News Flash – 19 January 2018

National News



Doctor on car-burning spree caught by Security Guard

Police have seized petrol and diesel cans, cloth balls and spirit from Gaikwad’s room.



BELAGAVI: A doctor who has a fetish for burning high-end cars, was caught red-handed on Wednesday night, setting ablaze a car parked beneath an apartment. Dr Ameet Gaikwad, 37, assistant professor of pathology at the Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS), is reportedly mentally disturbed, and had burnt seven cars early Wednesday morning in Jadhav Nagar, and three cars in Ganeshpur area in the evening. It was while he was making another attempt at Vivenka apartment in Visvesvaraya Nagar around 9.30pm that he was caught by an alert security guard, Ganganagouda Patil. He had placed camphor on one car and was about to torch it, when Patil screamed at him. Gaikwad tried to escape but Patil caught him and handed him to the police. The mysterious car burning spree had left police stumped. Among the 10 cars he torched in Belagavi on Wednesday were two BMWs, a Honda City, a Verna and Innova’s. Police said Gaikwad would walk into the parking areas of houses and apartments and confirm that no one was around. He would then place a handful of camphor pieces on the car bonnet, in the air vents under the wipers, then torch the camphor with a lighter, and walk out silently. Police seized petrol/diesel cans, cloth balls, spirit, five cellphones, a lighter, scissors, two knives, a hammer, engine oil from his room, besides a car and a motorbike.


Gaikwad, originally from Kalaburagi, is suspected to have committed similar cases of arson in Kalaburagi on the nights of January 14 and 15, with 15 cars being burnt in various colonies of the city. Of these, 13 cars belonged to doctors. People in Kalaburagi were shocked by the mindless torching, and were upset with police for failing to get even a clue to the miscreants. Gaikwad had recently been removed from his post due to his behaviour. According to APMC police station inspector Zakeer Kalimirchi, the accused would use the camphor technique to target and destroy the engine. The flaming camphor would drop into the engine through the air vents and burn the wires, and within a few minutes, the engine would turn to scrap. He did not use petrol or kerosene to set the vehicle ablaze. However, Gaikwad denied the allegations and said he had gone to an apartment block to meet one of his colleagues. He alleged it was a conspiracy by six technicians working with him to defame him. “I don’t have any connection to the cases police mentioned,” he said, but had no answer to why he had a big box full of camphor. Dr Gaikwad completed his MBBS degree in Kalaburagi and MD in pathology at KIMS, Hubballi. In 2014, he married a doctor based in Hyderabad, but she reportedly left him in six months. DCP (law and order) Seema Latkar said there are no doubts that Gaikwad was the culprit as he had been caught in the act on CCTV cameras.


According to police, his relationship with colleagues at the blood bank in BIMS, where he was working, was not good. Most of the technicians isolated Dr Ameet due to his behaviour. Five Group ‘D’ technicians had registered a complaint of torture against him. He had been warned and sent on month-long leave as punishment. However, BIMS superintendent ST Kalasad said he was not aware of Dr Ameet’s personal or behavioural issues. Dr Vijaykumar Gaikwad, father of the accused, claimed his son is innocent. Guard recounts, Ganganagouda Patil, the guard who caught Gaikwad, said he came on a motorbike, wearing a monkey cap and holding a helmet in his hand. Seeing him by a car, Patil questioned him. Gaikwad first mentioned the name of an apartment resident but changed it when Patil started asking more questions. When Patil asked him why he was carrying camphor, Gaikwad started giving confusing answers. Patil checked his jacket and found a large camphor box and a lighter. “I called APMC police immediately to check the case,” he stated.



Fire erupts at Navrang Studio in Mumbai’s Lower Parel, one firefighter injured


MUMBAI: A major fire broke out at Navrang Studio in Mumbai’s Lower Parel, near Todi Mills around 1 am on Friday. “A fireman Dinesh Patil, 26, has been injured during firefighting operations and was rushed to Nair Hospital. His condition is stable now,” said officials. The fire which broke out on early hours of Friday is now under control. Navrang Studio is an old and unoccupied building structure. Initial report suggests that no one is trapped inside the structure. Fire officials stated that they are facing difficulties to reach the building. Firefighters stationed themselves at close by industrial estate buildings from where they are pouring water to control the fire. Fire brigade deployed 8 fire engines in the firefighting operation and trying to ensure that it should not spread to nearby structures.



200 new public service ambulances launched in Hyderabad for mothers & babies

CM K Chandrashekar Rao inspects the new vehicle before flagging them off on Necklace Road on Wednesday.



HYDERABAD: In a bid to strengthen outreach health services chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao launched 200 ambulances, 50 bike ambulances and ‘Project Rekkalu’, aimed at providing mobility to female multipurpose healthcare assistants (MPHAs), on Wednesday. While the 102 ambulances will be operated on 200 crores monthly budget, the bike ambulances will require 25 lakhs per month. The 102 ambulance service also known as ‘Amba Vodi ambulances’ were conceived for providing quality transport facility to non-emergency cases. A 12-hour call centre with 102 number operates for the same. These ambulances are meant to facilitate pre-natal and post-natal checkups of pregnant women. Women can be transported up from their homes to hospitals for deliveries as well as checkups, apart from transporting infants to and from public health facilities, and identified hospitals in the state. The 200 ambulances launched are an addition to the existing fleet of 41Amba Vodi ambulances. The vehicles can seat 10 each, and have GPS fitted. About 6-8 vehicles will be deployed to each district in the state.


