|Thursday, September 7, 2000,
MP demands CBI probe into murder
Mahajans voting right case
back with SDM
Virbhadra seeks ban on
HP to make driving tests more
Fish production up in Himachal
Decision on SCA poll soon
Subathu needs better
Children briefed on police
30,000 take dip in Manimahesh Lake
13 Himachal forest officers
Post-literacy drive: 2 HP dists
MP demands CBI probe into
MANDI, Sept 6 The HVC leader and Rajya Sabha member, Mr Anil Sharma, today expressed deep shock and anguish at the murder of the Dharampur constituency president, Mr Rakesh Thakur, and demanded a CBI investigation into the case.
Addressing a press conference at the local Circuit House, Mr Sharma said for the first time in the history of Himachal Pradesh an unfortunate trend of political violence set in. It is a political murder a deep-rooted conspiracy in which certainly big persons are involved, he alleged.
He said on the fateful day of his murder Mr Rakesh Thakur had been busy organising public meetings in the course of a tour by him to Dharampur constituency represented by Minister for Public Works Mahinder Singh.
A Maruti van had intriguingly been shadowing us throughout the day but we took it lightly, he said. In the evening Rakesh went home saying that the accommodation in the rest house was inadequate. The assailants were hiding in the bushes near his house. They attacked him and his dumb brother and disappeared under cover of darkness.
Mr Sharma warned those who were engineering political violence in the state and added that these sordid acts could boomerang on them also.
Mr Sukh Ram, HVC chief, told this reporter from Shimla on telephone that he had been badly shaken by the new cult of violence hitherto unknown to Himachal Pradesh. I am meeting the Chief Minister tomorrow when he comes back from tour to acquaint him with the gravity of the situation and urge him in the interests of the state of identify the persons who were behind this murder. This has tarnished the image of Himachal Pradesh, he said.
Meanwhile, the police
has arrested Pawan Kumar, vice-president of Garyoh
Panchayat. The DIG, Central Range, Mr Somesh Kumar, and
the ASP, Mr V.K. Dhawan, are personally supervising the
investigation and are confident of rounding up the
Mahajans voting right case
back with SDM
NURPUR, Sept 6 The issue of the voting right of the PCC chief and former MP, Mr Sat Mahajan, who has been exercising his franchise since 1953 from ward no. 2 of the local municipal council (MC) has once again come up before the revising authority-cum-Subdivisional Magistrate, Nurpur.
Mr Atul Sudan, a BJP activist and confidant of the Vice-Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Corporation and local MLA, Mr Rakesh Pathania, had reportedly filed objections before the revising authority against the enrolment of names of Mr Mahajan and his family members in the voters list of ward no. 2 of the MC. The revising authority, after hearing both parties,had upheld the voting right of Mr Mahajan on August 14. Significantly, Mr Pathania had pleaded the objections of Mr Sudan. He pleaded that Mr Mahajan had been residing in Pathankot since long and had no immovable property, no water, electricity, cooking gas and telephone connections in his name in ward no. 2.
After the rejection of the objections, the objector filed an appeal against the decision of the revising authority before the Deputy Commissioner, Kangra. While deciding the appeal of the objector, the DC instead of disposing it of, sent the same to the SDM, to review the whole case by holding day-to-day proceedings of this summary trial. On August 30, the objector submitted documentary evidence and on the next day the counsel of Mr Mahajan submitted documents supporting his voting right. On September 4, the objector had submitted a list of 15 persons for oral evidence. The revising authority has fixed September 13 for recording oral evidence.
Meanwhile, Mr Mahajan has preferred a writ petition against the decision of the DC of sending the case to the SDM. Owing to the strike of lawyers, the hearing was fixed after a fortnight on September 4.
Supporters of Mr Mahajan alleged that contrary to the DCs directions, the proceedings of the summary trial of his voting right were being prolonged under political pressure.
Observers feel that the
validity of voting right of Mr Mahajan has become a
prestige issue between Mr Pathania and Mr Mahajan. Mr
Mahajans supporters said the issue had been raised
by the opponents of Mr Mahajan many a time in the past
but without success.
Virbhadra seeks ban on
SHIMLA, Sept 6 A single Bench of the Himachal High Court comprising Mr Justice R.L. Khurana has granted bail to Goklu, who was arrested under Sections 147, 307 and 341 of the IPC.
According to the prosecution, the petitioner along with four other companions had thrashed Lal Chand, who received serious injuries on his head. In this case the counsel for the petitioner contended that the allegation against the petitioner was totally baseless.
