News Flash – 12 April 2018

National News



Masked men barge into Powai flat, rob woman of Rs 14.5 lakh gold, cash at gunpoint


MUMBAI: Two masked men entered a school trustee’s Powai flat and at gunpoint made away with six tolas of gold jewellery worth Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 13 lakh in cash on Sunday. The crime took place in a third-floor flat of Zahoor Palace opposite Larsen & Turbo’s gate number six. Victim Subhangi Narsale (40) was getting ready to leave for the wedding reception of the school owner’s son at 8.45pm when two men landed up outside her door. The duo asked her 60-year-old mother to open the door claiming they had been sent by the school’s owner. The entire episode lasted 10 minutes and the two men calmly walked out without being noticed by anyone else. Narsale and her mother live alone in the flat. The accused seemed to be aware of their daily routine and also about Rs 13 lakh kept in the flat, said a Powai police officer. “Two men entered the flat, covered their faces with handkerchiefs and at gunpoint stole Rs 13 lakh in cash collected as school fees from March 25. Before leaving, the accused also stole the victim’s gold jewellery worth Rs 1.5 lakh. After the robbery, the masked duo was found leaving the building calmly, which the building’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) has captured. But the CCTV grab is blurred and we have sought technical help to make the images sharper and clearer,” said an officer from Powai police station.


In her police complaint, Narsale said, “I was getting ready to leave when the doorbell rang. My elderly mother opened the door and allowed the two men to enter as they claimed to have been sent by the school. The two then covered their faces with handkerchiefs and locked the door from inside and threatened both of us with a gun. They told us to hand over all the valuables and cash at home”. The police have found it “strange” that neither their neighbours nor the building security guards noticed the two men enter or leave the premises. “The two men did not harm the victims. Their intention was only to rob and they are known to the victims as well as the school management. They were aware about the fees collection kept in the flat since March 25, which the school owner had asked Narsale to hand over to him during his son’s marriage. The money had not been deposited in a bank,” said a police officer. A case has been registered under the Arms Act as well as Indian Penal Code sections 34 for common intention, 392 for robbery, 452 for house trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint, and 506 (II) for criminal intimidation against the two unidentified men. DCP Vinayak Deshmukh, additional charge of Zone X, confirmed the crime to TOI but refused to divulge any details. He said two teams have been formed to track down the accused.



Fire at Thane multiplex, no casualties reported



A fire broke out in Maharashtra’s Thane Viviana Mall’s multiplex on Wednesday morning. Nearly 12 fire tenders have been rushed to the spot to douse the fire. The reason for the fire is yet to be ascertained. However, the cooling process is still underway.



Firefighter injured in South Delhi blaze


NEW DELHI: A 34-year-old firefighter was injured while he was trying to douse a massive fire in Lajpat Nagar’s Central Market on Wednesday morning. Police said the blaze broke out because of a short circuit. The firefighter, Om Prakash, was inside a house on the fourth floor of a building and trying to control the flames when a cylinder blast took place. Prakash was rushed to Safdarjung Hospital. “The cylinder exploded when he was on duty,” said a Delhi Fire Services official, adding Prakash suffered burn injuries on his face and hands. According to a senior official from the fire department, they got a call around 8.55am informing them that a fire had broken out, after which seven fire tenders were rushed to the spot. However, the fire could not be doused within half an hour and three more fire tenders were pressed into service.


The building, which has four storeys and a jewellery store on the ground floor, was undamaged and remained operational through the day. “The market had not opened when the fire broke out. I was on my way when one of my helpers called me and informed me about it. The cylinder blast also took place before I reached the building,” said Kishore, manager of a jewellery store in D Block, where the fire broke out. He added that the situation would have been much worse if the market was open at that time. “This is one of the most famous markets of south Delhi. There was chaos. I can only imagine the situation if there were more people around,” he said. Prakash was one of the few who went in with the first slot of fire tenders, before the last three were sent in for help. The flames were finally put out at 9.55am. Police said they have registered a case and are probing into the case.



TN bandh over Cauvery issue: PMK functionary suffers electric shock during rail Roko


VILLUPURAM: A Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) functionary, who climbed atop a train during a protest as part of a bandh over the Cauvery water issue, suffered electric shock when he came in contact with a high tension cable at Tindivanam railway station on Wednesday morning. Scores of PMK workers led by party general secretary Vadivel Ravanan blocked the Guruvayur Express train when it reached Tindivanam railway station from Chennai. Tindivanam town vice-president of the party Ranjith Kumar, 34, and a few others climbed atop the train and raised slogans. Ranjith came in contact with the high tension cable and suffered electric shock. He was thrown off the train due to the impact of the shock. Party cadre and others rescued him and rushed him to Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer) in Puducherry. Ranjith had suffered 65% -70% burn injuries, a doctor treating him said. “The patient is conscious and awake. All his vital parameters are normal. He sustained 65%-70% burn injuries on his limbs, abdomen and chest. Any burn injury above 20% is considered a major one. We have commenced oxygen therapy and started administering glucose and IV fluids and dressed his wounds,” said professor and head (plastic surgery) of Jipmer, Ravi Kumar Chittoria.



