Monthly Archives: November 2019

News Flash – 22 November 2019

National News



Rs. 80 Lakhs Looted from Cash Van in Dwarka


New Delhi: Two men abducted the gunman and driver of a cash van at gunpoint and took away the Rs 80 lakh kept in the cash box. The incident took place near a private hospital in Dwarka on Thursday afternoon. The spot was just 100 metres away from a police post. The cash van was later found abandoned near Dwarka Sector 11 metro station with the gunman Vijay Kanth Mishra and the driver Dheeraj lying injured nearby. Police have admitted them to a private hospital and efforts are on to identify the criminals. Dheeraj told the cops that he had parked the cash van a white EECO car at a service lane in Sector 6 around 12.30pm. Narender and Vikas Kumar entered a kiosk to fill the ATM of a private bank while Dheeraj and Mishra stood outside with the cash van to keep a watch. After a few minutes, two men approached them from behind and held up a gun and a knife at them and forced them into the van. They then asked Dheeraj to drive towards Sector 11. The men dragged Dheeraj and Mishra out of the car at a secluded spot near the metro station. They asked the driver to open the cash box. When he hesitated, one of the robbers started thrashing him and also stabbed him once in his abdomen.



When Mishra tried to resist, the other robber hit him with the gun and then stabbed him as well. The accused even threw chilli powder on them. They subsequently took the keys from Dheeraj and opened the boot of the vehicle to remove the money from the cash box. Before leaving, they also snatched the mobile phones of the two men. In the meantime, Narender and Vikas stepped out of the ATM and informed their office about the cash van missing from the spot. Immediately, an alarm was raised and police were informed. The company tracked down the van using the GPS device around 2.30pm. Dheeraj and Mishra were lying on the footpath, bleeding profusely. Police said that they would record the statement of the two men once they were declared fit by the doctors. “We have registered a case of attempt to murder and robbery at the Dwarka (south) police station,” said Anto Alphonse, DCP, Dwarka. All the employees were working with the cash van company for more than one year. Police are verifying whether their antecedents were checked at the time of hiring. During the preliminary enquiry, the cops found that the men had filled cash in four other ATMs before heading to Dwarka. Narender told the cops that Rs 80 lakh was to be filled in other ATMs of the same private bank in Dwarka.



3 Employees Cheat Mobile Showroom of Rs.17 Lakhs, Held



Chennai: Three employees of a mobile phone showroom on RK Mutt Road have been arrested for misusing customers’ documents to secure loans and swindling a sum of Rs.17 lakhs. Police have arrested the main accused, K Santhakumar, 22, of Palavakkam along with Naveen Priyan and Prakash. They were attached to the loan section of the showroom. They have been arrested based on a complaint lodged by showroom manager Marcelin Joseph of Adyar. In his complaint, Marcelin stated that the showroom has a loan section to help people buy phones, laptops and two-wheelers. Santhakumar and the other two received documents from customers who wanted to buy phones and laptops on loan. With the help of the documents they applied for loans. After the loans were sanctioned and the sum released, the employees shared the money among themselves. They pocketed Rs.17 lakhs. The incident came to light when one of the customers received a text message stating his loan has been sanctioned. Police are investigating if more employees are involved.



International News



Dust Storm Turns Oz City Orange


Australia: A dust storm turned the sky a vivid orange in the Australian city of Mildura on Thursday. The dust swept through the city around midday with winds measuring up to 40kmph and the mercury reaching almost 40°C. The storm was exacerbated by the same gale force winds that have contributed to deadly bushfires sweeping across Australia. PM Scott Morrison denied that his climate policies had caused unprecedented bushfires, saying Australia was ‘doing our bit.

News Flash – 21 November 2019

National News



Man Caught for Attacking Woman During Robbery Attempt



New Delhi: A week after a man allegedly attacked a woman during a robbery attempt in her house in southeast Delhi’s Amar Colony, the cops have nabbed the culprit. The man used to work as a guard in the colony earlier and had lost his job. Police are checking whether the man’s antecedents were verified during his employment. The man, Durga Bahadur Vishwakarma, was arrested from Amar Colony while trying to break into another house. He told the cops that on November 11, he had entered the woman’s house presuming no one would be at home. However, he had run into the woman in the kitchen while her mother-in-law was in the drawing room. He had grabbed her by her throat to scare her, but the woman managed to raise an alarm and alerted her mother-in-law and the household help. Vishwakarma had to flee without getting his hands on anything. A case of theft and assault has been registered against Vishwakarma.