In another case the court has granted bail to Raju, who was arrested under Section 379 of the IPC and Sections 41 and 42 of the Indian Forest Act.
Counsel contended that the petitioner has nothing to do with the commission of the said offence and was surprised to know that the police was searching for him in connection with the said offence. And that the petitioner is being falsely implicated in the case.
A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice C.K. Thakkar and Mr Justice M.R. Verma yesterday admitted the writ petition filed by a former Chief Minister of the state, Mr Virbhadra Singh, seeking ban on the screening of film Kohram and confirmed the stay order on the screening of the film in Himachal Pradesh.
Mr Virbhadra Singh
alleged in his petition that one of the character in the
film, who was named as Virbhadra Singh, alias Raja Sahib,
had been depicted in villainous role. Moreover, there was
striking resemblance in the character who was shown to be
ruler of a small state like that of Himachal Pradesh
which would hurt his public image.
HP to make driving tests
SHIMLA, Sept 6 Mr Kishan Kapoor, Himachal Transport Minister, has said that driving tests would be made more stringent for controlling accidents in the state. He said that authorities responsible for granting licences would also face action in case the driver was found negligent after inquiry into the causes of accident.
Reviewing working of the Transport Department at a meeting here yesterday, the Transport Minister said if the authority granting licence was found at fault, then his that powers of granting licence would be withdrawn besides legal action against him. He directed that citizen charts should be set up outside the offices of all RTOs on which information regarding time-frame for work would be fixed for bringing transparency in the working of the department for the convenience of the people.
Mr Kapoor said that customer counters would be opened at the entry of the RTOs offices and every work would be done within a time limit which would be recorded on the receipt of the customer. The customer would get back his papers from the same counter according to the fixed time limit, he added.
He said that all RTOs
had been directed to change the time table of buses only
twice a year and this change should be based on the route
survey and notification issued in this behalf. He said
that it would be mandatory for the department to display
in writing the revised time table on bus stands for the
convenience of people. He said that private bus operators
would be provided space for booking counters on all bus
Fish production up in
SHIMLA, Sept 6 Efforts of the Himachal Pradesh Government to promote pisciculture have yielded encouraging results. The states fish products have shot up from 6,400 tonnes to over 7,000 tonnes registering an increase of 11 per cent as compared to 1997-98. Last year, 7,320 tonnes of fish worth Rs 403 lakh was produced which included about 20 tonnes of trout.
The state has vast potential for the development of fisheries with 3,000 km of riverine resources and massive man-made reservoirs of Pong and Gobindsagar dams covering an area of 25,000 hectares, besides the 500 hectares under ponds and 700 hectares under lakes in the snowbound areas.
A Rs 4 crore National Mahasheer Fish Farm at Sidhpur in Mandi district is being set up with the assistance of the Centre for the expeditious exploitation of fisheries resources. The project envisages breeding of Mahasheer fish at large. It is aimed at popularising the Himalayan Mahasheer not only in India but also abroad. The fingerlings produced in the farm would be taken and released into reservoirs, rivers and rivulets across the state. The Union Government has provided Rs 2 crore for setting up of this farm.
An amount of Rs 47 lakh has been exclusively sanctioned for the development of fish farming agency, training and extension programme under the Adarsh Matsya Gram project.
Carp and trout seed farms have been set up for developing pisciculture and supplying them fingerlings. The seed farms produce adequate number of seeds so that these could be stored in rivers and reservoirs. At present there are six carp fish seed centres namely Deoli (Bilaspur), Alsu, Nalagarh, Kangra, Deoli (Gagret) and Sultanpur whereas three trout seed centres at Patlikuhal (Kulu), Barot (Mandi), Sangla (Kinnaur). Besides this, two trout rearing units are in operation at Nagni and Bhandal. Apart from this, trout fish production is being promoted at Holi and Dhambari.
Under different projects launched to give fillip to pisciculture 1,918 employment opportunities have been created during the past two years in the state. Besides this, Rs 43.86 lakh have been disbursed to fishermen as closed season assistance for pond construction and fishing equipment, Rs 49 lakh provided to fish federation and cooperative societies for strengthening marketing infrastructure and Rs 20 lakh to fish federation, Bilaspur as special grant for the assistance of fishermen. Besides this, six new fish landing centres have been constructed at Pong, Chamera and Gobindsagar reservoirs at a cost of Rs 12.46 lakh.
