Cash van Guard foils robbery bid, gets shot
NEW DELHI: The guard of a cash collection van managed to foil a robbery attempt in outer Delhi’s Alipur despite being shot at by one of the robbers who planned to break the vehicle’s door and flee with around Rs 50 lakh. Rishipal, deputy commissioner of police (Rohini), said Subhash was seated at the front of the cash collection van with its driver and custodian, when the robbers targeted them around 4pm. The van belongs to a private company that collects cash from various clients and deposit it in their respective bank accounts against a commission, said the officer. After collecting money from eight outlets in Haryana, the van entered Delhi through Singhu border to go to Narela. After barely moving 20 metres into Delhi, the driver stopped the van by the roadside to collect money from a shop. “Suddenly, a man, whose face was covered with a handkerchief, got off a motorcycle and approached the van. Subhash got suspicious and challenged him. Following a scuffle, one of the robbers fired a gun and a bullet hit Subhash in the right arm. The attacker then fled on the bike along with the rider who was wearing a helmet,” said an officer. The attackers fled before the guard’s colleagues could retaliate. Subhash was discharged from hospital after treatment. The suspects were captured in CCTV cameras installed at the border. A case of attempt to murder has been registered at Narela police station.
At 35.8C, Mumbai already hotter than any day in October last year
MUMBAI: Just four days into October, Mumbai is already sweltering, recording a maximum of 35.8 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, almost three degrees above normal. It was also higher than the maximum for October last year— 35.5 degrees on October 21. But Mumbaikars can hope for some relief as another rain spell is not far away. Pointing out that monsoon has not officially been declared as withdrawn from the city, IMD officials said last year they had announced the withdrawal of the southwest monsoon from the North Konkan region on October 14. On Wednesday, the IMD’s Santacruz observatory logged a maximum of 35.8 degrees, while Colaba registered a high of 33.7, 2.1 degrees above normal. On Tuesday, Colaba and Santacruz saw a high of 32 and 33.5 degrees. The all-time high for October is 38.6 degrees, recorded in 2015. Shubhangi Bhute, a scientist from IMD-Mumbai, said one of the reasons for the spike in temperatures was sea breeze setting in late. “The normal time for sea breeze setting in is 11am-11.30am, so when there is a delay there the temperature goes up. Besides, the north westerly wind and high humidity are also leading to high temperatures,” said Bhute. The relative humidity recorded on Wednesday by the Colaba observatory was 86% and Santacruz was 61%. Bhute said they are expecting rains. “The monsoon withdrawal has so far reached Gujarat. We are expecting another rain spell in Maharashtra in the coming 3-4 days as a low pressure area is likely to develop over the Bay of Bengal,” added Bhute. This season, Mumbai has received above average rainfall, with Colaba recording 2,253.4 mm (200.3 mm above average) and Santacruz 2,946.3 mm (714.7 mm above average).
New Moti Bagh gets first e-vehicle charging station, more of these soon
NEW DELHI: New Moti Bagh, capital’s premier residential colony, which houses country’s top bureaucrats got a “charge & drive” point for electric vehicles. More such stations that can charge an electric vehicle in 2-6 hours will soon come up in Delhi and other major cities. “The Central government has started the process of buying 10,000 electric vehicles, which will be obviously given to the senior bureaucrats. Considering this government colony has such senior officials there will be more demand for charging station,” said a senior official of National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), a PSU under housing and urban affairs ministry. NBCC, which built the colony and maintains it, permitted FortumOyj, a listed company in Finland, to install the charging station. The government of Finland has more than 50% share in this company. The charging facility was launched by housing and urban affairs secretary Durga Shanker Mishra. According to sources, once such stations get DC chargers, the charging time will be reduced to 30-60 minutes. There is a proposal to set up similar 150 charging stations in major cities including Delhi, Chandigarh and Bangalore. “The idea of deploying these charging stations in government colonies is to strengthen the green image of such upcoming complexes including commercial centres. The ministry will have advantage as people would find these projects attractive as they won’t have to go anywhere to get their vehicles charged,” a ministry official said.
