ban on big building projects in the Greater Kasauli area.

The interim order was passed by a Division Bench of the Chief Justice Vinod Kumar Gupta and Mr Justice V.K. Ahuja on a PIL filed by the Mr Baljit Malik, convener of the Kasauli Bachao Andolan, which is spearheading the movement for saving the ecology and environment of the area.

The Bench ordered that no new project of more than Rs 25 lakh should be allowed in the area. The court took a strong notice of the huge constructions which are coming up in Kasauli and surrounding areas and agreed with the petitioner that they were not only a threat to the fragile hill environment but also defacing the picturesque tourist station.

Earlier, the court had asked the government to prepare a master plan for the regulated development of the Kasauli area. The plan submitted by the government had been rejected by the petitioner, who maintained that there was nothing new in it and the government had merely presented the old plan. He said that big tourist resorts were coming up at every 400 yards and they were drawing huge local resources, particularly water, which was already a scarce commodity. The court asked him to file his objections through an affidavit.

He had also submitted a list of 13 buildings, which, he maintained, had been constructed illegally.

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Rejection of hydel project proposal brings cheers

Chamba, December 6
The rejection of a proposal for setting up of a new 126 MW Chamba hydroelectric project by the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet has brought cheers to the people of this region.

Conveying the decision of Himachal Cabinet in a letter to Mr. Tej Singh Jasrotia, general secretary of the Chamba Welfare Association today, Mr. Harsh Mahajan, Animal and Urban Development Minister, had communicated that it was indispensable to save the existence of heritage, historic and hill town of Chamba from its ruining and devastation.

In lieu of this project, the state government had allotted 17 MW Sai Kothi hydroelectric project to HPSEB for execution which would generate more employment opportunities for the people of Chamba and increase the work of HPSEB in this area, the communication said.

The people of Chamba had been opposing the proposal of setting up the project by the HPSEB and were urging the government to abandon it forthwith. — OC

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Shimla to have residential college
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 6
After upgrading the local Government Degree College to a model institution, the Himachal Government proposes to open a coeducational residential college of global standards in east Shimla.

Stating this while presiding over the annual prize distribution function of Rajiv Gandhi Government Degree College here today, Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, said the local Government Degree College was being developed as a centre of excellence and admissions were being made on merit.

The proposed residential institution would be self-contained in all respects and efforts would be made to achieve global standard of teaching. He said the admissions would be restricted. He directed the authorities to identify suitable land so that a sprawling campus could be built for the college without delay.

The Chief Minister said his government was considering a proposal to fix the number of seats in different disciplines in every government degree college in the state and implement the condition of cut-off marks so that a limited number of students were admitted to specific courses.

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2nd AIDS drop-in-centre to be set up at Barmana
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 6
Himachal Pradesh will set up the second drop-in-centre for AIDS patients at Barmana within a month.

With one drop-in-centre already functioning at Poanta Sahib in Sirmour district, the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) has approved the opening of the second one at Barmana. The proposed drop-in-centre will have 10 patients suffering from HIV/AIDS living together under one roof. An NGO, the Himachal Pradesh Voluntary Health Association, has been assigned the task of running the centre.

With patients having to contend with social stigma and ostracisation, the drop-in-centre provides better psychological environment, as patients can share one another’s pain.

The number of AIDS and HIV cases in the state have considerably gone up during the past one year. As compared to 319 full-blown AIDS cases in the state last year, the number shot up to 397 by September 30 this year.

Similarly, the number of people who have contracted the HIV infection, too, has gone up to 1930 compared to the last year’s figure of 1474.

As per an estimated projection of the number of HIV-infected persons in the state by NACO, there should be over 4,500 patients of the killer disease in Himachal Pradesh. A large number of cases remain unreported, especially in rural areas.

“It is not that there has been a sudden surge in the number of AIDS and HIV infections, but due to more awareness and better voluntary and testing facilities at all district headquarters, more cases are being reported,” said Ms Sulakshna Puri, Project Director, HP State AIDS Control Society.

Free anti-retro viral drugs for the treatment of patients with an advanced stage of AIDS infection are being provided to 129 patients from all over the state at the department of medicine in Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC). With NACO laying down the criterion that only those patients whose CD4 count has fallen below 200 would be entitled for this free treatment facility, all those falling in this category are being covered.

