News Flash – 15 November 2019

National News



To catch Speed Demons, Police Setup New Cameras on Bad Stretches


Kolkata: A year after Kolkata traffic police issued the tenders, 20 new speed cameras have started functioning from this week. Commissioned in phases between Monday and Wednesday, the cameras will cover stretches that are now infamous for bike menace. Besides these specific roads, like Uday Shankar Sarani in Golf Green or the Lake Gardens flyover, cops have also chosen certain accident-prone stretches, like Patuli on EM Bypass and Basanti Highway — to install these cameras. According to DC (traffic) Santosh Pandey, the cops have chosen the spots after careful deliberation and feedback. “We have ensured that the entire city is adequately covered,” he said. “We have worked a lot to try and work on cutting down racing and dangerous driving. We have chosen stretches that have had a history of rash driving. Now that even Sukanta Setu and Golf Green have bene covered, we are hoping that we can control racing even on flyovers and in the bylines. Depending on the response, more speed guns will be procured,” said an officer from the planning section of the traffic department.



The tender document mentions that these speed cameras will eventually be connected with automatic licence-plate readers. They are looking at an accuracy of 85% in reading a number plate during the day and 65% at night. ANPR is a technology that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates to create vehicle location data. This time, cops have other specifications — (I) they want the detection zone to be around 30 metre (II) the optical character recognition system should transfer the video to a server so that police can sent out e-challans (III) create alerts within nanoseconds to ascertain if a vehicle is a stolen one based on data fed to the system. Ever since the cameras were activated on Maa flyover, AJC Bose flyover, Kidderpore Road, BT Road and parts of EM Bypass, they have recorded motorists clocking 130kmph-150kmph, especially past midnight. The speed limit set on the stretches is 50kmph-60kmph. “The speed at which some have been driving is alarming. If a motorist collides with another car or the median divider or the railings, chances of survival for those inside the vehicle are negligible,” said a senior traffic officer at Lalbazar. Based on the readings, we have started imposing fines. Along with the readings, we also have photographs of cars at exact points of rule violation,” said an officer.



Gang Tries to Extort Rs.1 Crore from Jewellery Shop Owner, Nabbed



Chennai: Nine men who were part of a 15-member gang that threatened at gunpoint the owner of Saravana Stores jewellery showroom on Usman Road, T Nagar on Wednesday evening demanding Rs.1 crore have been nabbed. Two cars, two pistols, two knives, an iron rod and some cash were seized from the gang. The showroom is part of the retail chain owned by Y Siva Arul Durai. Police said on November 3, a man named Dhanasekar visited the showroom and bought a three-sovereign chain after exchanging old jewellery. On the pretext of checking quality, he applied some white powder to the chain and started arguing with shop employees that the gold was of poor quality. He also threatened Siva that he would expose him as he is in the media sector, police said. While Siva allegedly gave him Rs.15 lakhs and sent him off, on Wednesday, Dhanasekar returned with 14 men in two cars and threatened Siva at gunpoint. The staff members at the showroom alerted police. While six of the 15-member gang managed to escape, those nabbed have been identified as P Dhanasekar 27, the key accused from Tiruverkadu, K Syed Abudhaker,49, of Pudupet, M Jagadesan, 25 of Ennore, A Aamanulla, 39, of Pudupet, V Sriram, 27, of Kilpauk, B Murugan, 40 of East Tambaram, M Jeeva, 47, of Vadapalani, A Thirumal, 37, of Triplicane and V Dhandabani, 24, of Pallavaram. Five other accused are said to be lawyers and another person, Jeeva of Vadapalani, is an AIADMK functionary, police said.


International News



1 Dead, Several Hurt in US School Shooting, Suspect likely an Asian

People are led out of a school in California’s Santa Clarita after reports of shooting on Thursday.



Santa Clarita (US): A California high school student dressed in black is suspected of having opened fire on campus on Thursday, killing at least one person and wounding several others before he was arrested, officials said. “Suspect is in custody and being treated at a local hospital,” Los Angeles county sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Twitter. In addition to a dead female, two males were in critical condition and another was in good condition, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital said on Twitter. “We believe at this time that there is only one suspect but we are actively investigating and following all leads,” the Santa Clarita Valley branch of the Los Angeles county sheriff ’s office said on Twitter. The suspect was described by police as an Asian male and a student at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, about 80 km north of Los Angeles. A weapon was recovered at the scene, a police officer told NBC television.



The incident marked yet another school shooting in the US, where repeated mass shootings in recent years have intensified the debate about gun control and the constitutional right for citizens to keep and bear arms. Video from local NBC television showed a line of students marching away from the school and a row of police and fire department vehicles parked out front. “I was really, really scared. I was shaking,” one female student told NBC television, adding that she saw one person lying on the ground covered in blood. The student said she was doing homework when people started running, and she hid under a table until police entered the building. The mother of student Anthony Peters told NBC he was still on lockdown inside the school but had texted that he was uninjured. Some 2,300 students attend the school, which is made up of more than a dozen buildings.



Italy Declares Emergency Over Venice Flooding


Venice: Italy’s government declared a state of emergency in flood-ravaged Venice to swiftly secure the historic city funds to repair damage from the highest tide in 50 years. PM Giuseppe Conte described the flooding as a blow to the heart of our country’. Conte spent Wednesday night in Venice, where world-famous monuments, homes and businesses were hit hard by the exceptional flooding. The water reached nearly 2 metres above sea level on Tuesday, the second-highest level ever recorded in the city. Venice’s mayor said the damage is estimated at ‘hundreds of millions of euros.

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