Rain at dusk prompts flood alert in Bengaluru
BENGALURU: Rain returned to lash Bengaluru on Wednesday evening, with the weatherman sounding an alert that the downpour could get heavier in the night and cause flashfloods in vulnerable locations in the east, south and central parts of the city. “Based on satellite images, we alerted the BBMP on the possibility of heavy rain and flooding on Wednesday night or Thursday morning,” said GS Srinivas Reddy, director, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre. Reddy said that as of 9pm on Wednesday, over 50mm of rain was recorded in north Bengaluru, and 30mm in the city’s southern and eastern parts. The Indian Meteorological Department’s Palace Road observatory had recorded 12.4mm rain till 8.30 pm. As of 9.30pm, the BBMP control room received two complaints on tree falls: One in Chamarajpet, and the other near the railway underpass in Seshadripuram. “This is the withdrawal period of the southwestern monsoon. By the third week of October, it’ d withdraw from Karnataka. Due to this, there is higher precipitation in the southern and eastern parts of the state, with rain continuing for 3-4 days, ” said MB Rajegowda, agro meteorologist, University of Agricultural Sciences.
Credit card fraud cases on rise, but just 15 arrests by cyber-crime cell this year
HYDERABAD: There have been just 15 arrests this year till August in online transfer cases that fall under the cyber-crime cell, including in debit and credit card-related cases. This, even as the number of such cases registered has risen, said cyber cell police. Over the past two years, many ATM fraud and debit card fraud cases have come to light. In an indication of the frequency of such crimes, seven cases were registered in September alone. “With a lot of money at stake, many people have been coming forward to register cases. But, it is hard for the police to catch the accused, as they are not from the city. In most of the cases, the accused are from Jharkhand and Bihar, especially from Jamtara district of Jharkhand,” said cyber-crime inspector, Ravi Kiran. According to cyber-crime police, they hardly get any help from local cops which makes their job even more difficult.
Data provided by the cyber-crime cell in the city reveals that in 2016, police managed to arrest 24 accused, while in 2017, they could only arrest 15 accused in online transfer, debit card fraud cases. While arrests in online transfer fraud crimes has been low, arrests in matrimonial cheating, job fraud and lottery fraud cases are high. In 2016, police managed to arrest only 47 persons in cases related to matrimonial cheating, job frauds and lottery cases. In 2017, this figure has risen to 76 till August. Speaking about such cases, inspector Kiran said, “75% of the accused are from Delhi. We get lot of help from the Delhi police.” Special teams visit Delhi frequently to arrest and investigate cases, sources said. “Mostly the team takes up 14 cases together, where the accused are in Delhi, and head there for investigation,” he said. “Almost 15% cases we receive under cyber fraud head are related to online matrimonial cheating,” said the official.
Security Guard held for molesting TV journalist
BENGALURU: A 35-year-old security guard was arrested on Wednesday on charges of molesting a TV journalist who had gone to interview MP Shashi Taroor at a hotel here on September 27. Velayudhan, the guard, is a resident of Mahadevapura. The two other accused are at large. In her complaint to Whitefield police, the journalist said the accused stopped her outside the hotel gate. “I had an appointment and despite my effort to convince them, the three guards not only misbehaved with me, but also manhandled me,” she alleged. Four-year-old girl drowns in sump. A four-year-old girl, who was playing outside a makeshift shed at Sampigehallinear Yelahanka, drowned in a sump on Tuesday night. Sadhana Chakraborthi was the only child of J Chakraborthi and Sarala Chakraborthi from Kolkata. They are daily wage workers. “Sarala was cooking while Sadhana was playing outside. At 9pm on Tuesday, Sarala opened the sump door to collect water, but forgot to close it. Around 10pm, the couple noticed that the girl was missing. Post-midnight, she was found dead in the sump,” police added.
