News Flash – 15 November 2018

National News



Robbers loot Rs.50 Lakhs from bank staff in Punjab, kill Security Guard



Patiala: Police on Wednesday arrested two men, including a retired policeman’s son, hours after armed robbers looted Rs 50 lakh from bank officials and killed a security guard at Nabha in Punjab. The incident occurred around 11am. Police officials said the looted amount, the weapon and the motorcycle used have been seized. The accused have been identified as Jagdev Singh alias Tari (35) and Amanjit Singh alias Guri (37), both residents of Sangrur. They were arrested from Sangrur, four hours after the crime. The miscreants, who were waiting outside the bank, struck when the bank’s security guard Prem Chand and clerk Antrish Kumar brought a cash trunk to the grain market branch of SBI in a taxi. They fired at Chand, grabbed the trunk and fled on their bike. Chand succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital.



Golden hour turns rush hour: Docs take to indigenous apps to speed up Cardiac care


Mumbai: As time is of the essence for heart attack patients, six cardiologists from a central suburb have come together to offer quick diagnosis and treatment within 60 minutes, right in the patient’s neighbourhood. Borrowing from a rural health programme in Tamil Nadu, the hub-and-spoke model of Mumbai Heart Clinic at Pestom Sagar, Chembur, began functioning on Sunday. “The idea is to reduce time by using technology,” said one of the cardiologists, Dr Sandip Rane. As per global standards, heart attack patients should reach a hospital’s Cath lab within 90 minutes of experiencing symptoms. Since heart attack symptoms are not always specific, many patients mistake them for acidity and delay treatment. To inject an element of speed, the doctors have roped in ambulance providers and an ambulance app to ensure that people living in and around Ghatkopar can reach their hospital at the earliest. An ECG machine that is the size of a car key is central to this endeavor. “We have distributed 25 of these handheld, wireless ECG machines to ambulance providers who can either help the patient conduct an ECG and send it in real time to one of us,” explained Dr Rane. If the diagnosis is heart attack, the patient would be given an option of either undergoing an angioplasty at Mumbai Heart Clinic or at a hospital of his choice.


“Patients should have the option of undergoing a PAMI (Primary Angioplasty in Myocardial Infarction) as it is now proven that it is the best way to treat a heart attack and save heart muscles,” said the doctor. Work on this project began over 18 years ago with the medical team spreading awareness about heart attacks and conducting cardiac pulmonary resuscitation camps for policemen and other interested community groups. Leading cardiologist Dr A B Mehta, who conducted the city’s first stent procedure as a professor at the civic-run Sion Hospital’s medical school in 1987, said the clinic idea is interesting because of the “element of time”. “The clinic is accessible from any corner of Ghatkopar, a suburb with a population of about 20 lakhs, within 15-20 minutes. The clinic will help cut down mortality and morbidity associated with heart attacks”. In 2017, a report in the journal JAMA Cardiology highlighted how a “spoke and hub” model in rural TN had improved mortality at one year. The TN model had four hub hospitals linked to 35 peripheral spoke hospitals based on geography, and treated over 2,420 patients in a year.



CR to cancel 170 suburban services on Sunday for Kalyan Bridge Demolition


Mumbai: Over 170 local train services will be cancelled on Sunday and 51 long-distance trains diverted or rescheduled to let Central Railway (CR) demolish the Patripul road overbridge (ROB) in Kalyan. The removal of the 104-year-old bridge was recommended in July after an IIT inspection report found it to be in a dangerous condition. The inspection was part of an audit of all types of railway ROBs and foot over bridges (FOBs), prompted by the collapse of Gokhale bridge in Andheri on July 3. Around 445 problematic bridges were identified for the audit. CR spokesperson Sunil Udasi said, “We will run 120 special suburban trains in various sections to compensate for the cancellations. A block is planned between 9.30am and 3.30pm”. After the report on the Patripul bridge, height gauges were installed to prevent the entry of heavy vehicles on it. From August 18, vehicular traffic was entirely stopped. During the block, trains will not run between Kalyan and Dombivli, but CSMT-Dombivli services and those from Karjat and Kasara to Kalyan will continue. Of the 43 long distance trains, some may be cancelled and others delayed or diverted.