Two Turkish Men Led ATM-Skimming Fraud



Kolkata: The four fraudsters—two Turkish and two Bangladeshi nationals who hacked over 1,788 bank accounts and siphoned off money by skimming cards in ATMs across six cities, including Kolkata, Mumbai and Agartala, have been remanded in police custody for 10 days by the Barrackpore ACJM (additional chief judicial magistrate) court on Wednesday afternoon. Senior officials from a number of nationalized banks also visited the Belgharia police station on Wednesday to interrogate the four, who were arrested from a rented accommodation near L-9 bus stop close to Belghoria police station on Tuesday. Cops have seized Rs 70 lakh in cash, some dollars, two laptops and five cellphones from them. The accused, Turkish Hakan Zanburkan and Fettah Aldemir and Bangladeshi Mohammed Hannan and Mohammed Rafiqul Islam, had been living in a second-floor flat at an apartment off BT Road. The four rented the flat in October for Rs 1,200 a day.



The landlord and the security guard of the apartment have also been detained. The flat owner claimed the accused had furnished fake ID-proof documents to him. The duo’s statements are being verified,” a senior officer at the Belgharia police station said. During interrogations, police learnt the two Turkey nationals masterminded the operation, while the Bangladeshi duo assisted them. “The Turkish men engaged the Bangladeshis to collect the details of the debit and credit cards. Hannan and Islam visited shopping malls, hotels and restaurants to steal the data of credit and debit cards with the help of skimming devices. The Turkish men then used the details to clone the cards and then, siphoned off money from the accounts,” an officer said. After stealing the money, they changed the Indian currency into dollar, officers said. “The hackers withdrew a few crores of rupees from over 1,788 bank accounts in the past few months. About Rs 1.19 crore was siphoned off in Tripura between November 15 and 17,” said a senior Barrackpore commissionerates officer.



In a First in Chennai, Masked Robbers Loot Train Passengers



Chennai: Six masked men brandishing knives robbed passengers of gold and cash on a Jaipur-bound express train at Basin Bridge before boarding a suburban service coming to Moore Market Complex and snatching cash and a mobile phone from a senior citizen on Tuesday evening, the government railway police said. The crime happened between 5.40pm and 6.30pm, said an officer, adding that the incident was the first of its kind in the city. The robbers first boarded an unreserved coach in the front of the MGR Chennai Central-Jaipur Biweekly Express (12967) when it slowed down at Basin Bridge railway station, due to the speed restriction between Basin Bridge and Korukkupet. They managed to snatch Rs.10,000, a 30-sovereign gold chain worth around Rs.7.5 lakhs and some phones before the train rolled into Wimco Nagar station, not a scheduled halt, at 6pm after a passenger pulled the chain. The train had left Central at 5.40pm.



A Railway Protection Force (RPF) officer said the men managed to escape. “They did not stop at that. They boarded a suburban train that was coming to Chennai when the train was between Tondiarpet and Korukkupet and robbed a senior citizen of 5,000 and a mobile phone”. The victims aboard the Jaipur Express filed a case at Gudur station in Andhra Pradesh based on which the GRP registered a case in Chennai. “The incident on the suburban train came to light only after the senior citizen approached us to file a complaint,” said an officer. It appears that the gang members had known that trains slow down on these sections and took advantage, he added. Miscreants have on a few occasions snatched mobile phones from passengers of express trains when they slow down while approaching MGR Chennai Central but this is the first time masked and armed men have robbed passengers, he added. Director general of police (GRP) C Sylendra Babu said it was a rare crime case. “We have tightened the security on the section and have posted armed personnel. We have identified the gang members and three teams of police are on the job to nab them. They will be caught soon,” said the officer.



International News



Lightning Struck at Aeroplanes


New Zealand: A video grab shows an Emirates A380 plane almost being struck by lightning at Christchurch Airport in New Zealand on Wednesday as the South Island is battered by wild weather. More than 1,500 lightning strikes have hit the South Island over a course of a six-hour period.

News Flash – 20 November 2019

National News



4 Held for ATM Frauds



Bengal Police on Tuesday busted an international gang of fraudsters which stole “a few crores” by skimming ATM cards of nearly 2,000 people across the country, reports Sanjib Chakraborty. Four foreigners two Turkey nationals and two Bangladeshis were picked up from two hideouts in Belgharia in the suburbs of Kolkata. Acting on a tip-off from Assam Police, a team raided a house in Belgharia and arrested the two Turkish men. “They had been staying in a rented house for six months with fake IDs,” an officer said.



