Airport Security Boost After ‘Threat’
Kolkata: Passengers flying out of Kolkata are having to undergo an extra layer of security at the entrance to the airport after Bidhannagar City Police and CISF officials beefed up measures following state intelligence inputs on unspecified threats at the airport by Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters. Since Sunday evening, Bidhannagar Police is manning multiple checkpoints on roads leading to the airport, randomly checking cars. Security was also enhanced at the airport terminal. Officers of Central Industrial Security Force carried out random checks at the terminal before a flyer went for the security check. Bomb Disposal Squad personnel, too, are making rounds at the airport terminal with sniffer dogs as part of the intensified security measures. Airlines are also advising flyers to reach the airport early to avoid long queues and subsequent delays. On Sunday, a person using a Facebook profile by the name of Tariq Ahmed had threatened that CAA protesters would set fire to the airport on Tuesday. Screenshots of the threat were widely circulated on social media Kolkata Airport and Bidhannagar Police. “We had also received an intelligence alert about an unspecified attack. Hence, we didn’t take any chance,” said a senior officer of the commissionerates.
“In connection to the existing law and order situation in the state wherein protesters have been targeting central government establishments, we have heightened security measures at the airport. The measures will be in place for the next few days,” said J Mercy, the deputy commissioner (airport division) of Bidhannagar City Police. Owing to the heightened frisking, the deployment of CISF personnel was doubled at entrances to the terminals. While two CISF jawans are usually tasked to check tickets and ID of passengers at each entrance, on Tuesday afternoon, TOI found four jawans on the job. “The additional deployment has been made to ensure no one slips this zone without furnishing documents. There has also been an increase in armed security men inside and outside the airport and they have all been asked to be extra alert,” said a CISF official. Outside the terminal, over two dozen policemen in plainclothes have been posted to look out for any suspicious activity. Inside the terminal, CISF personnel have been asked to conduct random checking of flyers whenever necessary. At the security checkpoints, passengers are being asked to remove shoes, belts and accessories and pass them through the scanner. For registered baggage, a layer of manual checking has been introduced even after the bags have passed through the X-ray scanners. Visitors and special passes to the terminal are also not being issued as of now. Some airlines are sending text messages to passengers to report early to the airport to avoid delays.
Fast Food Putting you at Risk of Heart Attack
New Delhi: Most of the snacks, noodles and fast food items sold in the market contain higher than permissible limit of salt. In some cases, a study by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) showed, the salt content is three to five times the threshold set by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). High salt intake, experts said, is a known cause for high blood pressure, which causes 57% of heart attack and 40% of stroke cases. “A small amount of salt on a daily basis WHO recommends less than 5 grams per day per person is essential for nerve and muscle function. But it is seen in India that people consume eight to nine grams of salt daily,” said an expert. FSSAI norms drafted recently, but not notified yet permit 0.25 gram of sodium per 100 grams of savory snacks and instant noodles. For soups and fast foods, the threshold of salt is 0.35 gram per 100 grams. CSE said tests showed one of the popular chips brands had 1 gram of salt content in 30 gram of chips. Among namkeens, one brand had salt content seven times the recommended threshold.
Dr Sunita Narain, director of CSE, said they tested salt, fat, trans fats and carbohydrates in 33 popular junk foods, which included 14 samples of chips, namkeen, instant noodles and soups and 19 samples of burgers, fries, fried chicken, pizza, sandwich and wraps. Consumers have a right to know what is contained in the package, but FSSAI has not notified its own draft labelling regulation, said Narain. The draft Food Safety Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations has been in preparation since 2013. “The recommended dietary allowance of salt and fat is five grams and 60 grams respectively daily. However, we found that eating one burger sold by major brands exhaust anywhere between 62% to 82% of the recommended salt intake for the day and 82% to 120% of the recommended fat intake,” said Amit Khurana, programme director, food safety and toxins at CSE. FSSAI said in a statement that it has been taking up the junk food regulations seriously and has already put up the draft notifications in public for comments.
Bank Cashier Steals Rs.2.3 Lakhs, Arrested
Chennai: A cashier of a leading public sector bank was arrested on Tuesday for swindling a sum of Rs.2.3 lakhs from a customer’s account. Police said the account holder, Easwari, had been saving her pension in the bank in Kundrathur for her daughter’s wedding. She said she had not checked her account statement for the past six months. On Monday, she decided to withdraw cash for an urgent need, and found that the money in her account much less than earlier. She approached the bank manager, who showed her bank challans with her signature. Easwari confirmed that all the signatures were fake. The needle of suspicion fell on cashier Palanivel, 47, of Choolaimedu, police said. A complaint was filed and the cashier accepted that he had siphoned off money from the widow’s account.
Close Shave as Plane Tries to Land Without Deploying Gear
CLOSE SHAVE: The SpiceJet Q400 at Goa airport on Tuesday.
Panaji: Sixty-five passengers and crew of a SpiceJet flight from Surat had a narrow escape on Tuesday morning when the landing gear of the aircraft malfunctioned while attempting to land at Goa International Airport. The aircraft, a Bombardier Q400, landed only at the third attempt at the Dabolim naval air base, a Navy spokesperson said. Alert Navy officials at the airport noticed that the aircraft’s nose landing gear had not deployed and ordered the aircraft to abort landing. “The second attempt proved unsuccessful too and the front landing gear was partially deployed only on the third attempt. The flight landed safely at 8.05am with assistance from emergency and safety services to recover the aircraft,” the Navy spokesperson said. The flight had departed from Surat at 6.15am and was scheduled to land at Dabolim at 7.35am. The Navy said an alert runway controller and the air traffic control (ATC) officer at INS Hansa helped prevent the aircraft from crashing. Naval sources said the flight was on final approach for landing at Goa airport when the runway controller, Ramesh Tigga, noticed that the nose landing gear was not deployed.
Most commercial aircraft have a main hydraulic system to lift and lower the landing gear that can be used multiple times. If it fails, there is an independent emergency system to cope with emergencies such as the one that occurred on Tuesday. In the cockpit, three lights glow green when all the gear is successfully lowered. “The pilot suspected that the nose landing gear was not fully down and locked. He informed ATC and requested for a visual check of the gear. He flew past the ATC for a visual check. ATC conveyed that the nose landing gear was not down,” SpiceJet said in a statement. Tigga immediately alerted the ATC tower where the duty air traffic controller, Lt. Cdr. Harmeet Kaur, quickly radioed the incoming aircraft to abort landing and make a second attempt after a go-around. “The alert action of naval air traffic and safety services saved the SpiceJet flight and all its passengers from a major accident at Goa airfield,” officials said.