News Flash – 10 January 2020

National News



Once a Gangland, Mumbai Sees a Dip in Street Crime



Mumbai: Aamchi Mumbai, which sees a constant flow of migrants and has endemic pockets of poverty and disease, may look like a crime-ridden metropolis to many, but official data ranks it to be safer than at least a dozen other urban centres in the country. Overall, 40,757 cases were filed in Mumbai in 2018, making it the cluster with the second highest number of registered offences under the Indian Penal Code. The figure represents a 4% rise over the previous year when 39,035 cases were recorded. But if it is correlated to the dense population and calculated at a crime rate of per one lakh residents, Mumbai is placed 13th in the overall Indian rankings. Rape, by far, constitutes the most common of offences, a finding that is diametrically at odds with popular perceptions of Mumbai as a safe haven for women. The city, in fact, recorded a nearly double digit jump in rape cases (11,585) this year over 2017. However, an IPS officer said many were cases of minors eloping or involved failed relationships and false promises of marriage. If analysed for incidence per one lakh women in the city, Mumbai stands 11th on rape offences, far behind Jaipur (1), Delhi (2) and Kochi (4). On the grim side, however, cases of children being preyed on emerged with sickening regularity, mainly in slums, a finding borne out by the fact that Mumbai also had the second highest rate for crimes against children.



According to the report, Mumbai has witnessed a rise in senior crimes like rioting (up from 435 in 2017 to 532 in 2018), molestation (up from 1,227 to 2,038), robbery (987 to 1054), attempt to commit murder (201 to 280), and murders which went up from 127 in 2017 to 164 in 2018 but was significantly lower than in all other metropolises barring Kolkata. Mumbai is ranked 16th in rate of murders; Patna tops, followed by Jaipur and Bengaluru. Similarly, the city is placed 10th on kidnappings, another serious category, where in absolute numbers it saw a marginal rise. Crimes such as theft and burglary are lower since 2017, a result of intensive patrolling. Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) Vinay Choubey said, “The dip in crime is the result of prompt action taken added with the use of technology in solving the crime. CCTV installation has helped as a deterrent. Further police promptly register cases. This is the reason why crime figures showed a rise in Mumbai.” Two areas where law enforcers have been unable to curb offences though are cyber-crime and white collar crimes.



First in 10 Years: No. of Passengers Dip at Delhi, Mumbai Airports



New Delhi: For the first time since 2008, India’s busiest airports Delhi and Mumbai have seen a year-on-year dip in passengers in 2019 compared with 2018. While IGI Airport saw fewer domestic passengers, CSMIA registered a fall in both domestic and international carriage. Amid an overall slowing economy, the biggest reason for decline was Jet Airways’ collapse last April. IndiGo and GoAir’s Pratt & Whitney (PW) engine troubles for their Airbus A320 Neos and SpiceJet’s grounded Boeing 737 Max too contributed to fewer flyers last year. Closure of Pakistan airspace for 138 days led to airlines cancelling flights to and from Delhi and Mumbai for varying durations. As a result, Delhi and Mumbai were deprived of the records they were hoping to achieve in 2019. IGI, India’s busiest airport, was just 2 lakhs short of the magic 7-crore annual passenger (domestic-cum-international) mark in 2018 when it registered 6.98 crore flyers. DIAL’s provisional data for 2019 shows it handled 6.8 crore passengers — down 2.6%. Delhi airport saw 1.9 crore international flyers in 2019, up 0.6% from 1.8 crore in 2018. Domestic flyers fell 6% from almost 5.2 crore in 2018 to 4.9 crore in 2019. Similarly, CSMIA had ended 2018 two lakhs short of the 5-crore (domestic-cum-international) flyer mark at 4.98 crore. But Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) data for 2019 shows it handled 4.7 crore passengers down 5.6%.



Mumbai airport saw 3.38 crore domestic flyers in 2019, down 3.4% from 3.5 crore in 2018. And international flyers fell 7% from 1.4 crore in 2018 to 1.3 crore in 2019. The last time domestic air travel had dipped across India, say airline officials, was in 2008 when the global slowdown started but thanks to low cost carriers quickly spreading their wings in India, that issue was overcome from 2009 onwards. While IGIA and CSMIA were Jet’s twin hubs in India and suffered the most from the airline’s collapse, India as a whole did not see a fall in number of air travellers. DGCA data for the full year 2019 is awaited. Its January-November data shows the country saw 13.1 crore domestic flyers in 11 months of 2019, up almost 4% from 12.6 crore in the same period of the previous year. DGCA’s January-June data shows India saw 3.19 crore international passengers in the first six months of 2019, up 1.2% from 3.15 crore in the first six months of the previous year. Airports Authority of India (AAI) saw a modest 5% growth to 14.8 crore domestic-cum-international passengers in January—November 2019 at its airports (not JV metro ones) over 14.1 crore in the same period of the previous year. However, these are a far cry from the double digit growths seen in past few years. Bengaluru and Hyderabad are yet to share their 2019 passenger numbers. AAI also said the “major reasons for slowdown in (2019) are closure of Jet, grounding of Boeing 737 Max and global slowdown”.



