News Flash – 12 June 2017

National News



Crimes in Mumbai are getting more brutal, say cops and psychologists



MUMBAI: Are crimes in the city getting more and more brutal? Investigators, including seasoned detectives who have put the mafia behind bars, think so. The sight of the girl’s dead body in the Madh case made my skin crawl. It was nothing like anything I had seen before. The killer had tried to remove all evidence and mutilated her body in the process. He later turned out to be a first-time offender,” said an investigating officer. Another officer recounted how he was haunted by the sight of the bloody room in Malwani where the bodies of an elderly woman and her grand kids were found. There was blood everywhere–the walls, the floor and the wash-basin”. “Exposure to extreme violence could lead to a copycat phenomenon where after viewing something, it is registered in the viewer’s brain and he then repeats it in his actions,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Narendra Kinger. There is easy access to violent content through crime shows on TV, video clips streaming on WhatsApp or action video games where the enemy has to be stabbed repeatedly in order to score more points. “Having sex with a child is a manifestation of high level of mental disturbance,” Dr. Kinger adds. Siddhant Ganore‘s case has been discussed endlessly in police circles.



“It’s probably the first time that a family member has left behind a smiling emoticon in a message using blood of the deceased. The cold-bloodedness has left us numb,” said an officer. “The teen of today is not the teen of yesterday. There is no emotional connect among the younger generation. If one’s demands are not met completely, then the parent or friend becomes an enemy,” says Dr. Ruchi Sinha, associate professor, centre for criminology and justice at TISS, adding that many youngsters are unable to withstand the pressure of not being able to perform, either in studies or other aspects of in life. “Social and economic reality have changed and violence in general has increased. But every crime needs to be studied in isolation to find the motivation behind,” Dr. Sinha adds. “Everyone in Mumbai is struggling with day-to-day life, be it a teen or an adult. At least 10% to 15% of the population suffers from mental health issues. But there is a lack of awareness. Schools need to sensitise students and train parents to have a balanced approach,” Dr. Kinger says.



Karnataka bandh today; Metro, buses, cabs, autos to ply as usual



BENGALURU: It will be bandh versus bandobast for Bengalureans on Monday as 20,000 police personnel fill the roads to prevent any disruption during the Karnataka bandh called by two Kannada organizations. Besides the hassles of a shutdown, residents will have to bear with widespread traffic restrictions as Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi arrive in the city for the re-launch of National Herald, an English-language newspaper backed by the Congress. The dawn-to-dusk bandh has been called to seek PM Modi’s intervention to resolve the interstate Mahadayi river dispute and a speedy solution to the drinking water problems in Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Davanagere and Chitradurga districts. Though police said no organization had sought permission to call for the bandh, groups of Kannada activists held marches in various parts of the city on Sunday, seeking people’s support and urging establishments to shut down on Monday.


Public transport, including fleets run by Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation, will operate as usual. Cab and auto rickshaw unions said they were not joining the bandh. Trucks, however, will remain off the streets. Cinema halls will not screen shows. The decision on keeping schools and colleges open has been left to the jurisdictional deputy commissioners, primary and secondary education minister Tanveer Sait said. Diploma in education exams, scheduled for Monday, have been postponed to Tuesday. Visvesvaraya Technological University postponed its eighth-semester theory exams and will announce the rescheduled date shortly. Intelligence inputs suggest the protest will be low key, but police deployment will be intensive. “We are not taking chances. All policemen in the city will be on duty. Apart from 15,000-plus police personnel, 78 platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police and City Armed Reserve will be deployed on the streets. Senior police officers will monitor the situation,” said police commissioner Praveen Sood. Additional security will be provided at bus terminals, Metro and railway stations.


Traffic and parking restrictions have been imposed on several parts of the city to prevent any protests as vice-president Hamid Ansari and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi visit the city on Monday for the re-launch of National Herald commemorative publication. The function will take place at Dr. BR Ambedkar Bhavan on Miller’s Road. Rahul is expected to attend a seminar at Jnana Jyoti Auditorium on Palace Road. Additional commissioner of police R Hitendra said traffic restrictions will be in place in a large number of roads. “We will allow traffic on these roads after the VIP movement. However, parking on the roads will be restricted throughout the day,” he said.


