News Flash – 10 May 2018

National News



Over 9,600 charge sheeted; 1,699 jailed for drunk driving in Hyderabad



HYDERABAD: As many as 1,699 persons were sent to prison on charge of drunk driving in Hyderabad, with traffic cops filing over 9,600 charge sheets for the violations between January and April this year. The Hyderabad Traffic Police(HTP), which regularly conducts a special drive against the menace of drunk driving has filed 9,648 charge sheets against drivers after they were caught driving drunk, a senior official said. “From January till April this year a total of 9,648 charge sheets were filed against persons driving in an inebriated state under Hyderabad Police Commissionerate. Out of it 1,699 persons were imprisoned for one to 30 days for drunk driving,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Anil Kumar said. A total of 2.53 crore fine was imposed on the drunk drivers. The remaining violators were imposed with fines by the courts depending on the results of blood alcohol content (BAC) when they were subjected to breathe analyser tests, he said adding as many as 32 women drivers were also caught during the drives against drunken driving and they were only fined. “Drunken driving is dangerous not only to the drunken driver but it is also dangerous to the lives of other motorists and pedestrians.


That’s why Hyderabad Traffic Police takes it very seriously and conducts special drives on different days to ensure that Hyderabad roads are safe,” Kumar told PTI. The courts suspended the driving licences of 681 people for a period ranging from three months to five years while driving licences of 69 were cancelled, he said. The top traffic police requested the public to cooperate and not to resort to driving vehicles in drunken state as many accidents including fatal ones were reported earlier in the city. On other traffic violations reported during the period of January to April this year, Kumar said around 11 lakh cases were booked for helmet rule violations. Last year, over 25 lakh cases were registered against two-wheeler riders for not wearing a helmet, he said. As many as 1,343 minor driving cases were booked, 4,800 cases for cell phone driving, 18,400 for triple riding and 18043 cases for improper number plates, he added.



Kolkata overcast but dry, Met spies thunderstorm today


KOLKATA: The city remained overcast even as the districts of East Midnapore, Birbhum and Murshidabad were lashed by severe thunderstorms on Thursday. With a thick cloud cover hanging over the city since late morning, the maximum temperature dropped to 33.9 degrees Celsius, a notch below normal. But the cloud-cover turned out to be deceptive. The city didn’t receive rain, but the Met office has predicted a thunderstorm on Friday. The thick clouds had sailed into Kolkata from the areas that were lashed by thunderstorms, said G K Das, director of Regional Meteorological Centre. “But they were not rain-bearing ones so the city remained dry. But we have a low-pressure trough across the state which could trigger a thunderstorm on Friday,” said Das. A low-pressure trough extends north Bengal to Odisha could trigger a thunderstorm in Kolkata. It has already triggered thunderstorms across the north Bengal districts. “The conditions will turn ripe for a storm on Friday,” added Das.


Frequent thundershowers have made the heat bearable this summer, according to the Met office. As many as five squalls hit the city in April, apart from another half a dozen that lashed the neighbouring districts. It helped keep the mercury in check. For the first time since 2015, the maximum temperature hasn’t touched 38 degrees Celsius till May 9. The highest recorded in Kolkata so far this season has been 37.6 degrees Celsius. In 2015, Kolkata had recorded a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius on April 11, which was the highest till mid-May. That apart, maximum temperature in Kolkata has always crossed 38 degrees by the first week of May. This has been the trend of the last five years. Met officers felt frequent thunderstorms and squall have been responsible for this. “This season we have had a regular flow of moisture and heating over the Jharkhand area which trigger thunderstorms. Also, there have been cyclonic circulations aiding the process,” said Das. He said thunderstorms might continue in May which usually isn’t a bad month for squalls. But in case they disappear, so far there has been no squall in May, the temperature may shoot.



Fire at Martin Burn building

Four fire tenders were used to douse the flames.



KOLKATA: A fire broke out on the fourth floor of the Martin Burn building located opposite the Kolkata Police headquarters in Lalbazar and a few metres away from a fire station on Wednesday morning. According to fire department officers, a short-circuit in an AC triggered the blaze but the exact cause can only be ascertained after a forensic examination. Though the extent of damage was limited to a few office premises, the impunity with which the offices have been operating by flouting fire-fighting norms right under the nose of the authorities, has raised several eyebrows. Around 9am, people inside the building noticed smoke coming out of room number 40, which houses the office of a stock broker. In a few minutes the entire facade of the building was covered in black smoke. “Our men used breathing apparatus to enter the building and locate the origin of the blaze. It seems that a short circuit in an AC caused the fire,” an officer said. This is not the first time a fire has broken out inside the Martin Burn building, which has more than 30 offices located inside it. According to figures provided by the fire department there have been at least four blazes in the building since 2010 and almost all of them have been due to electrical short-circuit. Even on Wednesday, the fire officers found the electrical wiring in a mess. “Most electrical fires occur due to faulty wiring or lack of maintenance,” the officer said. An estate manager in the building, however, said the management carries out safety audit of the building from time to time.