At present, 18 target intervention projects for high-risk population comprising truckers, female sex workers, migrant labour and intra venous drug users are being run in the state through various NGOs.

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Ambedkar remembered
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 6
Tributes were paid to Baba- saheb Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, on his 50th death anniversary by Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, at a state-level function here today. He laid a wreath on the statue of Babasaheb at Chaura Maidan.

He was joined by Mr R.R. Rao, Excise and Taxation Minister, Mr Kuldeep Kumar, Industries Minister, Mr Harbhajan Singh Bhajji, Dr Biru Ram Kishore, Mr Bodh Raj and Mr Mukesh Agnihotri, all MLAs, Mr Sohan Lal, Mayor, Mr Shashi Shekhar, Deputy Mayor, and councillors of the Municipal Corporation.

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Cold wave intensifies in HP

Shimla, December 6
Wintery conditions intensified in Himachal Pradesh following a fresh spell of snowfall in higher altitude areas and rains in mid and lower hills of the state during the past 24 hours, the met sources said today.

Intense coldwave conditions were prevailing in the high-altitude areas of Kinnuar, Lahaul Spiti, Kulu, Chamba, Kangra, Sirmaur and Mandi districts following snowfall for the fourth day today.

Dhundi and Solang Nullah, both in Kulu district, had recorded 48 cm and 13 cm of fresh snowfall last night.

Patseo and Keylong, the district headquarters of Lahaul Spiti, also recorded 25 cm and 6 cm of fresh snowfall during the night, plummeting minimum and maximum temperatures in the tribal areas.

Saach Pass in Chamba district has so far recorded over 2 feet of snowfall during the past four days, disrupting traffic on the Chamba-Pangi road, besides other link roads.

Vehicular traffic has also been suspended on the Manali-Leh road following over 5 feet of snowfall at 13,050-foot high Rohtang Pass, the gateway to Lahaul Spiti district.

Kinner Kailash peak and Srikhand in Kinnuar district, Kunzum Pass at over 14,000 feet, Dhauladhar Ranges in Kangra and Churdhar Ranges in Sirmaur district also experienced snowfall during the past 24, the sources said.

Pangi subdivision of the district has been cut off from the rest of the state following heavy snowfall during the past few days.

The minimum temperatures had plummeted below minus degrees, with Kalpa in Kinnuar district recording a night temperature of minus 2.5 degree celsius, they said.

The source said Bhang Manali in Kulu district had recorded 31.6 mm of rain, followed by 24.4 mm at Dhundi, 14.4 mm at Bhuntar, 11 mm at Sundernagar, 10.1 mm at Shimla and 4.9 mm at Kalpa. — UNI

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Man axes leopard to death to save wife
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 6
Mr Surat Singh, a patwari posted in Khangtedi village of Rohru subdivision, fought a huge leopard in a one-on-one battle to pull back his wife from the jaws of death yesterday.

Surat Singh was hospitalised with deep wounds on his hand, while his wife, Shyama Devi, escaped with minor injuries. The leopard, which was hit repeatedly on its head with an axe and locked in a room, later died while being taken away in a cage by a team of the Forest Department.

Surat Singh and Shyma Devi came out of their house when they heard their dog bark in fear. Before they could realise what was happening, the leopard pounced on Shyama Devi. As she was struggling to free herself , Surat jumped in and grappled with the ferocious beast. During the fight, the two were pushed into the room, where Surat Singh got hold of an axe and hit the leopard repeatedly. The beast finally fell down when the axe landed on its head.

Surat Singh came out and locked the injured animal in the room. He was taken to hospital immediately by villagers.

Earlier in the day, the leopard had created panic in the area by attacking and two girls of nearby villages in separate incidents. Twelve-year-old Radha of Kokoi village was attacked while she was on her way to Bhooth village. She sustained injuries on her legs, including a fractured bone. Ribba, a Class VIII student, was returning home after appearing in examination when she was attacked. She was injured in the attack.

All four injured have been hospitalised and are said to be recovering.

The forest officials arrived with a cage to take away the injured animal, but it died on the way.