Trained cops, safety checks, special buses for World Cup fans
KOLKATA: With training in emergency evacuation, soft skills, emergency language translation and first aid carried out by Fifa officials, 400 police personnel from Bidhannagar Commissionerate will be deployed at the Salt Lake stadium during the Under-17 Fifa World Cup matches to guide spectators and ensure their security, the police said on Wednesday. The cops of sub-inspector, assistant sub-inspector and constable ranks will be deployed in Fifa uniform in all the 13 blocks, fence and field of play. Apart from them, 3,000-odd policemen in uniform will be on site on all match days. “The introduction of stewards was done as part of the Fifa guideline. We selected some of our smart and educated police personnel and sent them for the training. They will usher in the spectators from the gates to their seats and will also be entrusted to safely guide the spectators out of the stadium in case of an emergency,” said Bidhannagar Police Commissioner Gyanwant Singh. Singh said the security has been further heightened with the introduction of 260 CCTV cameras and 110 door-frame metal detector gates inside the stadium. “Everyone will be frisked and none will be allowed to take in anything except mobile phones, wallets and purses. People can carry flags but not the poles,” added Singh.
The transport department announced they will run an all-AC Fifa shuttle service (FHS) for fans before and after every U-17 World Cup match. The buses will touch upon major stops using Ultadanga, Milan Mela and Karunamoyee as transport hubs. Passengers can avail of this service at two- to five-minute intervals. “In the inner-most circle, these 100 buses will cater to commuters to and from Ultadanga, Milan Mela and Karunamoyee from different localities in and around Kolkata. In the outer circle, there will be 200 designated buses to carry spectators from Barasat, Dunlop, Esplanade, Garia, Howrah, Joka and Santragachhi,” said Bengal transport minister Suvendu Adhikari. The transport department is also giving 80 buses free of cost to the education department to ferry students to and from the stadium. Two control rooms will be operational on match days to coordinate buses. The buses will be branded and the crew will wear uniforms designed for the World Cup, said additional chief secretary (transport) Alapan Bandyopadhyay. Ola has also joined hands with WBTC to operate smaller app-based AC buses to ferry football fans.
110 dengue cases reported in Vellore since January, says Collector
VELLORE: A total of 110 dengue cases have been reported in Vellore since January this year and there were no deaths due to the fever, said district collector S A Raman. “We have been taking all precaution measures. We have engaged a total of 1,350 domestic breeding checkers (DBC) in 20 blocks, 16 town panchayats, 11 municipalities and Vellore corporation for mosquito control,” Raman said at a press meet on Wednesday at the collectorate. Since it has been raining frequently, the district administration has engaged an addition of 20 DBCs in each block of the district to intensify the mosquito control measures.
The district administration has also constituted six-member rapid response teams (RRT) in each block to check dengue. The work force would conduct door-to-door inspections to eradicate mosquito breeding sources. District level officers and head of the departments have been instructed to submit weekly reports to collector on regularly checks in their office premises for sources of mosquitoes. A 24×7 fever ward has been established in all the 13 government hospitals including Government Vellore Medical College Hospital (GVMCH) in the district. Approaching government hospitals late or taking treatment from quacks for dengue would lead to death, said the collector in a release. Joint director of medical and rural health services Dr A Shanthi, deputy director of Vellore Housing and Urban Development, Dr K S T Suresh and dean of GVMCH Dr Lalitha were also present at the press meet.
