Himachal: Rumoured gang rape takes political colour
The alleged gang rape of a student of the local Government Post-Graduate College took political colour on Wednesday with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleging involvement of "relatives of some politicians" in the crime, even as the incident is yet to be established.
Former BJP minister Kishan Kapoor, while addressing the media, accused the state government, police and college authorities of hushing up the sensitive issue. "It is very unfortunate if something like this has happened in Dharamsala," the BJP leader said, adding that the incident was in total contrast to the statement of state director general of police (DGP) that crime against women in Himachal had come down.
Stating that he didn't have faith in the state police, Kapoor demanded a CBI probe into the incident. Raising doubts over the role of the college principal, Kapoor questioned if a woman had come to his office reporting the incident, why didn't he take quick action giving the seriousness to the the matter?
It has been learnt, Kapoor said, that the "victim" had earlier approached a college teacher, who was also the chairperson of the college's sexual harassment committee, alleging that a youth had sexually harassed her. "Being the chairperson of such an important body, she should have taken the complaint on a serious note. But instead, she ignored it," Kapoor alleged.
Commenting on the police investigation in the case, he said it really wasn't that difficult to identify the victim, as her antecedents could have been identified from the admission record.
Expressing surprise on reactions of local MLA and minister Sudhir Sharma, Kapoor said instead of ordering a speedy probe, Sharma was talking about action against those sharing the incident on the social media.
Likening the law and order situation in Himachal with that of a dictator's rule and "goondaraj", Kapoor said the BJP would start a massive campaign against the government if proper action was not taken in the case. "The government has until May 24 to come out with facts in the case. Thereafter, the BJP would start a mass agitation across the state," he cautioned.
Senior Congress leader and state transport minister GS Bali said the incident, if true, was sad, and government should order an impartial probe either by the CID or any other independent agency. "Such news appearing in the media are tarnishing the image of the state. Whosoever is involved in the crime should be taken to task," Bali said.
Chandigarh Chandigarh administrator Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for a synthetic running track at Sukhna Lake. UT adviser Dharam Pal, said, “The Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee had earlier given its go-ahead for the proposal. Next, the detailed plan and cost estimates will be prepared; and then, tenders will be floated for the project.” A UT official said the proposed track is part of the administration's efforts to give Sukhna Lake a major facelift.
The National Highway Authority of India has approved two over-bridges, which are likely to reduce travel time between Kalka and Zirakpur and alleviate traffic jams on the stretch by next year. NHAI has already floated tenders for the 60-m wide over-bridges, which will be constructed at a cost of ₹50 crore. It has invited bids for the “construction and site improvement of the four-lane national highway (NH-22) on the Zirakpur-Parwanoo junction.”
Fifteen students had a narrow escape after their school bus skidded into a waterlogged open drain in Daulat Singhwala village in Phabat area of Zirakpur. The bus, which was ferrying students of Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, Panchkula, was making way for another school bus when it skidded into the overflowing drain. The bus tilted in the drain, but passersby and parents were able to rescue the children through the driver's window.
Tricity residents woke up to heavy rainfall for the second time this month on Wednesday. Three people went missing after a taxi, shuttling two commuters, was swept away in a flashflood in the Patiala-Ki-Rao rivulet as the driver attempted to cross the causeway in Tanda Village near Nayagaon. The owner of the vehicle, Rakesh Kumar told the police that Gaurav had called him saying two people, travelling to Baddi, had booked his cab.
Chandigarh received 97mm rainfall between 6am and 8.30am, the heaviest rain in July since 2017, as per the India Meteorological Department. It received another 0.9mm of rainfall during the day. The maximum precipitation till 8.30am was recorded at the Sector 39 observatory (97mm), 49.2mm rain was recorded at the airport observatory, 77.5mm rain in Panchkula and 74.5 mm rain in Mohali.