Crimes Against Women in Telangana Dipped in 2018, Reveals NCRB Data


Hyderabad: The number of murders, kidnaps, crimes against women and crimes against children saw a rise in Hyderabad in 2018 when compared to 2017, but the overall crime rate in the city was down by 3.76%. This was stated in the 2018 crime data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Thursday. For that matter, the overall crime reported in Telangana has also decreased by 4.92% when compared to 2017. Crimes against women across the state dipped by 8.5% in 2018 when compared to the previous year. The NCRB data has also shown that 81 murders were reported in Hyderabad in 2018. In comparison, 64 murders were reported the previous year. NCRB recorded the crime, accident and suicide data under different heads of 29 states and seven Union territories. The bureau also focused on 19 cities by sharing specific information of crimes under different heads. Hyderabad was ranked 15 among 19 cities when it came to overall reported crimes of 16,012 cases. Delhi registered the highest crime cases with 2,37,660 cases. According to the NCRB data, the number of kidnap cases registered both in Telangana and in Hyderabad saw a substantial increase. In Hyderabad, there were 411kidnap cases in 2018 when compared to 341 cases in 2017. Officials attributed the increase to missing cases of children, which are also treated as kidnap cases. In 2018, the number of road accidents was 22,230 and a total of 6,603 persons had died. In Hyderabad, 2,846 accidents were reported in which 310 persons had lost their lives.



CCTV Cameras Show Killers Identity, Help Police Unravel their Plot


HORROR AT AN ARM’S DISTANCE: View of the check post on the Kaliyakkavilai Market Road where SSI Wilson was on duty. The accused went past the check post to the back gate of the mosque on the other side before they came back to the check post and fired at Wilson; (right) A video grab from a CCTV footage shows the suspects run back to the mosque’s back entrance after they shot Wilson dead.



Kaliyakkavilai: Surveillance footage from a mosque nearby helped police identify the two men who shot dead special sub-inspector Y Wilson, 57, on Wednesday night at the Padanthalumoodu police check post on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Abdul Shamim of Thuckalay and Thoufique of Nagercoil, both in Kanyakumari district, wearing skull caps, can be seen running in through the back gate of the mosque minutes after they shot Wilson dead. Police said they then exited through the main gate of the mosque on to the Nagercoil-Thiruvananthapuram highway and walked across the border into Kerala. “We know Wilson very well. He used to be a silent man and frequented the mosque often when he is on duty. We are shocked,” Mohammed Siyad, 47, the general secretary of the mosque, told TOI. The incident took place around 9.35pm when Thoufique and Abdul Shamim came on foot from the Kaliyakkavilai market, crossed the check-post where Wilson was alone and went to the back gate of the mosque less than 20 metres away. After waiting there for a minute, they walked back to the check-post and fired three to four rounds at Wilson. As he fell down unconscious, the duo ran back to the mosque’s back gate and walked out through its front gate on to the national highway. This was recorded on three CCTV cameras in the mosque and four more at a hospital, a weighbridge and two shops. Footage showed the duo walking across the border into Kerala.



“They casually walked for about 400 metres without raising suspicion. Footage from one of the CCTV cameras shows one of the suspects asking for a lift from a vehicle on the highway,” said Mohammed Siyad. Meanwhile, Wilson lay in a pool of blood with three bullet injuries near the back gate of the mosque. Locals said it was two children aged about 10 to 12 years playing on the road who first witnessed the events. Two college-goers rushed in on hearing the gun shots and took Wilson to the hospital in an autorickshaw, where he was declared dead. IG south zone K P Shanmuga Rajeswaran said there were stab injuries on the body, the nature of which can be confirmed only after obtaining the postmortem report. Both gates of the mosque are about 20 to 50 metres from the Kerala border. Sixteen CCTV cameras were installed in the mosque three years ago. The mosque committee said the gates are open till midnight for traders and highway users to offer prayers. Police said they initially suspected that the accused could have escaped in an SUV as a vehicle was speeding past the place close to the time the incident took place.



Wilson was laid to rest with full state honours at the burial ground of the CSI church at Marthandam. Director general of police J K Tripathy and senior police officers paid tributes to the cop by placing a wreath. Police fired 21 rounds in the air before the body was laid to rest around 4pm on Thursday. An SSI attached to the Kaliyakkavilai police station, Wilson had joined the police force in April 1986 and was due for retirement in five months. He has been serving at Kaliyakkavilai from July 2018. The resident of Paruthivilai near Marthandam is survived by his wife Angel Mary and two daughters, Antris Rimija, 27, and Vinitha, 26. “It is a sorrowful incident. Investigations are under way,” Tripathy told reporters. Five special teams under the superintendent of police of Kanyakumari district N Shreenath are on the job to nab the accused. The Coimbatore city and rural police tightened security at 26 check posts, including Walayar, Velanthavalam and Anaikatti on Kerala-Tamil Nadu border on Thursday and conducted vehicle checks with the photographs of two suspects released by the Kerala police.

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