The Fishery Department
submitted a Rs 1.60 lakh project to promote trout fish
farming in the state. The department has also sent two
projects to the Royal Norwegian Agency related to fish
farming. One project is related to the expansion of the
first phase of the Indo-Norwegian trout project in Kulu
valley and the other to the study of effect of
insecticides on fish species in the river Beas basin.
Decision on SCA poll soon
SHIMLA, Sept 6 With all the three students unions up in arms against the government on the issue of holding elections to the Students Central Association of the three universities in the state, a final decision may be taken in a day or two following the return of Mr P.K. Dhumal, Chief Minister, here tomorrow.
Teaching work in Himachal Pradesh University and its various affiliated colleges has been severely affected due to the ongoing agitation of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Students Federation of India and the National Students Union of India, which are vying for each other to put the authorities on the mat.
While the ABVP is
holding a state-level rally here tomorrow, two activists
of the SFI have started an indefinite fast on the
university campus here. Prior to that the members of
these two student bodies had courted mass arrest and held
rallies and demonstration. The NSUI had also been holding
Subathu needs better medicare
KASAULI, Sept 6 Following an accident in Haripur near Subathu in June this year, in which some persons had succumbed to their injuries due to the lack of medical facilities, residents of this town had voiced their concern over the inadequate medical facilities by starting a chain hunger strike in Subathu, about 30 km from here. The Cantonment Hospital in the town was inadequate to deal with emergency cases. Government Primary Health Centre at Thari, about one-and-half km from Subathu, where only a few buses ply during the day. The location of the PHC has become a bone of contention.
The residents of this cantonment town asserts that if the PHC is shifted to Subathu nearly 13,231 people would benefit from it, including the people of the adjoining panchayats namely Jadla, Kakarhatti, Haripur, Rauri, Kot, Sariana, Bharti besides that of Subathu. At present 1,448 people residing in Sariana and Chamat panchayats are benefiting from it.
officer Vibha Sharma when contacted said they had
upgraded the said hospital by extending the facilities of
X-Ray and ECG. Two doctors including a lady doctor had
been appointed by the hospital, she added. The chain
hunger strike entered the 47th day on Monday with no
positive outcome. Yuva Morcha had blocked traffic from 7
a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday to press for their demands. Dr
L.B. Purohit, CMO, when contacted said the demands of the
residents had been forwarded to the government.
Children briefed on police
DHARAMSALA, Sept 6 A job in the police is a big attraction for schoolchildren.
To familiarise schoolchildren with the functioning of the police and encourage them to come forward to help it, students from six schools in the town visited the local police station today.
About 40 children, a majority of whom entered a police station for the first time in their lives, said prior to this they were hesitant to approach the police. The general perception that reporting a matter to the police or coming forward to help somebody will only land you up in trouble, also prevails among these children.
The ASP, Mr A.P. Singh, explained to them the procedure to be followed while lodging a first information report (FIR). He gave details about police personnel posted in a police station and the manner in which various crimes could be reported.
The children were shown the lock-up where accused are kept while in police custody. However, the children showed more interest in the arms used by the police. They were shown how the weapons are used.
Interacting with the schoolchildren, the DIG, Mr K.C. Sadyal, said this was being done to familiarise them with the basic functioning of the police and to remove any fear and apprehensions in their minds. We want that instead of turning away face from any crime that is committed before them, children should have the courage to report the matter to the police,
The SSP, Mr Prithvi Raj,
said visits of schoolchildren would be organised to
various police stations in Kangra district.
30,000 take dip in
CHAMBA, Sept 6 Nearly 30,000 devotees of Lord Shiva had a holy dip in the icy waters of the famous Manimahesh Lake nestled in the mountainous terrain of the district at an altitude of 4170 metres this morning.
They also had a clear vision of the sacred image of Kailash Mount the abode of Lord Shiva, at an altitude of 5656 metres on the occasion of Sri Radha Ashtmi.
Giving this information here today, Mr T.D. Negi, Deputy Commissioner said during the 15-day-long Manimahesh pilgrimage which started on the occasion of Krishna Janamastmi and concluded today at least 75,000 pilgrims, including tourists visited the abode of Lord Shiva at Manimahesh.
Pilgrims hailing from the Bhaderwah region of Jammu and Kashmir also visited the holy centre under security cover.