Three-Year-Old’s Dengue Death Spooks Lake Town


Kolkata: A day after the death of a three-year-old boy from Lake Town’s Ward 30 from dengue, the area remained under the fear of the deadly fever. Barely a month ago, another dengue death was reported from Ward 29. Barely 50 metres from Meera Tower, where three-year-old Aharshi Dhar lived, stagnant water was found on a plot of land where construction is underway. The water got accumulated in the space dug for laying the foundation of a building before the piling work began. This has made the plot a potential breeding ground for dengue spreading mosquitoes. “There are several such examples in the area that are clearly violating the basic anti-dengue measures. We tried to alert the civic authority and spread awareness among the locals. But our pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears,” said Shakti Prasad Pal, a resident of Meera Tower. “There is a vacant plot with a number of puddles behind our apartment. It had grown marshy and turned into a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. Municipal workers cleared it on Tuesday morning. But the damage has been done. We lost a child,” Pal said. According to Elizabeth Dey, a resident of Block A, Lake Town, locals are scared now. “We are keeping all the doors and windows closed throughout the day. We also use mosquito repellents daily.



Despite the fact that the deadly fever is refusing abate in the area, I am not sure if the civic authority is taking any concrete step to end the menace,” she said. Ward 30 Manas Ranjan Roy felt that the 15-acre plot, which houses the office and a hostel of the ministry of labour, can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. “We have asked the department to clean up the bush inside. We are ready to clean it up for them if they want. But we cannot force entry into the place,” Roy said. On Tuesday, garbage, allegedly thrown by locals, was seen dumped along the outer wall of the plot. “Around 50 students stay in the hostel. Apart from that, a few employees live in the quarters on the campus. Nobody has had dengue fever in past few years,” an employee said, brushing aside any allegation of negligence. A section of locals, pointed out the water at the Lake Town swimming pool. “We have asked the civic authority to keep an eye on that. Moreover, there are a few open vats in the vicinity that are sources of mosquito-related problems,” Pal said. Sharan Pal Singh, another resident of Block A, said people have to stop throwing garbage out in the open. “You will often find garbage piled up near the lake opposite the residential area. They do not even use a garbage bin and throw the waste by the lake,” Singh said.



Hi-Tech Heat, Smoke Alarms in E-W Coaches


Kolkata: After three rounds of service trials and the 10-day failure drills, East-West Metro has inched another step closer towards providing a safe commute. The rakes are being equipped with the advanced “heat-and-smoke detectors”. In India, only Delhi Metro’s Phase III rakes sport this facility, an official said. “As a fallout of all these trials conducted over the last one month, this major haul in fire safety is being introduced to prevent mishaps on East-West Metro trains,” said an official. “The system can typically detect smoke before it is visible to the naked eye, raise an alarm and extinguish even the hint of flame immediately,” he said. There are electrical panels inside the hi tech East-West Metro coaches which could lead to fire. The heat sensors in the detectors will react to any change in temperature in these cables. “The sensors in the detectors will know even before the fire actually breaks and action can be taken accordingly. The high sensitivity heat and smoke detection system consists of a central detection unit which draws air through a network of pipes to detect smoke. The unique feature of the temperature sensing system is that it provides a continuous temperature profile along the length of the cable and alert the motorman accordingly,” said an engineer. The rakes manufactured for the East-West Metro by Bangalore based BEML Ltd had pre-installed CCTV cameras, but this advanced safety feature wasn’t there.



Keeping in mind the smoke-related disruptions in the north-south line, Metro Railway Kolkata, which runs the corridor and is now gearing to operate the new Metro as well, came up with this last-minute feature to renew fire safety measures in Kolkata’s Line II. The incident in December last year, when 42 passengers fell ill as one of the air-conditioned north-south coaches caught fire between Rabindra Sadan and Maidan stations has been an eye-opener for the authorities. Passengers were forced to smash their way through the windows and at least two of them suffered fractures. The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) had then recommended fire detectors for the state-of-the-art East-West Metro. For now, the upgraded fire safety equipment will be installed in five BEML rakes identified for the first phase of commercial run. The detectors will be commissioned in all East-West Metro trains eventually. East-West Metro’s elevated 5km stretch between Sector V and Salt Lake Stadium has been going through a series of trials in the run-up to its launch. Along with the fire safety enhancement, the section’s the public address system (PAS), which had showed some glitches during dummy runs, is also being upgraded. “The software of the PAS is being upgraded to include improved speech intelligibility, messaging promptness and sharper on-screen portrayal of announcements,” said an official.