“Since the bridge’s closure until now, the approach sections to its main part have been demolished. Even utility services like MSEB cables, pipelines and optical fibres that ran along the bridge have been removed,” the CR official said. After the bridge’s demolition, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd (MSRDCL) will start rebuilding it. “The contract for work on the replacement two lane bridge has already been given,” said an MSRDC official. After the IIT’s audit of rail bridges in the city, the railways decided, along with other relevant authorities like the MSRDCL, that besides removing old and unsteady bridges and rebuilding them, recommendations on modern bridge maintenance practices too will be adopted. The audit is not yet complete. The final report is expected by the end of December.



Pathankot on high alert after four men snatch car hired from Jammu at gunpoint



Pathankot: Security has been tightened in and around Pathankot after four people, travelling in a hired SUV from Jammu, snatched the vehicle from its driver at gunpoint near Madhopur area here and fled, police said on Wednesday. The incident took place on Tuesday night when the driver stopped the car near Madhopur after one of the passengers complained of vomiting, they said. The incident has caused fears of a Pathankot air base like terrorist attack. In 2016, terrorists had carjacked a police officer’s vehicle to reach the airbase before launching the attack. Talking to TOI, border range inspector general of police (IGP) SPS Parmar said they had sounded a high alert in the region. “We have got the video footage of the incident; the faces of the carjackers are not covered. We have circulated the footage,” he said, adding that the criminals, who had hired the SUV from Jammu to Pathankot, were conversing in Punjabi language. According to the taxi driver, the accused had food at a dhaba before leaving for Pathankot. At Madhopur, one of them said he was feeling nauseated and asked him to stop the car. Once the vehicle stopped, they put a gun to his head and fled in the SUV, police said. Asked whether it was a terrorist incident, Parmar said, “We are taking it seriously”. Sources said the carjackers could have fled to Pathankot’s bordering districts of Chamba or Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. Chamba SP Monika Bhutungur said. Till the time of filing of this report, none of the four carjackers was arrested.



Maoists ambush security convoy in Bastar, 6 injured



Raipur: Within a day of Bastar voters sending a message to Maoists with a record turnout, the rebels blew up a truck carrying security personnel back from polling duty. Four BSF men of 414 battalions, a district reserve guard (DRG) jawan and the civilian driver were hurt when Maoists triggered an IED and fired on the truck in a hilly region of Bijapur around 9am on Wednesday. The truck was destroyed in the blast but no one was killed. Bijapur SP Mohit Garg said the team was deployed for polling security duty in Bastar and had set off in a convoy from Modakpal in Dantewada early on Wednesday. They were headed for Dhamtari for redeployment for the second round of polling on November 20. Maoists buried an IED under the road near Bijapur Ghati. They fired on the jawans, who retaliated and forced the rebels to retreat. Reinforcements arrived and took the injured — BSF ASI Naresh Singh, constables Alok Singh, Narayan Singh and Bhagwan Singh, DRG constable Wasam Ganpat and driver Mitram Ravte — to district hospital and were later flown to Raipur. On the same day in Sukma, a villager was hurt when a bomb planted by Maoists exploded. Rahul Sodi, 35, has been hospitalised in a critical condition.



35-year-old Cop Latest Dengue victim


Kolkata: A 35-year-old Kolkata Police constable from Sukantanagar, on the fringes of Salt Lake, succumbed to dengue at a private hospital a few days ago, taking the death count from the deadly disease in the Bidhannagar Municipal area to 4. Samir Mandal had been admitted to the hospital for abdominal surgery, which turned out successful. Immediately afterwards, however, he tested positive for dengue. Hospital sources said his condition deteriorated very fast. His platelet count plunged sharply and he suffered a severe haemorrhage. He breathed his last on November 10. The death certificate issued by the hospital mentions dengue as the cause. Scores in the neighbourhood were suffering from dengue and little effort has been made to check the spread of the virus, Mandal’s family members alleged. “The surgery had gone off well and he was otherwise perfectly healthy. It was the dengue infection that killed him. Almost every home in our area has dengue patients; some have more than one. The situation is extremely scary,” said a member of the Mandal family. Local residents said quite a number of persons in the locality have been suffering from dengue of late. Locals said there was an under-construction building that had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. “There has been a spurt of dengue after Puja,” said a resident. Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation MMiC (health) Pranay Roy, who visited the spot on Wednesday, said no mosquito larva had been found in the locality. “Our civic workers are regularly spraying larvicide,” he said.



