News Flash – 11 September 2019

National News



Home Guards to Provide Security in DTC Buses



New Delhi: With Delhi government putting the process to engage civil defence volunteers as bus marshals on hold following complaints of irregularities, the transport department has decided to “call out” Home Guard personnel to provide security in DTC and cluster buses. Officials said the directorate of Home Guards has agreed to provide about 5,500 personnel to the department to be deployed on state-run buses and private ones being run under the cluster scheme. They added that they are likely to join in the next few days. The department had earlier decided to draw 9,500 civil defence volunteers and deploy them as bus marshals. Following complaints of irregularities in their enrolment in the East district, the Delhi government put the entire process on hold last month.



“We have been told by the directorate of home guards that it can send about 5,500 personnel. For the remaining 4,000 personnel, we will have to get civil defence volunteers. We are waiting for the final confirmation from the directorate of home guards and will re-start the process to engage civil defence volunteers after it,” said an official. According to officials, there are roughly about 3,000 marshals Home Guards, civil defence volunteers and ex-servicemen currently engaged with Delhi Transport Corporation for its fleet of 3,781 buses. These marshals are generally deployed during the evening rush hour and late night travel while there is no security on DTC buses during the morning peak hours. The 1,679 buses being operated under the cluster scheme do not have any marshals so far. Delhi may see another 4,000 public buses hitting the road in the next 9-10 months.



Burglar Involved in over 250 Offences behind Bars again



Secunderabad: A string of house burglaries in Secunderabad recently left police flummoxed. Even as the men in khaki were racking their brains, a chance discovery of a CCTV footage showing a man formally dressed, wearing a baseball cap and shades roaming on the streets at 2am gave them the vital clue. A little probing and a phone call sealed his fate. Though he introduced himself as a software engineer, it turned out he was a repeat offender. To the shock of police, the accused turned out to be notorious burglar, Mantri Shankar, who was involved in 250 offences and was convicted in 207 offences in his 40-year criminal history. On August 19, 59-year-old Mantri Shankar stepped out of the Cherlapally central prison. However, in a span of 10 days, he had committed 20 offences across the city. Some of these offences were committed in Karkhana. Karkhana inspector Madhukar Swamy said in a CCTV footage they came across a person loitering near a victim’s house. Apart from being neatly shaven, he was dressed in formal shoes at 2 am on August 28. To hid his face, he used a projected baseball cap and shades.



Despite making several attempts, police could not get any get an image of his face. However, in a footage, they saw the man making a phone call and within no time an auto rickshaw, which did not have any number plate, came to the spot to pick him up. The phone call helped police nab him. Police verified the mobile phone tower locations. They came across four mobile phones being used at 2am in that area of Karkhana. Except a phone user, the remaining three remained in that area. Police tracked the then unknown accused using mobile phone locations and verified CCTV footages. From Karkhana, the accused was seen taking the route to JBS, Mahankali, Tank Bund before entering South Zone and finally his phone was traced to Kamatipura. Along with Shankar, his accomplice, who drove the auto-rickshaw D Dinakar, was arrested. Police recovered 100 grams of gold ornaments, a two-wheeler and an auto rickshaw from them.



40 More CCTV Camera’s to Rein in Speed Demons, Road Rule Violators


Kolkata: In an effort to curb speeding and other road rule violations, Kolkata Police has floated tender for installation of 40 CCTV cameras that will help cops issue more footage-based challans as and when the new and enhanced fine regime starts in the city. Amongst the road stretches, which have been identified for the installation of these cameras are several bridges, some of which have witnessed multiple accidents. This includes AJC Bose Road flyover, Vidyasagar Setu, Bondel Gate flyover and Zeerut bridge. Other areas, include Shakespeare Sarani, Theatre Road-Lord Sinha Road Crossing, Dufferin Road near YMCA grounds, Strandle Road, VIP Bazar on EM Bypass and Ballygunge Circular Road and Deodar Street Crossing. The cops have estimated a cost of Rs 50 lakh that will be used from Kolkata South constituency MPLAD fund. The constituency is now presented by Mala Roy of Trinamool Congress. All cameras will be of 5-10 mega pixel cameras with video management software and shutter speed 1/3 to 1/100,000. “We are thankful for this help. Though primarily these cameras will help traffic police, we are equally interested in using them to solve major crimes,” said an officer.



Police sources claimed that with the cameras installed, feeds from roads will be easier to store and actions can be taken much faster. “The cameras will be put up on each lane. In addition, it will be set up on high masts and will face the incoming traffic for clear visuals. The trials will begin on the two Bypass connectors soon. We have long realized that technology is the way forward at a time when we are short of manpower. The present upgrade is being done keeping the present day challenges in mind,” said an IPS officer. Cops believe such cameras would help in reading the number plates better even during peak traffic hours. The cops said that in several cases in the recent past, the CCTVs have proved to be the major source of evidence the best examples being the child lifting case at Medical College and the most recent double murder case at Bansdroni. In a giant step to bring a larger section of the city under technical surveillance, Kolkata police is all set to add 10,000 more CCTV cameras to its arsenal in the next three years. Times View: Too many lives are lost because of the menace of speeding and rash driving. Hopefully, more surveillance will help to save lives.



3 held for Series of Robberies in Ponneri



Chennai: A mother-son duo, along with their accomplice, have been arrested for a series of robberies in Ponneri on Tuesday. A PWD employee lodged a complaint that a gang of three waylaid him and escaped with his five sovereign gold chain near Ponneri Bazaar. In the same week, the gang had snatched an eight sovereign gold chain from an elderly woman. Based on the complaint, policemen were deployed along with patrol vehicles on these stretches when they intercepted two suspicious looking man. They were identified as Vasanth, 21, of Chinnakavanam village and Vishnu, 21, of Minjur. Vasanth told police that he always came with his mother Vani, 48, who helped them in the robbery. Explaining the modus operandi, police said Vani would stand alone on the road, while the two men hid in nearby bushes. “She would stop vehicles and ask them for lift,” said an investigating officer. A few would stop to help the elderly woman, taking advantage of this, the two would come out of the bushes and rob the motorists. They mostly targeted motorists who came alone. She never stopped any cabs but looked for cars with white boards, as they thought the cab drivers would not have any valuables. The arrests were made based on the identity given by the victims. They also mentioned the woman who part of the gang, police said. They have several cases pending against them in Ponneri district. Police remanded the trio in judicial custody.

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