PARKING BANNED HERE: Old Airport Road, from Suranjandas Road to ASC Centre, Trinity Church Road, from ASC Centre to Trinity Circle, MG Road, from Trinity Circle to Webbs Junction, Dickenson Road, from Webbs Junction, to Manipal Centre, Cubbon Road, from Manipal Centre to C.T.O. Circle, Rajbhavan Road, from C.T.O. Circle to Raj Bhavan Junction, L.H. Road, from Raj Bhavan Junction to Basaveswara Circle, Palace Road, from Mysore Bank Circle to Avinash Petrol Bunk, Cunningham Road, from Avinash Petrol Bunk to Chandrika Junction, Miller’s Road, from Chandrika Junction to Udaya T.V. Junction, Station Road, from Udaya T.V. Junction to Queen’s Road Junction (Opp. to Cantonment Railway Station). Traffic restrictions will be in place on Queen’s Road (from Station Road Junction to C.T.O. Circle), T. Chowdaiah Road (from Windsor Manor Junction to Shivananda Circle), Ramanamaharshi Road (from Cauvery Junction to Mehkri Circle), Ballari Road (from Mehkri Circle to K.I.A.L).



Fear mosquito breeding? Log in to call the sprayer for good health



New Delhi: When her neighbour suffered from fever for over a week, Anuja Sharma of Dilshad Colony feared increase in mosquitoes and visited the website of East Delhi Municipal Corporation to lodge a complaint. There she noticed that Ram Singh Nagar was designated as the domestic breeding checker for her colony. His number was posted on the site. “I called him and he came the next day to spray the drains and check houses for breeding,” said Sharma. Nagar found Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits dengue and chikungunya, breeding in two houses, but it was the effort of Sharma that nipped a potential problem. Like Sharma, 51 citizens have similarly contacted DBCs from the corporation’s website and called them to tackle mosquitos in their areas. “Without this digital assistance, the fight against mosquitoes would be tougher and less effective,” conceded Brajesh Singh, EDMC additional commissioner. “If the residents cooperate with us, we will curb the mosquito menace this year”. The three corporations are carrying out a digital experiment to deal with the scourge of vector-borne diseases. Like EDMC, the north corporation has also put its rosters of domestic breeding checkers online.


“The rosters show the duty chart of the DBCs and their names and phone numbers. If an individual finds that a DBC did not turn up for duty in a colony on a specific date, the DBC can be questioned about it,” said north corporation spokesperson Yogendra Singh Maan. Besides online complaints, the corporations have also issued toll-free numbers that people can use to make verbal complaints. The north body has received 77 complaints since May 13, when the corporation opened the anti-mosquito digital front. “It is an initiative to seek the people’s support to fight dengue and chikungunya,” explain north mayor Priti Agrawal. “The measures we are taking are being monitored at different levels to ensure no laxity in checking mosquito breeding”. SDMC has taken the digital war a step further. Recently, south mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat announced that the corporation would distribute digital tablets to 200 DBCs serving areas most sensitive to mosquito breeding. “DBCs will furnish details of action taken each day. This will guarantee effective work and monitoring,” hoped Sehrawat. But some problems remain. Sunil Kumar, a DBC in Dilshad Garden, said many of the households he visits do not allow him to check the premises for mosquito breeding. Malaria inspectors admit that DBCs are not empowered to force people to allow them to carry out checks. While malaria inspectors and assistant malaria inspectors can book people for stopping the entry of DBCs into their flats, there is a shortage of manpower. RWAs and councilors also resist the practice of issuing challans because that requires violators to appear in court.



After big booty from ATM loot, Hyderabad man runs out of luck

Md. Yousuf Hussain.