News Flash – 19 November 2019

National News



Turkish Hackers Pilfer Rs.1 crore from Tripura ATM’s



Agartala: Suspected Turkish hackers have fraudulently withdrawn nearly Rs 1 crore from 45 bank accounts here since Friday using cloned SBI ATM cards, setting off alarm bells in the state capital’s cybercrime unit, which has issued an alert to all bank customers. The superintendent of Tripura Police’s cybercrime wing, Sharmistha Chakraborty, said police suspect the involvement of Turkish hackers who had struck in Guwahati in August, taking out lakhs through ATM-cloning devices. “Our probe is on. If necessary, we will take help from other agencies of states where similar crimes have taken place,” Chakraborty said. SBI on Sunday blocked scores of ATM cards, which were primarily used at four ATM booths in the city and suspended operation of three SBI ATMs and one Tripura State Cooperative Bank ATM. SBI regional manager Dibyendu Chowdhury said they have so far received complaints from 45 customers and the bank has blocked ATM cards. Police sources said so far it has been established that the cloned ATM cards were used to pull out money from different outlets of south Kolkata in the past three days.



2 Die After Blast at Chemical Unit in Jeedimetla

The remains of the factory.



Hyderabad: Two workers from Bihar were killed in a reactor explosion in a chemical factory in IDA Jeedimetla area around 2.30 pm on Monday. The blast in ‘Jeevika Life Sciences Private Ltd’ in Ram Reddy Nagar triggered panic as the ball of fire shattered the glass panes and the roof disintegrated into pieces. Of the six in the factory, four were rescued while the two victims — Amresh Das (22) and Mohammed Anwar — who were close to the reactor were badly burnt. Police said Anwar died at the site and Das succumbed in hospital. “We were working inside the factory when we heard the explosion. We ran out to save our lives,” a worker said. Cops said both the victims lived at Ram Reddy Nagar. The blast occurred on the top floor, while the other workers were on the ground floor.



Flyers Blame Security Step-up for Queues; CISF Points at Traffic Surge


Kolkata: The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) deployed at Kolkata airport has intensified passenger frisking and baggage checks, resulting in long queues at the security check gates and delays in flights. Sensing the possibility of passengers missing flights due to the bottleneck at the frisking and X-ray points, the airport operator has asked airlines not to depart until all flyers are on board. On Monday evening, the queue at the four security checkpoints in the domestic wing of the integrated terminal spilt over to almost the terminal gate as CISF personnel thoroughly frisked passengers and opened bags to physically search them in case of the slightest doubt. The sudden step-up is not due to any alert, but because of the audit being carried out by Bureau of Civil Aviation Safety through an external agency. “With an audit team breathing down the neck, CISF personnel are being extra careful. Frisking and screening of baggage is thorough at all times. But now, they are going absolutely by the book. Thus, while a jawan would physically examine any item that the passenger might have forgotten to place them in a tray on the conveyor belt at the X-ray machine, flyers are now being made to empty their pockets completely, and take off anything that may trigger an alert,” an airport official said.



On Monday, it took up to 45 minutes, instead of the usual 10-12 minutes, to negotiate through the security checks during rush hours. This left many passengers fuming. “It is good that security is tight and they are being careful. But it should not become a pain,” said a passenger who spent 40 minutes in the queue. Airlines, too, were perturbed as flights — especially those during the rush hours — suffered delays. A CISF officer said the reason for the delay was a combination of factors, including surge in traffic. “The count of departing passengers has gone up from 26,000-28,000 prior to the festive season to 38,000 now. Naturally, it is taking longer to check the additional passengers,” he reasoned. Passengers and airline staff, though, argued that wait was a lot shorter till Saturday. “Only if the number of door frame metal detectors, frisking lines and hand baggage screening machines are increased can the queues shorten,” an airline official said.



Bizman Attempts to Burgle ATM held



Chennai: Police on Monday arrested a 30-year-old rice merchant who tried to burgle an ATM in Mogappair after suffering loss in business. Police entered the scene in the nick of time and arrested V Silambarasan, 30, of Nerkundram, after officials at the bank’s central branch in Mumbai found suspicious movements at the ATM kiosk through CCTV camera feed and alerted police. A native of Dharmapuri, Silambarasan is said to be an engineering diploma holder. He allegedly suffered Rs.6 lakhs loss and decided to loot an ATM to settle his loans. “If there had been a delay in reaching the spot, he could have escaped with the cash,” said a police officer. Silambarasan has been remanded in judicial custody.



International News



3 Gunned Down at Oklahoma Walmart



US: Three people were shot and killed in an attack at an Oklahoma Walmart on Monday morning, according to Oklahoma highway patrol, the latest in a string of deadly shootings in the US. A spokeswoman for the patrol confirmed that there were three dead. She did not provide further details. The shooting took place in a parking lot in front of the store in the town of Duncan, police chief Danny Ford said. Two men and a woman were fatally shot, the chief of police said. Ford added that two victims were shot inside a car and the third was in the parking lot outside the store. Duncan Banner newspaper, citing police sources, said the shooter was dead. Police chief Ford said police is looking for witnesses to the shooting. Walmart Inc. referred questions to law enforcement. Schools in the area had been placed on lockdown temporarily before being given an “all clear” by local police, according to a Facebook statement from Duncan Public Schools. A gunman killed 22 people in a Walmart store in August in El Paso Texas, while another Walmart store in Mississippi was the scene of a shooting in July, when a disgruntled employee killed two co-workers and wounded a police officer.