Coastal districts prepare for Gaja


Chennai/Puducherry/Trichy: On the eve of cyclone Gaja’s expected landfall between Pamban and Cuddalore, the Tamil Nadu government and the Union Territory of Puducherry said they were fully geared to face any eventuality. Authorities have declared a holiday for educational institutions in Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur and Cuddalore districts and Puducherry on Thursday. All examinations have been postponed in these districts and the UT. In the meantime, the Directorate of Technical Education has postponed Polytechnic examinations, scheduled for Thursday, to November 24. Revenue and disaster management and mitigation minister R B Udayakumar said telecom majors have assured that adequate fuel has been stocked to operate generators to ensure uninterrupted service. “The service providers also promised to provide cell on wheels (mobile towers) to Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts,” the minister said. Bulk SMS facility has been arranged to reach out to as many people as possible to convey the meteorological alerts from the state emergency control room. The minister released the do’s and don’ts – such as not to venture out when cyclone makes landfall and not to walk on the sides of roads during flooding.


He said fishermen who had ventured into the sea had been told to return to the coast before cyclone crosses the coast. Indian Coast Guard personnel were coordinating with fishermen, he said. In the meantime, principal secretary and commissioner of treasuries and accounts Tenkasi S Jawahar, the monitoring officer for Nagapattinam, and principal secretary for social welfare and nutritious meal programme K Manivasan, the monitoring officer for Tiruvarur district, convened meetings with district collector’s S Suresh Kumar (Nagapattinam) and L Nirmalraj (Tiruvarur) on Wednesday and reviewed the preparedness. A total of 135 special teams comprising 633 officials have been deployed to take care of various tasks across Tiruvarur district. In Nagapattinam, 9 multipurpose disaster relief centres and 22 cyclone shelters have been kept ready, said the district collector. NDRF teams have reached Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Puducherry to provide required expertise in the event of a disaster.



International News



‘Water from air’ for girls rescued in Kenya



Loosuk: In this arid part of northern Kenya, water can be hard to find, particularly in the dry season. But a centre run by the Samburu Girls Foundation — which rescues girls facing early marriage and female genital mutilation — has a new high-tech source of it. Since June, the centre, which has rescued over 1,200 girls, has used panels that catch water vapor in the air and condense it to supply their drinking water. “We used to have difficulties in accessing water and during a drought we could either go to the river or ask our neighbours to give us water,” said Jecinta Lerle, a pupil and vice president of students at the Centre’s school. But now, officials at the school say, the girls no longer have to travel for water — including into communities they have left, which could put them at risk. The centre, given 40 of the water vapor-condensing panels, now creates 400 litres of clean water each day, enough to provide the drinking water the centre needs.


The “hydro panels”, produced by US-based company Zero Mass Water, pull water vapor from the air and condense it into a reservoir. Cody Friesen, Zero Mass Water’s founder and chief executive officer, said the company’s project with the Samburu Girls Foundation was an example of its efforts to make sure the technology “is accessible to people across the socioeconomic spectrum”. George Sirro, an engineer, said such devices can be of help not only to people but in slowing deforestation that is worsening drought in Kenya. Often people cut trees to boil water they find to make it safe, he said, driving deforestation.



US cop shoots Black Guard who caught Gunman



Chicago: Illinois state police on Tuesday were probing a white officer over the fatal shooting of a “brave” black security guard who had apprehended a suspected gunman at a bar outside Chicago. The officer was placed on administrative leave after the incident, which took place in the early hours of Sunday at Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in the town of Robbins, 32km south of the Midwestern city. The security guard, 26-year-old Jemel Roberson, was working at the bar, and intervened when an argument erupted and someone started shooting. Several local police forces responded to the incident, in which four people were wounded, including the gunman. None had life-threatening injuries.

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