WARANGAL: A Hyderabadi, who had been duping aged persons at ATMs for over a decade and bought himself a house and gold jewellery over the years, was on Sunday arrested here by police with Rs 4.20 lakh on him along with a mobile phone worth Rs 40,000. Police also recovered 27 ATM cards from his possession. Md. Yousuf Hussain, a 38-year-old resident of Shaikpet in Hyderabad, would offer to assist the aged and infirm at ATMs in drawing cash. He would then pocket their debit cards and give them a replacement fake card and disappear from the scene, Warangal city police commissioner G Sudheer Babu told reporters. Hussain, married twice and who has four children, went to Saudi Arabia in the early 1990s. After returning to Hyderabad, he worked as a plumber for a few years. Sudheer Babu said Hussain was, however, not satisfied with the money he was making and hit upon the idea of robbing the senior citizens at ATMs. Over the years, he managed to buy a house worth nearly Rs 20 lakh in Shaikpet. Some time ago, he also deposited gold jewellery he purchased using stolen debit cards with a major gold mortgage company.


Hussain reserved his criminal acts for two days a week -Friday and Saturday -and spread his activity across several districts. His list of victims include people from Kamareddy, Nalgonda, Medak, Zaheerabad, Bhongir, Suryapet, Siddipet, Nizamabad and Warangal. Hussain chose to operate only on Fridays and Saturdays because even if someone noticed that they have been robbed of their card, any complaint registered by banks would not be processed till Monday because of the weekend giving him ample time to leave the city or town and return to Hyderabad, Sudheer Babu said. Apparently, the recent drive towards digital payments came as a boost to his activities as he began buying gold jewellery with the stolen debit cards. In some cases, he also paid a commission to owners of some shops where he would use a card swipe machine and get cash back on the stolen cards. “He would ask the elderly for PIN numbers as he offered to help them out. He would then tell them that the ATM was not working and ‘return’ a fake card and disappear from the scene and then go to another ATM and withdraw cash with the stolen card,” the officer said. Hussain was produced in court here and remanded to custody.



Call to Bengaluru Police will be answered in 6 seconds



BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday inaugurated the Namma-100 control room, which enables the police to take as many as 100 complaint calls at a time. Each call will be answered within six minutes is the promise of the police. ‘Nimma Dooru, Namma Nooru (Your complaint, our hundred)’, an updated version of the police helpline number, now has 100 lines. “Earlier, there were 20 lines for the helpline number and now the same has been increased to 100 lines,” Siddaramaiah said. The CM answered one of the calls on Saturday, from a woman who had lost her passport. “Namaskara madam. I am your chief minister. Don’t worry. Your problem will be addressed and police are reaching you soon,” he told the woman, who was calling from Kalasipalya.


Home minister (in-charge) G Parameshwara said the modern complaint redressal mechanism adopted by Bengaluru police was the first in the country and was inspired by what a government team learnt in the UK. More than 400 personnel work round the clock in three shifts to take calls at Namma-100. The service has been outsourced to a private company. In-charge home minister G Parameshwara said the orderly system has been cancelled by the government. “There were 3,000 orderlies earlier and we have taken steps to end the orderly system. I will speak to police officials, asking whether any orderly is still working,” he said.



Technical snag-hit Kuala Lumpur-Chennai flight gets priority landing



CHENNAI: A Kuala Lumpur-Chennai flight with 140 passengers got a priority landing with emergency services on the standby near the runway after the aircraft started to lose cabin pressure on Saturday. A senior official of Chennai airport said, “The pilot called in about the inflight emergency as the plane was nearing Chennai and requested for priority. Other planes were told to hold and the aircraft was allowed to land at 10.30pm. The plane was grounded soon after”. He also said fire and rescue services were kept on a standby as per the procedure. Sources said the flight taxied to the terminal and passengers were disembarked. Engineers checked the aircraft overnight and readied it for operation on Monday. However, the snag delayed Sunday’s Chennai-Kuala Lumpur flight. Planes may lose altitude if they suffer loss of cabin pressure. During cabin pressure failure, pilots descend the plane to an altitude of less than 8,000 feet.