UK fighter jets escort down Ryanair plane after ‘hoax’
People walk to board a Ryanair flight at Stansted Airport, northeast of London
LONDON: British military jets were scrambled on Wednesday to escort down a passenger plane following a suspected hoax, the airport and Ryanair said. Two Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fighters escorted the Ryanair flight from Lithuania down into London Stansted airport. “This flight from Kaunas to London Luton diverted to London Stansted in line with procedures after Lithuanian authorities received a suspected hoax security alert,” a spokesman for the Irish no-frills airline said. “The aircraft landed normally at Stansted and customers will be transferred to Luton by coach when cleared to do so”. A Stansted spokesman said all flights were grounded for about 10 minutes from 8:55am (0755 GMT). The local Essex Police force said they were on the scene and enquiries were ongoing, adding that the incident was “not believed to be a hijack situation or terror matter”. Social media users posted pictures of armed police on the scene. The Typhoons caused a sonic boom over Suffolk in eastern England. The RAF confirmed the jets, on standby for quick reaction alerts, were launched to intercept a civilian flight. “The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons; any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted,” a spokesman said.
Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend says no advance knowledge of massacre
LAS VEGAS: The girlfriend of the Las Vegas gunman who killed 58 people and himself in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history was questioned by the FBI on Wednesday and said she had no idea he was “planning violence against anyone”. Marilou Danley, who returned late on Tuesday from a family visit to the Philippines and is regarded by investigators as a “person of interest,” said through a lawyer that the carnage Stephen Paddock unleashed while she was abroad caught her completely unaware. “He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen,” Danley, 62, said in a written statement read to reporters by her attorney in Los Angeles, where she was being questioned. “I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man. I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him,” she said. “It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone”. Her lawyer, Matt Lombard, said Danley was “fully cooperating” with the investigation. Danley, an Australian citizen of Filipino heritage, said she flew back to the United States voluntarily “because I know that the FBI and Las Vegas Police Department wanted to talk to me, and I wanted to talk to them”. Fifty-eight people died and more than 500 were injured when Paddock, 64, strafed an outdoor concert with gunfire on Sunday night from his 32nd-floor suite of the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. He took his own life before police stormed his room, where they found as many as 23 guns, bringing the total death toll to 59. Twelve of his rifles were fitted with so-called bump stocks, officials said, allowing the guns to be fired almost as though they were automatic weapons. US President Donald Trump visited Las Vegas on Wednesday, marking the first time since taking office that he has had to confront a major mass shooting.
FOLLOWING THE MONEY: Investigators, at a loss to determine a motive for Sunday’s bloodshed, have focused on Danley, who had shared Paddock’s retirement community condo in Mesquite, Nevada, northeast of Las Vegas, before leaving the United States for the Philippines in mid-September. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents met her plane at Los Angeles International Airport and took her away for questioning, two US officials briefed on the case told Reuters. The officials said that as of midday Wednesday, there was no indication she was aware of Paddock’s plans. Investigators questioned her about Paddock’s weapons purchases, a $100,000 wire transfer to a Philippine bank that appeared to be intended for her, and whether she saw any changes in his behavior before she left the United States. “Assuming she had no role in his actions, the most important thing is any light she can shed on Paddock’s motive,” said one official, who spoke about the investigation on condition of anonymity. Danley said in her statement that Paddock had bought her an airline ticket to visit her family and wired her money to purchase property there, leading her to worry that he might be planning to break up with her. Paddock’s brother Eric told reporters the $100,000 transfer was evidence that “Steve took care of the people he loved,” and that he likely wanted to protect Danley by sending her overseas before the attack.
She arrived in Manila on Sept. 15, flew to Hong Kong on Sept. 22, returned to Manila on Sept. 25 and was there until she flew to Los Angeles on Tuesday night, according to a Philippine immigration official. Discerning Paddock’s motive has proven especially baffling given the absence of the usual indicators that have emerged in other mass shootings. He had no criminal record, no known history of mental illness and no outward signs of social disaffection, political discontent or extremist ideology, police said. A US official familiar with the investigation said there was no evidence that Paddock had contacts with any extremist groups, or that he might have sought out militant groups online that could have incited him to carry out a mass shooting. Trump, touring a hospital in Las Vegas, told reporters Paddock was “very demented”. Meeting with officers who rushed toward the shooter, Trump asked the head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department if investigators were any closer to establishing a motive. “We’ve had a couple good leads and we’re working our way through it,” Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told the president.