He said the number of pilgrims to Manimahesh had increased this time as number of them had shunned the Amarnath pilgrimage in the wake of disturbed situation.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate Bharmour, Dr Prem Bhardwaj
informed that three pilgrims were reported to be serious
due to the shortage of oxygen. They had been brought down
by the rescue squad and admitted to a hospital at
13 Himachal forest officers
SHIMLA, Sept 6 In a minor reshuffle in the Forest Department, the Himachal Government shifted 13 forest officers, including two chief conservator of forests.
Mr A.K. Gupta, Conservator Forests (Working Plan), Shimla, has been promoted and posted as Chief Conservator, Forests, (Working Plan), Mandi, Vice Mr A.L. Sharma who takes over as Chief Conservator Forests (Wild Life), Hamirpur.
Mr S.S. Seni, Divisional Forest Officer, has been promoted and posted as Conservator of Forests (Working Plan), Shimla.
Mr Arya Singh, Conservator of Forests, Headquarters, and Dr S.S. Negi, Director, Integrated Watershed Development Project, Solan, swap places.
Dr D.C. Khandoori on return from central deputation takes over as Conservator of Forests, Mandi, Vice Mr Krishan Das who goes as Executive Director, to State Forest Corporation, here.
Mr P.L. Chauhan, DFO, Flying Squad, Hamirpur, has been posted as DFO, Paonta Sahib. Mr B.S. Rana, DFO (Headquarter), Kulu Circle, goes as the DFO, Forest Training School, Kuther, vice Mr Atma Ram who takes over as the DFO, Flying Squad, Hamirpur.
Mr S.N. Sharma,
Divisional Manager of Forest Corporation at Fatehpur, has
been posted as DFO, Churah, while Mr J.C. Mandla
subdivisional manager of the corporation at Nurpur, goes
as the ACF Dehra, Mr D.P. Chaudhary, ACF, Shamshi, goes
to the catchment treatment plan, Chamba in the same
Post-literacy drive: 2 HP
SHIMLA, Sept 6 Hamirpur and Shimla districts have been adjudged first and second, respectively, in the entire country in the implementation of the post-literacy campaign.
Disclosing this at a largely attended public meeting at Uhal in Hamirpur today Mr P.K. Dhumal, the Chief Minister, complimented the people for the achievement and urged them to replicate the effort in other fields of development.
Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, said effective steps were afoot to bring qualitative improvement in education. The government was also ensuring that meritorious students were not deprived of getting higher education. He said the government has started the Ambedkar Meritorious Students Scholarship Scheme.
Thousands of meritorious
students were being given scholarship of Rs 10,000 each.
The scholarship was extended to 2000 students of other
backward classes last year in plus one and plus two
classes last year. From this year for the meritorious
poor students of general categories the Swami Vivekanand
Meritorious Scholarship Scheme had been introduced. Under
which 4000 meritorious students of general categories
would be given scholarship of Rs 10,000 each. Referring
to the development of Hamirpur district, Mr Dhumal said
the Hamirpur Water Supply and Sewerage Scheme was being
implemented at a cost of Rs 12 crore and added that 11th
Finance Commission had sanctioned Rs 16 crore for this
scheme. He said 140 km of roads had been layed in the
past two years.
Sagar for developing
SHIMLA, Sept 6 Mr Vidya Sagar, Agriculture Minister, has stressed the need for identifying wastelands which would be developed for cultivation.
Mr Vidya Sagar, who was speaking at a seminar on agro-forestry here today, said the increased pressure on natural resources has endangered the fragile eco-system. Unsuitable farming practices and over exploitation of natural resources were causing serious degradation of environment.
Eroded soil clogs
reservoirs resulting in flooding in the low lands of
three million hectares. The major environmental problems
observed in the state were water erosion, including top
soil loss, flooding and acidity.
BJP suspends party leader
SHIMLA, Sept 6 Mr Jaikrishan Sharma, president of the state BJP, has suspended Mr Desh Bandhu Sood, a former vice-president of the Shimla district unit of the party from the primary membership for giving anti-party statements to the press.
Messy entrance to post office
BADDI, Sept 6Pools of stagnant water with polythene bags and other muck floating in these form the entrance to the post office in the industrial area here. Heaps of dung and garbage are also a common sight in front of the post office and in the surrounding area. The drainage system in the area does not work and water gets accumulated even after a small shower, forming a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.
The Nagar Panchayat has
failed to maintain cleanliness in this area and the town
is virtually without a sanitation system. Low ground
level has further compounded the problem of accumulation
of water and the streets are full of deep potholes.
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