News Flash – 18 November 2019

National News



Security Guard Dies in Dire at Narela Shoe Unit



New Delhi: A security guard was charred to death in a major fire inside a shoe factory in outer Delhi’s Narela on Sunday morning. As many as 24 fire tenders were rushed to the location to douse the fire. The factory did not have a ‘no objection certificate’ from the fire department. The fire department received a call from G block in Narela Industrial area about a fire at 12.45am on Sunday. The fire was brought under control in a couple of hours. Locals had told the fire department that two people may be stuck inside. Around 3am, a charred body of a man was recovered from the factory. The body was beyond recognition. “The building had a basement, ground and two other floors which were engulfed in the fire by the time the information was received. So far the cause of fire cannot be ascertained,” said a senior fire official. Police said that the factory was locked from inside. The owner Praveen Kumar told the police that since it was Saturday, it was a holiday and no workers were present in the factory. Only the security guard identified as Mangal Mandal (32) was supposed to be inside. The body is suspected to be of Mandal, from Bihar. “It seems Mandal rushed to the roof of the building to escape but the door was closed. His body was found next to the door. A case has been registered,” said a police officer.



200 Home Guards & Marshals will Monitor Bus Lane on ORR


Bengaluru: Traffic police have sought BBMP’s help in deploying 200 marshals/Home Guards to keep a watchful eye on the bus-priority lane on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) stretch between Silk Board Junction and KR Puram. The move is prompted by traffic police’s manpower shortage. “Police have asked for 200-odd Home Guards or marshals to man these lanes for enforcement. We are figuring out the logistics and formulating the proposal. We also need to decide things like their salaries and who will bear the cost,” said a BBMP official, who’s monitoring the project. Additional commissioner of police (traffic) BR Ravikanthe Gowda admitted manpower crunch has made them turn to BBMP. “The bus lane is operational and we need people to penalise motorists not following lane discipline and entering the stretch. The Palike has agreed to provide the required number of marshals/Home Guards but we’re yet to take a call on whether they should be deployed at every 100 metres or longer distances,” Gowda added.



However, a few traffic cops have been stationed along the stretch to create awareness among motorists. “It will take time to cultivate lane discipline. The project would be extended to other roads too,” Gowda said. Asked why infrastructure was not provided despite having sufficient time, a BBMP engineer said lane marking in yellow is almost complete and work on the stretch from HSR Layout to Silk Board Junction is pending as the civic agency took up asphalting work only last week. “The city has been receiving rain over the past fortnight, which is why it wasn’t feasible to lay tar. The HSR Layout-Silk Board Junction stretch had a lot of wear and tear and required urgent asphalting. In a day or two, lane marking on the stretch will be completed,” said an engineer. He added: “The bus lane stretch from Old Madras Road and Indiranagar 100 Feet Road Junction till Agara Junction has been demarcated with two lines of yellow thermoplastic paint on both sides. The idea of bollards has been dropped due to complaints from police and the public regarding accidents”.



International News



Life Goes on as Usual in Italy


Venice (Italy): Venice was hit on Sunday by a record third exceptional tide in the same week while other parts of Italy struggled with a series of weather woes, from rain-swollen rivers to high winds to an out-of-season avalanche. Stores and museums in Venice were mostly closed around St Mark’s Square, but tourists donned high rubber boots or even hip waders to witness and photograph the spectacle.

News Flash – 16 November 2019

National News



18 Hurt in Blaze at Unit Making Fire Extinguishers

The company in Raigad makes fire extinguishing systems.



Navi Mumbai: A major fire broke out reportedly after a fire extinguishing system malfunctioned during a demonstration at the production unit of a company in Mangaon, Raigad, on Friday. Eighteen workers sustained severe burn injuries in the mishap. The company, Crypto Engineering Pvt Ltd, manufactures clean agent fire extinguishing systems. The blaze occurred around 4.30 pm when a demonstration was being conducted in the server room of the factory. There were 34 workers in the premises at the time of the incident. Mangaon police sub-inspector Priyanka Burungale said, “Five of the 18 injured have sustained over 60% burns while the remaining 13 have 20-30% burns. Statements of the victims and other workers are yet to be recorded”. Some of the severely injured have been admitted to JJ Hospital, Mumbai.



