A Town and Country Planning official was shot dead and a PWD official injured when the owner of a guest house in Kasauli opened fire at them on Tuesday.Shailbala was killed when Narayani guest house owner Vijay Singh opened fire at the officials who had come to demolish the guest house. The injured, Gulab Singh, was taken to Dharampur hospital from where he was referred to PGI, Chandigarh.Kasauli has a number of hotels and guest houses, and many of these have been declared illegal by the Supreme Court. The Court had ordered the demolition on April 17. The officials complying with the apex court and the NGT orders are having a tough time in getting these properties vacated or demolished.
An evaluation report on India’s tiger reserves has put the spotlight on an alleged nexus between some officials of Kaziranga National Park and poachers.Kaziranga, a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO, is more popular as the world’s best address for the one-horned rhino. It is also been a major tiger reserve covering an area of 1,080 sq km.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this week released the management effectiveness evaluation reports for tiger reserves across the country, including Kaziranga.The report says that some staff of Kaziranga Tiger Reserve may sometimes get involved in poaching by helping the poachers. To drive home the point, the report cites the poaching of three rhinos in as many days in November 2017 close to the Tunikati anti-poaching camp under the Burapahar Range.Anti-poaching camps “When there are 178 anti-poaching camps in a 911-sq-km area, each camp has to protect 5 sq km. Given the resources at the command of the personnel, it should not be difficult to guard the area effectively. Such poaching close to the camps leads to the suspicion of the involvement of officials,” it says.The report also notes Kaziranga’s management weakness in coordinating with forest officials of Karbi Anglong, which runs along the southern boundary of the tiger reserve. This is because the forest officials of Karbi Anglong, an autonomous tribal council, are not answerable to the heads of Assam’s Forest Department.The hills of Karbi Anglong not only provide shelter to the animals of Kaziranga during high floods but also cover for poachers, the report said.Railway lineAssam Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya had informed the 126-member State Assembly that an expert committee had been formed to study the proposal for laying a second track through Deepor Beel, a wetland on the western edge of Guwahati that was listed in 2002 as a Ramsar Site.“The panel will submit its report to the National Green Tribunal, which will decide on whether or not to go ahead with the project,” Mr. Suklabaidya said.
Kabul: At least 10 people — including several women and a child — were killed and scores more wounded by a series of blasts that rocked the Afghan capital Thursday ahead of the election season. The three blasts came amid a wider surge in violence in Kabul and around Afghanistan, where nine family members were killed in an eastern province Thursday while driving to a wedding. The Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate claimed responsibility for the first two blasts, while the Taliban claimed the third. US and Afghan security officials, however, blamed the Taliban for all three explosions. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe attacks came just days before the official campaign season for the September 28 presidential election gets underway. Previous polls have been marred by violence and bloodshed from the Taliban and other insurgent groups who refuse to recognise Afghanistan’s fragile democracy. According to security officials and high-resolution surveillance footage seen by AFP, the first blast came around 8:10 am (0340 GMT) when a suicide bomber targeted a bus as it slowed to turn a corner in an area just east of central Kabul. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsCivilians could be seen scrambling to help stricken passengers off the bus and carrying the body of a small child from the vehicle as smoke poured out the rear window. Other bodies could be seen pooling blood onto the road. About 30 minutes later, a secondary explosion from a device that had been hidden at the scene hit civilians and Afghan security forces as they responded. A third blast, apparently targeting some sort of convoy, came later on in the morning also in eastern Kabul. Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said a total of 11 civilians were killed, including five women and a child, and 45 more wounded. Health ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar said the toll was at least 10 dead and 41 wounded. The attacks come as the US is negotiating for a deal that would see foreign forces pull out of Afghanistan in return for a ceasefire and various Taliban guarantees, including a pledge the country will not become a safe haven for terror groups. Some observers say the insurgents are increasing attacks to gain greater leverage in the talks.