Blaze at Null Bazaar Building, 50 Rescued
Two fire engines doused the fire; no one was hurt.
Mumbai: A fire broke out in a ground plus four-storey building in Null Bazaar in south Mumbai early on Friday morning. Ismail building on SVP Road, a residential and commercial building, was ablaze at 4.40am on Friday. A few locals spotted the flames and alerted the policemen who were on patrol there. Eleven two-wheelers and one car was engulfed in the fire that spread across the building. Two fire engines and a water tank reached the spot. The firefighters rescued around 50 residents. The building has commercial stores on the first floor and residential apartments on the second. No injuries were reported. Chief fire officer P S Rahangdale said, “A major fire incident was averted by quick mobilisation and by ensuring the fire did not spread to adjoining structures as the area is very congested”.
Unattended Bag at IGI Sparks 20-Hour Terror Scare
New Delhi: Delhi’s entire security paraphernalia went into a tizzy and the city was on high alert for almost a whole day after an unattended bag was found in the arrival area of Indira Gandhi International Airport in the early hours of Friday and CISF tested it positive for explosive material. Twenty hours later, a resident of Ballabhgarh in Haryana turned up to claim the bag as his. Mohammed Shahid Hussain Khan, 34, told police officers that after arriving from Mumbai on a SpiceJet flight, he had inadvertently left behind one of his bags following an argument with three fellow travellers on who would carry which piece of luggage. Khan claimed to be employed with a steel structure company. An airport official said, “Khan said he realised later in the day that one of his bags was missing after he could not find his phone charger. One of his friends, a Haryana policeman, contacted an acquaintance at the airport police station and they arrived at around 8.30pm on Friday to claim the bag”. The man said the bag had clothes, chocolates, earrings, phone charger and toys. This was confirmed when police opened the bag. Sources explained the faux pas about the bag containing explosives by saying that the vapour detectors could give false readings if the baggage contained things like electronic chargers and wires. “The detectors identify circuits and it is difficult to identify such circuits unless the bags are opened. Dogs, too, work on the same science,” an official said. Even though the drama had a tame ending, the incident represented a major lapse, not only because the bag was left undiscovered by security personnel and unrecorded on CCTV cameras, but also because multiple tests by CISF indicated that the bag held explosives.
A senior CISF official even said on record that the tests indicated the presence of RDX. The bag was discovered around 12.56am. The call received by the police control room from the A-net airport control room reads: “An unattended bag is lying near pillar number 4 and was pointed out to CISF constable VK Singh by a public person. The area was cordoned off and the bomb detection and disposal team was informed”. A vapour explosive detector was brought to the location which gave positive signals for RDX. The baggage was then checked by sniffer dog “guides”, which also signaled presence of explosives. “Immediately, a bomb detection and disposal squad was summoned and the area cordoned off. The movement of vehicles and passengers was also stopped,” said a CISF official. The BDDS team arrived around 1.30am and started operations as per protocol. It took X-ray images, which proved suspicious but unclear. The bag lay at the spot for around two hours before it was taken to the cooling pit in the isolation area by a threat containment vehicle at 2.55am. “A complete search and sweep of the arrival area was carried out after that,” the officer added. The movement of passengers and vehicles was restored at 3.30am. Anil Pandey, DIG (Operations) and chief PRO of CISF, said, “As per tests, the bag was positive for explosives. Though we suspected it to be RDX, this was not confirmed then. Whenever there is suspicion, we take all precautions. There was no confirmation until the bag was opened and its content, as claimed by its owner, corroborated through physical checking”.
After Puri, Hotel Room Burgled in Digha
Digha: Burglars allegedly broke into a prominent Digha hotel late on Thursday night after climbing up to the first-floor and opening the sliding grille less glass window of a room, occupied by a family from Baguiati in the city. The thieves decamped with Rs 22,000 in cash and two mobile phones. Victims Sandip Kumar Ganguly, his wife and two daughters aged 12 and 14 said they suspect the burglar or burglars climbed up a tree just beside and stepped on the sun shed above the window, which they somehow managed to open despite it being shut from inside. The family had checked into the hotel on October 30 and are scheduled to return on Saturday. “I woke up on hearing a thud around 1.30 am. I felt a burning sensation in my eyes and was surprised to find the window open. I distinctly remember closing the sliding window, which had a locking system from inside. I got up and checked to see if anyone was outside but found no one. It seems someone jumped off the window and fell with a thud and fled,” said Ganguly. He added: “I switched on the lights and was surprised to see that our belongings were taken out of our luggage and were lying all across the room.
I raised an alarm and tried to wake up my family. Surprisingly, they were fast asleep despite me screaming. I shook them up and got them to wake up from their slumber. We then alerted the hotel staff,” said Ganguly, adding, “We checked around to ascertain whether the burglar or burglars had taken anything of ours and realised we had lost Rs 22,000 and two expensive mobile phones”. The tourist alleged, “To our surprise, the hotel staff did not come forward to either help or cooperate with us despite us telling them that our room had been burgled. In the morning, I went to Digha Coastal police station and lodged a complaint.” Later, the cops reached the hotel. The hotel authorities declined to comment on the alleged burglary. A senior police officer said: “We have received a complaint and have started an investigation. Preliminary probe indicates there was more than one burglar. They probably climbed up the tree and broke in after opening the sliding window from outside with some kind of equipment. The glass panes of the window are intact. We probing the allegations in the complaint. We are also probing whether the hotel authorities had any security system in place for their guests. We also questioned the management and staff of the hotel”.
Two Burglars held, Gold Worth Rs.10 Lakhs, Cash Recovered
Chennai: The Kodungaiyur police have arrested two burglars and recovered 35 sovereigns of gold jewellery (worth Rs.10 lakhs) and Rs.1 lakh from them. They were identified as Sathyamurthy and Ajith, both 19 and residents of Kodungaiyur. Police said they received a complaint from Kothandam, an elderly resident of Ambedkar Lane, Kodungaiyur, that 35 sovereigns of gold jewellery and cash were stolen from his house on Monday. The Kodungaiyur police checked CCTV camera footage from the area and found two men breaking into house. The investigating officer said Sathyamurthy and Ajith were repeat offenders. They were caught during a vehicle check at RK Nagar. The two told police that they had burgled the house to buy ganja. Police said the duo had kept a watch on Kothandam, who lived alone, for two days and broke into his house when he had stepped out. Police produced the two before a court that sent them to judicial custody.