Ashok Kotian, director of the company, did not respond to repeated phone calls. Raigad police PRO Suresh Yamgar said, “During demonstration to test the fire suppression system, it malfunctioned and the fire, which was lit for the demonstration, could not be extinguished. This caused a major blaze that impacted workers outside the server room. The 18 injured workers were rushed to Mangaon sub-district rural hospital”. Mangesh Batawale, a victim’s relative, said, “The testing was being done in a closed area with some workers inside. The possibility of gas leakage during the demonstration cannot be ruled out given the burn injuries of workers”. National Burn Centre medical director Dr Sunil Keswani said, “Two of the victims have arrived here and are being treated”.



Burglar Held, Gold Jewels Worth Rs.35 Lakhs Recovered



Bengaluru: Kamal Singh alias Dharam Singh, 28, originally from Nepal, was arrested on charges of multiple thefts. Police said they recovered 700gm of gold jewels with an estimated value of Rs 35 lakhs along with some silver articles, watches, mobile phones and US dollar notes they did not specify the value. “In Banaswadi limits, he had robbed five homes along with his associate Mohan Singh. We also found he had robbed a house in Ramamurthynagar,” police said. Singh was a known thief in Maharashtra too and had served one year in jail after being punished for one of his crimes, a police officer said.



International News



Banksy Sinks as Venice Floods


Venice (Italy): Banksy’s migrant child mural is partially submerged in flooded Venice on Friday. Exceptionally high tidal waters returned to Venice on Friday, prompting the mayor to close the iconic St Mark’s Square and call for donations to repair the Italian lagoon city just three days after it experienced its worst flooding in 50 years.

News Flash – 15 November 2019

National News



To catch Speed Demons, Police Setup New Cameras on Bad Stretches


Kolkata: A year after Kolkata traffic police issued the tenders, 20 new speed cameras have started functioning from this week. Commissioned in phases between Monday and Wednesday, the cameras will cover stretches that are now infamous for bike menace. Besides these specific roads, like Uday Shankar Sarani in Golf Green or the Lake Gardens flyover, cops have also chosen certain accident-prone stretches, like Patuli on EM Bypass and Basanti Highway — to install these cameras. According to DC (traffic) Santosh Pandey, the cops have chosen the spots after careful deliberation and feedback. “We have ensured that the entire city is adequately covered,” he said. “We have worked a lot to try and work on cutting down racing and dangerous driving. We have chosen stretches that have had a history of rash driving. Now that even Sukanta Setu and Golf Green have bene covered, we are hoping that we can control racing even on flyovers and in the bylines. Depending on the response, more speed guns will be procured,” said an officer from the planning section of the traffic department.



The tender document mentions that these speed cameras will eventually be connected with automatic licence-plate readers. They are looking at an accuracy of 85% in reading a number plate during the day and 65% at night. ANPR is a technology that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates to create vehicle location data. This time, cops have other specifications — (I) they want the detection zone to be around 30 metre (II) the optical character recognition system should transfer the video to a server so that police can sent out e-challans (III) create alerts within nanoseconds to ascertain if a vehicle is a stolen one based on data fed to the system. Ever since the cameras were activated on Maa flyover, AJC Bose flyover, Kidderpore Road, BT Road and parts of EM Bypass, they have recorded motorists clocking 130kmph-150kmph, especially past midnight. The speed limit set on the stretches is 50kmph-60kmph. “The speed at which some have been driving is alarming. If a motorist collides with another car or the median divider or the railings, chances of survival for those inside the vehicle are negligible,” said a senior traffic officer at Lalbazar. Based on the readings, we have started imposing fines. Along with the readings, we also have photographs of cars at exact points of rule violation,” said an officer.



Gang Tries to Extort Rs.1 Crore from Jewellery Shop Owner, Nabbed



Chennai: Nine men who were part of a 15-member gang that threatened at gunpoint the owner of Saravana Stores jewellery showroom on Usman Road, T Nagar on Wednesday evening demanding Rs.1 crore have been nabbed. Two cars, two pistols, two knives, an iron rod and some cash were seized from the gang. The showroom is part of the retail chain owned by Y Siva Arul Durai. Police said on November 3, a man named Dhanasekar visited the showroom and bought a three-sovereign chain after exchanging old jewellery. On the pretext of checking quality, he applied some white powder to the chain and started arguing with shop employees that the gold was of poor quality. He also threatened Siva that he would expose him as he is in the media sector, police said. While Siva allegedly gave him Rs.15 lakhs and sent him off, on Wednesday, Dhanasekar returned with 14 men in two cars and threatened Siva at gunpoint. The staff members at the showroom alerted police. While six of the 15-member gang managed to escape, those nabbed have been identified as P Dhanasekar 27, the key accused from Tiruverkadu, K Syed Abudhaker,49, of Pudupet, M Jagadesan, 25 of Ennore, A Aamanulla, 39, of Pudupet, V Sriram, 27, of Kilpauk, B Murugan, 40 of East Tambaram, M Jeeva, 47, of Vadapalani, A Thirumal, 37, of Triplicane and V Dhandabani, 24, of Pallavaram. Five other accused are said to be lawyers and another person, Jeeva of Vadapalani, is an AIADMK functionary, police said.