As part of the ‘Project Rekkalu’ female MPHAs who usually travelled up to 10 kilometers on foot to check pregnant women in rural areas, will have access to two wheelers. A total of 6000 two wheelers (Honda Activa) will be distributed under the project to help deliver various kinds of medical services at the doorsteps. Several bankers and vehicles dealers had come forward to provide these vehicles for best prices. Also 50 first responder two wheeler ambulances will be pressed into service in the city so that they can cut through traffic and even reach narrow lanes and by lanes where it is difficult for ambulances to reach. The bike ambulances are equipped with emergency medicines, small oxygen cylinder, cervical collar and first aid kit to take care of minor injuries. These GPS and mobile application monitored vehicles will operate from 8 am to 8 pm and can be reached on 108.



540-strong well-equipped force not called for fire operations even once in 8 years


MUMBAI: While the city reported several fires recently, with 37 lives lost in five incidents, the state’s civil defence corps, which has over 540 personnel trained in disaster management is lying severely under-utilized with no disaster-related calls forwarded to them. In 2001, a high-powered committee set up by the Union government had recommended that civil defence corps be involved in disaster management. The law too was subsequently amended. But the Maharashtra government has not made any move to team up Civil Defence Corps with the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA). The organisation has a current annual budget of nearly Rs 14 crore. The Civil Defence Act of 1968 was enacted after the Chinese aggression of 1962 and the India-Pakistan conflict of 1965. Civil Defence Corps used to prepare citizens for war. Over the years, global geo-political factors reduced the chances of traditional war. Consequently, the organisation started preparing volunteers by training them in tackling emergencies. In 2009, the Civil Defence Act was amended and tackling man-made as well as natural disasters was included in its scope. But no disaster-related calls were forwarded to the corps in the state as the SDMA had come into existence. The SDMA began handling training as well as response to disasters. In Mumbai, the municipal corporation has its own disaster management team. With this change, the role of the state’s civil defence organisation as first responders to emergencies lost relevance.


“We used to have hotlines to the Army, Navy and Air Force and a full-fledged control room. There are ambulances, two and four-wheelers, stretchers, sirens, reconnaissance vehicles and fire tenders all lying in a state of disuse,” said a civil defence officer on condition of anonymity. In Maharashtra, the organisation has six units—in Mumbai, Uran, Tarapur, Navi Mumbai, Pune and Nashik. Two more civil defence units are coming up in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg but despite staff being sanctioned for them on paper, nobody has been hired. Both units are lying vacant. Personnel retiring from the organisation are rarely replaced. In Mumbai, the force has around 100 personnel. When contacted, Director General of Police (Home Guards and Civil Defence), Maharashtra, Sanjay Pandey said they have requested the SDMA to team up with them. In an attempt to reinvent the organisation, the Civil Defence Corps in the state have planned a seminar on fire prevention and safety on January 24 at the Bombay Stock Exchange, where they have invited petroleum dealers, hotel and restaurant associations as well as the SDMA to attend.



International News



Malaysia Airlines flight shakes violently, forced to land



SYDNEY: Passengers on a Malaysia Airlines plane flying from Sydney, Australia, to Kuala Lumpur which was forced to land in the central Australian city of Alice Springs said they were bracing themselves for a possible hard landing after the plane shook violently on Thursday. “We suddenly experienced a very violent shaking of the aircraft and that probably lasted about five minutes and it was coming from one of the engines,” passenger Hugh Wolton told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “We got a call from the captain on the deck describing how to make plans for an emergency landing, you know, the wording used things like ‘impact,’ so we were suddenly bracing ourselves for a rough landing”. Passenger Peter Brooks said the captain announced there would be “a couple of impacts” and some passengers thought the plane would come down in the desert. But about 45 minutes later the captain said they would land in Alice Springs, he said. The airline said the Airbus A330-300 plane experienced a “technical fault” in one of its engines and the pilot decided to divert the flight. It said Flight MH122, which been flying close to the Western Australia state coast, landed safely in Alice Springs and “safety was not at any time compromised”. The airline said passengers would spend the night in Alice Springs and then be flown to Kuala Lumpur on Friday. Malaysia Airlines suffered two disasters in 2014. Flight MH370 vanished in March 2014 with 239 people on board and another flight carrying 298 people was shot down over Ukraine a few months later.



Last three years hottest on record: UN



GENEVA: The last three years were the hottest on record, the United Nations weather agency said on Thursday, citing fresh global data underscoring the dramatic warming of the planet. Consolidated data from five leading international weather agencies shows that “2015, 2016 and 2017 have been confirmed as the three warmest years on record”, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said. It added that 2016 remains the hottest year ever measured due to the warming effect of El Nino, while 2017 was the warmest non-El Nino year, beating out 2015 by less than one hundredth of a degree.

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