50-year-old woman duped at ATM by ‘helpful’ man in Ahmedabad



AHMEDABAD: It was an unfortunate day out for Manjula Parmar 50 as she ventured out to withdraw money from an SBI ATM center on Saturday morning to get medicine for her ailing mother. Just as Parmar, who works for a private company as security guard withdrew Rs 5000 from the ATM center, a youth about 20-22 years of age came into the ATM cabin, took her into confidence and asked her to get a receipt of her transaction. Parmar, did not get a receipt of her transaction but as she came out the ATM and moved towards a medical store to get medicine, she received a message notification. The message read “Rs 20,000 withdrawn from your account”. It was like a jolt to Parmar who hardly earned enough to earn living for her family and for the medicine of her sick mother.


Parmar ran back to the ATM center but the youth had disappeared. She could not hold back her tears. Parmar rushed to the nearby Meghaninagar police station. According to police sources, in her complaint she mentioned the as she was leaving after withdrawing money from ATM center, the youth came in. “The youth asked Parmar for her card and account number and after inserting the card in the slot asked Parmar to enter the PIN number” added a police official. Police officials even after entering her PIN number when Parmar did not get her transaction receipt, the youth told her that the machine might be faulty. “Parmar left the ATM center only to find Rs 20,000 withdrawn from the account” added a police official. Police officials said they have gathered the footage from the CCTV camera installed in the ATM center and are hunting for the youth.



International News



Strong, shallow earthquake rattles Indonesia’s capital



JAKARTA: A strong, shallow earthquake today rocked part of Indonesia‘s main island, causing panic but no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The National Disaster Management Agency said the earthquake this morning shook wide parts of western Java Island including the capital, Jakarta. It said residents in some cities ran out of houses in panic. The US Geological Survey said the magnitude- 5.6 quake was centred in the Indian Ocean, about 97 kilometres south- southwest of the West Java town of Cibungur with a depth of 10 kilometres. Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said the quake was a stronger magnitude-6.3 but had no potential to cause a tsunami. Indonesia is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location along the Pacific “Ring of Fire”.



China launches record-breaking drone swarm



BEIJING: China has launched a record breaking swarm of 119 fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles, authorities said on Sunday. The feat broke the previous record of a swarm of 67 drones, the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) said. The 119 drones performed catapult-assisted take-offs and formations in the sky. According to the CETC, “swarm intelligence” is regarded as the core of artificial intelligence of unmanned systems and the future of intelligent unmanned systems. Zhao Yanjie, an engineer with CETC, said that since drones were invented in 1917, intelligent swarms have become a disruptive force to “change rules of the game”. Reports in the Chinese official media in the recent past said Chinese military is also testing to launch mass armed drones as a new technique in battle conditions. China is currently the largest maker of drones.



German police question 3 Britons after flight diverted



BERLIN: German police are question three British citizens after their conversation during a flight to London prompted an EasyJet pilot to make an unscheduled stop in Cologne late Saturday. A spokesman for Cologne police says other passengers on the flight from the Slovenian capital Ljubljana overheard a conversation with “terrorist content” between the men, aged 31, 38 and 48. Christoph Gilles told The Associated Press on Sunday that police destroyed a rucksack belonging to one of the men but found no explosives inside. He said an investigation into whether the men were planning an attack was ongoing, but noted there might be an innocent explanation for their conversation. Gilles said the remaining passengers, several of whom were slightly injured during the plane’s evacuation, would likely be flown to London later Sunday.



Biden’s niece pleads guilty in $110K credit-account theft



NEW YORK: A niece of former Vice President Joe Biden has pleaded guilty in a $110,000 credit-account theft at a New York City drugstore. Caroline Biden admitted Friday to grand larceny and petty larceny, with an agreement to get two years’ probation if she repays the money, does 10 days of community service and avoids re-arrest for a year. Her lawyer, Ira London, declined to comment Saturday. A complaint says the 29-year-old Biden used a borrowed credit card to open a customer account at the Manhattan shop without the cardholder’s OK then racked up the tab over a year. In 2013, she was charged with hitting a New York police officer amid a rent dispute with her roommate. She got treatment for anger problems, and the resisting-arrest case was dismissed.

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