International News



1 Dead, Several Hurt in US School Shooting, Suspect likely an Asian

People are led out of a school in California’s Santa Clarita after reports of shooting on Thursday.



Santa Clarita (US): A California high school student dressed in black is suspected of having opened fire on campus on Thursday, killing at least one person and wounding several others before he was arrested, officials said. “Suspect is in custody and being treated at a local hospital,” Los Angeles county sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Twitter. In addition to a dead female, two males were in critical condition and another was in good condition, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital said on Twitter. “We believe at this time that there is only one suspect but we are actively investigating and following all leads,” the Santa Clarita Valley branch of the Los Angeles county sheriff ’s office said on Twitter. The suspect was described by police as an Asian male and a student at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, about 80 km north of Los Angeles. A weapon was recovered at the scene, a police officer told NBC television.



The incident marked yet another school shooting in the US, where repeated mass shootings in recent years have intensified the debate about gun control and the constitutional right for citizens to keep and bear arms. Video from local NBC television showed a line of students marching away from the school and a row of police and fire department vehicles parked out front. “I was really, really scared. I was shaking,” one female student told NBC television, adding that she saw one person lying on the ground covered in blood. The student said she was doing homework when people started running, and she hid under a table until police entered the building. The mother of student Anthony Peters told NBC he was still on lockdown inside the school but had texted that he was uninjured. Some 2,300 students attend the school, which is made up of more than a dozen buildings.



Italy Declares Emergency Over Venice Flooding


Venice: Italy’s government declared a state of emergency in flood-ravaged Venice to swiftly secure the historic city funds to repair damage from the highest tide in 50 years. PM Giuseppe Conte described the flooding as a blow to the heart of our country’. Conte spent Wednesday night in Venice, where world-famous monuments, homes and businesses were hit hard by the exceptional flooding. The water reached nearly 2 metres above sea level on Tuesday, the second-highest level ever recorded in the city. Venice’s mayor said the damage is estimated at ‘hundreds of millions of euros.

News Flash – 14 November 2019

National News



Cash Van Driver Flees with Rs.73 Lakhs, held Hours Pater



Mumbai: A driver working with a cash delivery company allegedly stole Rs 73 lakh from a pickup van on which he was on duty The incident occurred at Malad (west) on Wednesday. He was arrested the same day, said an official from Bangur Nagar police station. Most of the cash has been recovered, said sources. The accused, Sher Ali, was on duty with two colleagues, Rahul Khare and another identified only as Wadekar who is a security guard. By 12.45 pm, they had collected Rs 72.6 lakh from eight establishments and it was kept in the van. When they reached Zenith Hospital at Mith Chowky for collection. Khare left the vehicle with Ali and Wadekar to go to a restaurant in the hospital building. Ali then asked Wadekar to buy him a snack. While Wadekar was away, Ali fled with the van. Later, Khare lodged a complaint at Bangur Nagar police station. Ali had abandoned the van at Dahisar (east), took the cash and went to his daughter’s house in Kandivli. He did not take his colleagues’ calls. The police contacted his wife who called up Ali and asked where he was. The police then nabbed him near his daughter’s home.



Air Emergency in Delhi-NCR, Schools to be Shut till Friday


New Delhi: Air quality in Delhi-NCR plunged deeper into the “severe” zone on Wednesday, staying in the worst category on the AQI scale for the second straight day, which prompted the authorities to take “air emergency” action. Schools in Delhi and adjoining cities were ordered shut till Friday while CM Arvind Kejriwal said odd-even traffic scheme may be extended beyond November 15. “In view of deteriorating air quality because of pollution due to stubble burning, Delhi government has decided to close schools tomorrow and day after,” deputy CM Manish Sisodia tweeted. Similar announcements were made in Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Faridabad after the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority wrote to NCR states recommending the move and advised people to avoid outdoor exposure and work from home wherever feasible. The average air quality index in Delhi on Wednesday was 456 the third highest so far this season deteriorating from Tuesday’s 425.



