News Flash – 04 July 2019

National News



14 Dead, 9 Missing as Dam Breaches in Ratnagiri, Torrent Floods Homes

A 100-metre portion of the 308-metre dam gave way at night. Villagers said they had alerted authorities about major leakages from the dam.



Ratnagiri: Fourteen people, many of them from an extended family, were killed when a dam in Ratnagiri district’s Tivare village, 250km from Pune, breached late on Tuesday, resulting in a torrent washing away houses. Another nine people were still missing when rescue operations were halted for the night on Wednesday. A massive 100-metre portion of the 308-metre-long dam was washed away, taking in its sweep nine of the 13 homes in the village and two bridges, the authorities said. Villagers told TOI the tragedy was waiting to happen, saying they had been complaining to authorities for at least two years about major leakages from the dam, which was built in 2014. On Wednesday, relatives of the victims refused to take their bodies till action was taken against the officials who didn’t heed their complaints. But they relented after state water resources minister Girish Mahajan met and assured them that a proper probe would be conducted. Mahajan said each family would be given Rs 5 lakh ex gratia. “We will build temporary homes for them immediately and later, permanent structures. One person from each family in the village will be given a government job,” he said. Shrikant Bhoite, gram sevak of the village, said, “For the last two years, our village has been communicating with the irrigation department about the leakages. In May this year, two or three trucks dumped mud at the site to prevent water from flowing out. We were told the problem had been solved”. Signs of an impending tragedy began to show on Tuesday morning when copious amounts of muddy water started gushing out of the earthen dam, which has a cement wall. Nagesh Shinde, the police “Patil” (police informer) of the village, said they sent out an alert to police and other authorities about the flow from the dam in the morning itself.



Alert sounded in seven downstream villages after breach by 5 pm, the dam was filled to capacity — 0.08 thousand million cubic feet of water. At 8.30pm, some villagers said the main wall of the dam had developed a breach. Deepak Chavan (20) ran through the village raising an alarm about the breach. He said he had seen water as high as 15 feet gushing out of the dam. Tukaram Chavan’s entire family — his wife, son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons — gathered inside their home after hearing Deepak’s warnings. The gushing water washed away their home. Rescue teams are searching for all of them. Tukaram himself survived the tragedy as he had been living with his daughter in Khed for the past 15 days. “I do not know what to do. There is no sign of my family and I don’t even have a home now. My life has ended,” he moaned. Sandeep Pawar, whose niece was married to Tukaram’s son, said, “I have visited them so many times but I cannot even locate the place where they lived,” he told TOI. Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force are engaged in rescue operations. After the breach, an alert was sounded in seven villages downstream which receive water from the Tivare dam. In one of these villages, Aakale, local resident Ravindra Bhatade was helping the NDRF teams move around the hilly terrain. “Our village is not exactly along the river bank. There was no rainfall but we suddenly heard the river overflowing after the dam breach. The overflowing water has damaged all the crops in our village,” he told TOI.



2 held for Rs.18-lakhs Robbery at Narela



New Delhi: Delhi Police claim to have solved the case of an armed robbery where two men shot a man in the leg and fled with Rs 18 lakh. The accused had bought a second-hand car with the looted money. DCP (outer-north) Gaurav Sharma said that the accused have been identified as Raghuveer (23) and Rohit (27). The teams are still on the lookout for two more suspects who had given the two information about the businessman. The duo was on the police radar after they shot the manager of a Narela businessman on June 25. The complainant Ravi Kumar had withdrawn Rs 18 lakh from a bank and was going to his shop with his manager Mani Ram when the men attacked them. CCTV footage from the area helped identify the men and Raghuveer was nabbed from Etah. Police recovered Rs 7 lakh and the car from him. Rohit was also arrested based on information given by him.



Man Arrested for Beating Hospital Security Guard


Bengaluru: A 29-year-old man was arrested on charges of assaulting a security guard with Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, Jayanagar, and threatening the duty doctor for not allowing him to enter the intensive care unit. Police said the accused, Mohammed Suhail, a resident of Muktinagar KG Halli and a housekeeping staffer with a private car showroom, had visited the hospital on the night of June 27 as his uncle was in ICU due to chest pain. “Suhail was among 13 people — including eight women — who had come to visit a patient, Mohammed Afsar, at 10.30pm. Since it was not visiting hours, I refused to let them in. Suhail then pushed and later attacked me when I warned him of filing a police complaint,” said G Kantaraju, the guard. He threatened doctor, Gowtam, came out of the ICU on hearing the commotion. “I explained to Dr Gowtam what had happened. He requested Suhail and others not to create a scene at the hospital and told them to come during visiting hours. Suhail, however, threatened the doctor and me with dire consequences,” said Kantaraju. “We took a written complaint from Kantaraju and booked Suhail under the Karnataka Prohibition of Violence Against Medicare Services Personnel and Damage to Property in Medicare Services Institute Act, 2009. He is in judicial custody now,” said police.