Lynching of Chennai woman: Tiruvannamalai police arrest 23 men



TIRUVANNAMALAI: The Tiruvannamalai police have arrested 23 men in connection with the attack on a group of people that left a woman dead and four others injured. Locals attacked the five people from Chennai – who came in a car to their family temple at Thambikottan Paarai near Polur – mistaking them for child lifters. The lynching happened at Athimoor on Wednesday morning. On Wednesday afternoon, the police picked up 33 men and 10 women for inquiry in connection with the killing of Rukhmani of Old Pallavaram in Chennai and inflicting serious injuries on four others. Tiruvannamalai superintendent of police R Ponni said they had registered a case against 23 men under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 294 (b) (obscene acts and using abusive language) , 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 307 (punishment for attempt to murder) and 302 (punishment for murder) read with Section 3 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act 1984 (for damaging a victim’s car).


Siva, who had telephoned his friends in Athimoor and spread wrong information about the victims, was one of the prime accused in the case, said the SP. Siva telephoned a few of the residents and allegedly told them that a group of five, including a woman, had tried to kidnap his two daughters after giving them chocolates. This led to the Wednesday’s lynching incident, added the police. R Gajendran, the car driver and resident of Old Pallavaram, who was in a critical condition, S Mohankumar, 45, and Chandrasekaran, 33, were shifted to the Christian Medical College Hospital from the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital for further treatment. Venkatesan’s family members got him discharged from Government Vellore Medical College and took him to Chennai.



Gas pipeline in Vadaj catches fire

Fire department officials said that three fighters from Memnagar fire station rushed to the spot to control the fire.



AHMEDABAD: A major fire was reported was reported in the PNG pipeline of the Adani Gas near the 132-Foot Ring Road in Vadaj. The incident took place late in the night. The flames were visible from a far off distance. Fire department officials said that three fighters from Memnagar fire station rushed to the spot to control the fire. The officials said that the Adani gas was asked immediately to shut the supply of the gas in the area. Officials said that there was a CNG pump also in the vicinity of the area and hence they officials did not take any risk. The officials said that there was also a high tension line passing near the area. The officials said that the primarily the reason for the fire was a spark in the electric line passing near gas pipeline.



International News



At least 41 killed as dam bursts in Kenya, officials say



NAIROBI: A dam burst its banks in Kenya‘s Rift Valley, killing at least 41 people and forcing hundreds from their homes, officials said on Thursday. At least 20 of the dead were children, police said. Water burst through the banks of the Patel Dam in Solai, Nakuru County, on Wednesday night, sweeping away hundreds of homes, including those on the expansive Nyakinyua estate that borders the reservoir. “Many people are missing. It is a disaster,” said Rongai town police chief Joseph Kioko. Nearly 170 people have now died since March from floods caused by seasonal rains, according to Kenyan authorities. The floods hit as the East African nation was recovering from a severe drought that affected half of the country. Almost an entire village was swept away by silt and water from the burst dam, said Gideon Kibunja, the county police chief in charge of criminal investigations. Officials said homes over a radius of nearly 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) were submerged. Close to 40 people were rescued from the mud and taken to hospitals on Thursday morning in operations by Kenya Red Cross and Nakuru County disaster management teams. The area has seven dams used by a commercial farm, said Keffa Mageni, an official with an advocacy group that helps to resettle displaced people. With the heavy seasonal rains the dams do not have an outlet, he said.


“There are two other dams which are leaking,” one resident, Stephen Nganga, said. He asked the government to investigate them for the residents’ safety. Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi visited the scene Thursday and said the government had launched investigations to determine the stability of the six other dams. More than 225,000 people in Kenya have been displaced from their homes since March, according to the government. Military helicopters and personnel in the past week have been deployed to rescue people marooned by the flooding. The dam burst has again raised concerns about the state of Kenya’s infrastructure. The National Construction Authority in the past has blamed contractors of bypassing building codes to save on cost. In April 2016 a residential building in the capital, Nairobi, collapsed during rains, killing 52 people. Last May the wall of a hospital collapsed due to rains, killing six people in Kenya’s second largest city, Mombasa.



Blasts rock Afghan capital of Kabul, casualties feared



KABUL: Three blasts hit the Afghan capital of Kabul in rapid succession on Wednesday and gunfire then broke out, police and interior ministry officials said. Police said one blast was near a police station in the centre of the city and casualties were feared. A suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the police station in central Kabul in an area near foreign embassies and government offices, an interior ministry official said. “We are rushing ambulances to the blast site and cordoning off the entire area,” said police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai. Dozens of people have been killed in suicide attacks in Kabul in recent weeks, including twin blasts on April 30 that killed 26 people including nine journalists. The Afghan capital has seen an increase in bombings and other attacks against the security forces and civilians since the Taliban announced the beginning of their spring offensive on April 25.



Three injured in knife attack on South Africa mosque: Security company



VERULAM, SOUTH AFRICA: Attackers armed with guns and knives struck a mosque outside the South African city of Durbanon Thursday, slashing the throats of three people and seriously injuring them, a private security company told AFP. The three attackers escaped in a Hyundai car from the Imam Hussain mosque in Verulam town on the outskirts of Durban. Prem Balram, spokesman for Reaction Unit South Africa, said he had arrived at the mosque to find two victims covered in blood lying in the forecourt of the mosque. He said a third victim had been attacked inside the building, which was then set alight and had jumped up of a window. “Eyewitnesses said three attackers with guns had used knives to slit the victims’ throats. One knife was left behind,” Balram said, speaking from the scene. “There have been theft and robbery incidents at mosques before, but not like this when nothing appears to have been taken”. He said all the three were seriously injured, with two in a critical condition. They were rushed to nearby government and private hospitals. The police confirmed the incident but gave no further details. South Africa has a history of relative religious tolerance. About 1.5 per cent of the country’s population is Muslim.

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