It was 470 in Noida, 446 in Faridabad, 467 in Ghaziabad, 462 in Greater Noida and 447 in Gurgaon. A toxic smog hung over much of north India with cloudy skies over Punjab, Haryana and west Uttar Pradesh as well as calm winds ahead of an approaching western disturbance trapping pollutants close to the ground. The CPCB-led task force met to review the situation and recommended shutting down of schools for next two days. It extended ban on hot-mix plants and stone-crushers till November 15. “Low surface winds, low mixing depth and contribution from farm fires due to northwesterly winds resulted in the severe plus category, which is likely to continue till Thursday,” an IMD official said. “Strong winds are expected from November 15, which will bring down the air pollution levels to the very poor category,” he said.



Jewellery Store Worker Attacked with Pepper Spray, Rs.30 Lakhs Robbed



Hyderabad: Two offenders stole a bag containing Rs.30 lakhs cash from a jewellery store worker near Ujjaini Mahankali Temple in Secunderabad on Tuesday night. During preliminary investigation, police found that the offenders used a stolen bike to escape from the crime scene. Jewellery store worker Rupram was carrying a cash bag for his employer, whose store is at Jagdish Market near Ujjaini Mahankali Temple, and taking the stairs when one of the offenders attacked him with pepper spray, a police officer said. “The worker was carrying money after a deal was struck between Navkar Jewellers and Rohit Jewellers. He was supposed to deliver the cash to owners of Rohit Jewellers, but while he was ascending the staircase from ground floor to the first floor, he was robbed,” Mahankali sub-inspector Gopal Rao said. Police said two persons were directly involved in the robbery, while two others might have provided them logistical support. “While one of them snatched the bag from the worker, the other one kept the bike ready. Both fled from the spot. The second offender was wearing a helmet,” the SI added. Police checked CCTV footage and secured the registration number of the getaway bike. According to sources, the bike used in the offence was stolen at Hayatnagar on October 16. Four special teams, including Task Force ones, were working on available clues to nab the culprits.



There is No Guard, Attendants look after Security: Owner


Kolkata: Seba Old Age Home at Panchasayar, a nondescript shelter home at Panchasayar, has suddenly come in the limelight after one of its inmates, who had walked out of the premises early on November 12, was abducted and allegedly raped by two-three men in a moving car before being thrown out near the Sonarpur station. The home was established 22 years ago as part of an NGO, the owner, Hare Krishna Mondal said. But, he admitted, it did not have any sanction either from the social welfare department or any other agency. Located a little more than a kilometre from EM Bypass, the home has 12 inmates, one of them the 36-year-old rape survivor. She had joined the facility on November 9. On October 30, her 70-year-old mother, who has been bedridden with multiple fractures in her leg, was shifted there. “Beside this, we have 11 such residential facilities, all under the same name,” said Mondal. He admitted that despite being called an old age home, not all inhabitants—the total number of inmates at the facilities in the Panchasayar-Narendrapur-Sonarpur belt was 150—were elderly. Many were also mentally and physically disabled, both old and relatively young. “These are poor people. We charge around Rs 4,000-Rs 5,000 each. We lodge some of the poorest of the poor here. Do you think they can survive if we let them go?” said Mondal. When questioned further, he told TOI, “We were not quite aware of the rules. Now that you have mentioned, we will do the needful”.



Astami Das, an attendant working at the home for the past 15 years, is now being interrogated by the police for not being alert as a result of which, the 36-year-old woman could walk out of the home in the middle of the night. Das said all the residents, men and women, lived on the ground floor of the two-storey house on a two-acre land. “This woman was staying in a corner room. My employer (Mondal) had promised to change the lock of the rear gate, which was quite flimsy. But before that, she broke it and walked out,” she claimed. Asked what was she doing when she was supposed to keep an eye, she said, “I went to sleep at 1am. At 2 am, I woke up to find everyone sleeping. When I woke up at 3.30am, I did not find her in her bed and I alerted Mondal. I guess she used a grinding stone to break the weak lock.” By evening, Das changed her statement: “I do not know how she managed to escape as I was sleeping in a room, located more centrally”. Mondal accepted the security was lax, as was evident from the fact that the survivor had made a similar attempt to leave the night before but was brought back. “I do not deploy any security personnel. At night, there are two attendants who double as security here,” Mondal claimed. Cops from the Panchasayar police station and the detective department are questioning the employees. “Food for all the facilities is cooked centrally. There are at least four other help. Astami does not even know how to use a mobile and not even aware of the medicines the survivor or her mother takes. We have asked all of them to report to the police station at the earliest,” said an officer from the women’s cell of the detective department.