1k Dengue Cases Leave Government in Tizzy


Hyderabad: The first few spells of rainfall seem to have led to a rise in the number of dengue cases in the city. On Tuesday alone, 10 cases of dengue were reported in the state, of which six were from the city. Currently, several suspected cases are being reported from Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and Medchal districts. However, the worrying fact is that though the dengue season has just begun, the number of cases recorded in the state this year has already touched 966. The fact that dengue grew to proportions that required it to be declared an epidemic in the state last year, has led to state authorities launching a massive exercise to tackle the disease. On Wednesday, a high-level meeting was held to review the preparedness of the state health authority’s vis-a-vis dengue. As per estimates, 22.9 lakh people are believed to be at high-risk of being affected by the dengue virus. Authorities identified 1,019 dengue high-risk habitations,34 high-risk municipalities and 322 primary health centres where medicines son typically begins in the month of July and continues up to the month of November, the numbers generally come down towards the end of the season. “During the last two years the typical ‘dengue season’ has stopped to exist and dengue has become an all-season virus. In 2018, cases were recorded throughout the year and has continued to trickle for the first six months of this year too, posing the threat of an epidemic. This year, measures are being taken well in time to check the spread,” a senior health official said.



Drunk ATM Thief Chased by Locals, Dies in Bike Accident



Hyderabad: A 29-year-old man, who attempted to steal cash from an ATM in Nalgonda on Wednesday, died while trying to escape from locals who chased him. The accused Dubbakka Jalandhar, a resident of Ghattuppal village in Chandur mandal of Nalgonda district, earlier worked as a painter in Hyderabad. According to police, on Wednesday at around 2am, Jalandhar in an inebriated condition attempted to steal money from the ATM in Ghattuppal. “The alarm rang when Jalandhar tried to open the machine using a screwdriver. Before he could steal money, the locals woke up and around 15 to 20 people gathered at the ATM,” said Chandur inspector Ravindar. Afraid that he will be caught and thrashed, Jalandhar tried to escape on his bike. “Jalandhar was in a drunken condition and when he saw locals chasing him, he drove rashly and crashed the bike into the construction material kept on the roadside, a few metres away from the ATM,” added the inspector. According to cops, he fell on the iron sheets kept with the construction material and sustained severe head injuries. He was shifted to government hospital, where he died while undergoing treatment. Police found out that he was previously involved in petty theft cases. “Five years ago, he had committed theft at a kirana shop and he was also involved in some theft cases in Hyderabad, where he worked,” added the officer. A case was registered under Section 457 (Lurking house-trespass or house-breaking by night in order to commit offence) and 380 (Theft in dwelling house) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).



10k more CCTV cams to cover city in 3 years


Kolkata: In a giant step to bring a larger section of the city under technical surveillance, Kolkata Police is all set to add 10,000 CCTV cameras to its arsenal in the next three years. While the project comes under the Smart City project, part of the funding will come from the Nirbhaya funds allocated for this purpose and will be executed under the operational Astha project, announced joint CP (crime) Praveen Tripathi on Wednesday. The central government had set up the Nirbhaya Fund, a dedicated corpus for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security for women in the country, in the wake of the December 2012 brutal gang rape incident in Delhi. With this addition, the total number of CCTV cameras is likely to touch around 18,500 in the city, excluding the private ones already in place. Senior Lalbazar cops have been tasked with completing the installation process, including the choice of spots, after taking inputs from the local police. The police said that besides the usual crime-prone spots and those frequented by women and children, they want to bring the approaches to educational institutes under CCTV coverage. “The idea is to bring the maximum girls’ schools and colleges under CCTV coverage since there are claims of harassment in these areas at times. Additionally, we can ascertain if anti-social activities are being organized near these security zones.



We are also trying to track down any suspicious movement. In addition, the CCTVs will help us make continuous study of the traffic situation. This will help strategize responses that can help bring down accidents and cut down on traffic jams,” said an officer. Police sources maintained that, ideally, they want CCTV cameras even inside the schools, preferably at the entry points. But then, those will not be controlled by the police. “The most important thing is to create a deterrent that will stop criminals from carrying out the crimes,” said the officer. The cops cited Behala as an example. Located in the southern fringes, CCTV camera was an alien concept until the area was included in the Kolkata Police jurisdiction. The local police have since set up 35 CCTV cameras, besides the traffic police installing one at almost all crossings. “We are approaching individuals and trading establishments so that they share their feed with ours,” said an officer. A senior officer said that police patrolling and raids have been strengthened with the addition of one more vehicle in each police station, and the local officers have been instructed to advise members of residents’ welfare associations to install CCTV cameras in their localities.

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