Mr Tarun Kapoor, Deputy Commissioner, said Surat Singh would be suitably honoured for his act of bravery.

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SPO’s body found

Chamba, December 6
Mystery shrouding the disappearance of a special police officer (SPO) on the border sector of Kihar in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh adjacent to Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir was dispelled when the corpse of the deceased SPO was recovered near the Khundi Adhwar outer checkpoint (OCP) yesterday. The deceased was positioned on duty according to a delayed report received at the district headquarter town of Chamba today.

The security officials of the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) supervising the borders had given the information about the death of the SPO to the Deputy Superintendent of Police stationed at Salooni who, along with a team of police officials, rushed to the incident site.

Confirming the report, Mr. Sunil Choudhary, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP), Chamba, stated, "At the moment it is not possible to comment upon the reasons of the death of SPO unless the report of the police officials who had been sent to the spot for investigation is not received".

The deceased SPO named Chamaru Ram was a resident of Gharohan village falling in the border region. — OC

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Man behind triple murder identified
Our Correspondent

Palampur, December 6
The police has established the direct involvement of Harish Kumar of Haryana in the triple murder committed at Kandaran village. Disclosing this to media persons here today, Mr K.C. Sharma, Deputy Superintendent of Police, said a report from the State Forensic Lab, Junga, had matched the finger prints of Harish. He said now the case would be sent to the Sessions Court at Dharamsala for trial.

Mr Sharma said visra report received from the forensic lab had also established that tablets of diazepam were mixed by the accused in the liquor served to one of the victims, Vinod, before he was murdered. Later Harish murdered Vinod’s wife and five-year-old daughter.

Mr Sharma said Harish was arrested last month from Haryana. He was also found involved in half dozen murder cases committed in different parts of the state.

It may be recalled that Harish had met Vinod during the Manimahesh yatra in Chamba district in August where he developed friendship with him. Later he came to Kandran village, near here, stayed with the victim for a night and murdered all the family members present in the house.

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Man, son die in mishaps

Kangra, December 6
A man and his son died in road mishaps.

Twentytwo days back, three youths going on a motor cycle dashed against a bus and died on the spot at Birta on the outskirts of this town, Tano Pawa (16) too died in this mishap. The family was yet to recover from the trauma of the death of Tano. Today Paramjeet alias Tonny (43) driver of a private bus which rolled down near Joginder Nagar this morning was among the seven persons who died and 35 injured.

Body of Tonny was brought here this evening. — OC

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Two killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Nahan, December 6
Two persons were killed and one was injured in an accident at Yashwant Nagar village on the Rajgarh-Solan road 110 km from here today.

Three persons including a driver were travelling in the Tata mobile jeep when it fell into a gorge at Yashwant Nagar, the jeep was on the way to Rajgarh from Solan.

All the three injured persons were rushed to the district hospital Solan by local residents. In the Solan hospital, owner of the jeep Babu Ram and Raj Kumar succumbed to their injuries. The driver of the jeep is admitted to the hospital.

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A clarification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 6
Reacting to a news-item headlined "Man defrauds SBI" carried in these columns on November 16, the president of the Tax Bar Association, Parwanoo, and chartered accountant, Mr Surinder Babbar, has clarified that he has nothing to do with the opening of an account with the bank.

In a communication to The Tribune, Mr Babbar has stated that he only prepared the documents for the "incorporation" of a company, Nalagarh Traders. The papers were prepared for submission to the office of Registrar of Companies, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh at Jalandhar.

Even the Branch Manager of SBI, Parwanoo, has acknowledged this fact in his complaint submitted to the police. The same has been mentioned in the press note, subsequently, released by the police. Describing himself as a law-abiding citizen, he has added that a company could be "incorporated" by any practitioner, including a CA.

However, the newspaper correspondent misinterpreted the facts and reported them wrongly without verification. As a result, his image has been tarnished, and reputation of 22 years ruined. The news-report has sent shock among the CA fraternity, he has added.

The Tribune Correspondent adds: The news-report was based on a press note issued by the police. Mr Babbar has not helped the accused in opening an account with the bank, as mentioned in the press release. He only got the company registered with the regional office. The error is regretted.

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