RPF constable saves woman who was about to fall off moving train at Tambaram station



CHENNAI: A Railway Protection Force constable saved a female senior citizen who was about to fall off a moving train at Tambaram station in the early hours of Wednesday. Around 3.05am, when number 11064 Salem-Chennai Egmore Express was leaving Tambaram railway station, the woman passenger tried to get down from it and lost her balance. The footage from a CCTV camera shows that the woman tried to get down from the moving train. She was about to fall in between the platform and the moving train when constable Pradeep Kumar rushed to her rescue.



International News



Israel targets Hamas posts in Gaza after border blast



JERUSALEM: The Israeli army said it fired at unspecified Hamas “military targets” in Gaza on Wednesday after a Palestinian bomb attack on an army engineering unit working inside the Hamas-ruled territory. No Israelis were reported injured in the explosion, which the army’s radio station said appeared to have targeted a mechanical digger. The army said the bomb was planted under cover of mass protests along the Gaza-Israel border since March 30. “During routine activity in northern Gaza, an explosive device that was placed under the guise of the riots was detonated against an (army) engineering vehicle on the western side of the security fence,” a military statement said. “In response, the Israel Defence Forces struck a number of Hamas military targets,” it added. The statement did not give the location of the targets or the type of military fire used. Israel has used both tank fire and air strikes against Hamas targets in the past. It was also not clear what the engineering unit was working on, though Israel routinely carries out maintenance work on the border fence. The mass rallies, under the name “the Great March of Return,” call for Palestinian refugees to be allowed back to their former homes now inside Israel. They have led to clashes in which Israeli forces have killed 31 Palestinians. No Israelis have been hurt.



Airlines on alert as military strikes loom on Syria



NEW DELHI: With US warning of military strikes in Syria, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued a “rapid alert notification” asking airlines to be careful when flying close to Syria. In a notice posted to Euro control’s website, EASA has said: “Due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria with air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles within the next 72 hours, and the possibility of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment, due consideration needs to be taken”. Airlines flying near that area are on alert. Among Indian carriers, Air India and Jet Airways fly to Europe and North America. Jet Airways said it is maintaining “a close watch on conflict zones via its internal dispatch processes. Due to the ongoing flight security situation in that area and in conformance with established international protocols, Jet Airways does not overfly Syria on any of its flights and has not been overflying the country for some time.” AI said its “flights do not fly over Syria or near Syria”. British Airways said: “Our flights continue to operate normally, and we are monitoring the situation closely. Our flight plans vary frequently depending on a number of factors, but our highest and first priority is always the safety of our customers and crew”.



More than 250 killed in Algerian military plane crash: State TV

Firefighters and civil security officers work at the scene of a fatal military plane crash in Boufarik, near the Algerian capital, Algiers, Wednesday, April 11, 2018.



ALGIERS: More than 250 people including members of Western Sahara‘s Polisario independence movement were killed when a military plane crashed in a field outside Algeria’s capital on Wednesday, officials said. Television footage showed crowds gathering around the smoking and flaming wreckage near Boufarik airport southwest of Algiers. A line of white body bags could be seen on the ground next to what media said was a Russian Ilyushin transport plane. A total of 257 people died in the crash, state TV reported. A member of Algeria’s ruling FLN party told the private Ennahar TV station the dead included 26 members of Polisario, an Algerian-backed group fighting for the independence of neighbouring Western Sahara – a territory also claimed by Morocco in a long-running dispute. The plane was heading to Tindouf, an area on Algeria’s border with Western Sahara, but crashed on the airport’s perimeter, Algeria’s defence ministry said. Tindouf is home to thousands of refugees from the Western Sahara standoff, many of them Polisario supporters. UN attempts to broker a settlement have failed for years in the vast desert area, which has contested since 1975 when Spanish colonial powers left. Morocco claimed the territory while Polisario established its self-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic there. Algeria’s defence ministry issued a statement expressing condolences to families of the victims. In February 2014, an Algerian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules crashed in a mountainous area in eastern Algeria killing 77 passengers and leaving one survivor.

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