News Flash – 16 September 2019

National News



Gang Cuts Open ATM Cash Box, Flees with Rs.3.5 Lakhs



New Delhi: In the second such incident within a week, a gang of thieves managed to cut through an ATM in south Delhi’s Chhatarpur and made away with approximately Rs 3.5 lakh. The thieves reportedly used gas cutters to break open the machine. According to the police, the incident took place during the early hours of Sunday. Customers, who went to the ATM kiosk to withdraw money the next day, found the cash box missing. Initial probe revealed that there was no security guard present at the ATM kiosk, located in Asola area of Chhatarpur. Cops said the gang disabled the safety alarm system of the ATM and cut through the cash box. Forensic examination revealed the use of gas cutters for welding through the cash box. According to information provided by the private bank, the ATM had approximately Rs 3.5 lakh at the time of the incident and was slated to be replenished with cash in the coming days.



Before fleeing, the men ensured they are not easily traced and sprayed black paint on the CCTV camera located inside the kiosk and also damaged its lens. Footage from CCTV cameras around the shop is being scanned to ascertain the identity of the men behind the heist and the vehicle they used to escape from the spot. Investigation revealed that the bank was warned by the police to enhance security measures at the ATM kiosk as it was located at a desolated stretch. Cops are also probing if there were any security lapse on the part of the bank. Involvement of local criminals is also being verified and informers have been alerted to generate clues. Earlier, a similar heist was executed in northeast Delhi’s Jyoti Nagar where criminals decamped with Rs 2.4 lakh after cutting the cash box with a gas cutter on Wednesday.



46 Feared Dead as Tourist Ferry Overturns in Godavari River

NDRF personnel and villagers rescued 26 passengers of the ferry, eight bodies were fished out while 38 were still missing.



Rajahmundry (AP): Forty-six people were feared dead on Sunday in one of the worst riverine tragedies in the country in recent times when a private ferry carrying tourists to the picturesque Papikonda hills in Andhra Pradesh capsized midstream in the Godavari flowing at the danger mark on Sunday afternoon. Twenty-six passengers were rescued from the swollen river by residents of East Godavari district’s Kuchuluru village. Eight bodies had been fished out till evening, while 38 were still missing. There were 72 people, including nine crew members, on board Royal Vashistha which was moving against the current of the river when it overturned. None of the bodies fished out had life jackets on them. The survivors, all wearing safety vests, said the others had taken them off as it was sweltering. This is the worst tragedy in the river since 60 people died when a boat sank in 1964. Andhra tourism minister Avanti Srinivas claimed the boat, which had no licence, also had no permission to run tourist trips at this time when the river was in spate and that the operators had ignored a clear warning sign at Dhowlaiswaram barrage. CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who reviewed relief and rescue operations, announced an ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the deceased, while his Telangana counterpart, K Chandrasekhar Rao, announced Rs 5 lakh. The government ordered suspension of boating operations in the river they had resumed only on Friday following the tragedy. Officials were directed to check the licences of all boats in the area and whether their staffers were adequately trained. The tourists drawn from various parts of Andhra and Telangana Warangal had the largest contingent of tourists, followed by Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad had boarded the ferry at Gandi Pochamma temple jetty point. They were proceeding to Perantalapalle, when people in the double-decker ferry started moving from its lower to upper deck, thereby causing the ferry to lose its balance.


IN SPATE: The tourist boat, just before it capsized, in the swollen Godavari river on Sunday. The river has been in spate for the past few days and over 5.13 lakh cusecs of floodwater was flowing when the mishap occurred.



At this point, the boat tilted to one side and the crew directed the occupants not to crowd at one place. “As water began entering the lower deck, I started distributed life jackets, but the ferry soon overturned,” Suresh, a survivor said. “All those with life jackets were saved by villagers, who were on the bank. They rescued us in lightning speed,” he added. Two NDRF and SDRF teams comprising 100 personnel are scouring the river to rescue any survivor. A Naval Dornier along with a diving team, high-speed boats and a helicopter were deployed from Naval Air Station, INS Dega, in Visakhapatnam. Durgam Madhulatha, a survivor who is recuperating in hospital, said her husband was missing. “We came from Tirupati and boarded the boat in the morning. All was well till lunch. Then it happened all of a sudden. I was rescued by fishermen,” she said, breaking down. The river at the point the accident is very deep with protruding appendages of the Eastern Ghats and is prone to accidents. The Godavari narrows to a very deep gorge at the point of the accident for several kilometres, presenting one of the most beautiful natural sites in the Eastern Ghats. This attracts tourists from far and wide. Officials made conflicting statements over the ferry lacking the requisite permission. While tourism minister M Srinivas Rao said it didn’t have one, its owner, Venkata Ramana, and boat association president Jayaprakash claimed they obtained clearance to run the ferry.



Heavy Rainfall Alert for Next Four Days

A sudden downpour took citizens by surprise on Sunday.



Hyderabad: The southwest monsoon has revived across Telangana as the India Meteorological Department, Hyderabad, on Sunday issued heavy rainfall warning in many districts for the next four days. Chandanagar and Rajendranagar received light rainfall of up to12 mm on Sunday, thereby bringing down the daytime temperature to 25 degrees Celsius in many areas. As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warning, districts such as Adilabad, Kumaram Bheem, Mancherial, Nizamabad and Peddapalli are expected to receive heavy rainfall till September 19. Currently, Telangana is reeling under a rainfall deficit of 3%. Meteorologists were hopeful that bouts of heavy rain over the next few days might wipe out this rainfall deficit. According to IMD, a low pressure area over northwest Madhya Pradesh and neighbourhood now lies over southeast Rajasthan and adjoining northwest Madhya Pradesh associated with a cyclonic circulation over north Tamil Nadu and neighbourhood, might result in heavy rainfall in the next few days.

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