News Flash – 20 July 2017

National News



Early morning rains lash Delhi-NCR

Heavy rains lash south Delhi



NEW DELHI: Early morning rains lashed the National Capital Region on Thursday, bringing respite from the hot and humid conditions that prevailed on Wednesday. Several areas in the southern and eastern parts of Delhi, including Patparganj and IP Extension, sectors 12, 16, 18 and 56 in Noida received heavy rains leading to waterlogging. Since it rained before the rush hour, no traffic jam was witnessed in these areas till the report was filed. In several areas, the rains began in the midnight and continued till morning. On Wednesday, the maximum temperature had hovered around 34 degrees celsius.



Santacruz homemaker loses Rs 1 lakh to credit card fraud



MUMBAI: A home-maker from Santacruz became the victim of credit card fraud when Rs 1 lakh was transferred from her account to e-wallet accounts in Delhi and Noida on June 9. Thirty-five transactions were carried out in 35 minutes using Mrinali Jayakar’s card after the fraudsters changed her registered mobile number with a nationalized bank so that she does not receive transaction alerts. A case was registered with Santacruz police on June 16, when the victim’s husband, Ajit, went through the card’s e-statement and noticed the fraudulent transactions. The bank said it will take at least 60 days to decide if the money could be reversed. Ajit suspects a bank employee parted with confidential information about the account. He said the fraudster knew she never used the credit card for a year. “On June 9, she received a call from Gaurav Bharadwaj, who claimed to be a bank executive. He asked her why she was not using the card, and if she would like to redeem Rs.10,000 reward points that had accrued,” Ajit told TOI. Mrinali trusted the caller after he read out confidential details of her account. “She first told him to update the postal address from Pune to Mumbai so that she could redeem the points. The caller told her to tell him the one-time password (OTP) received on her registered mobile. He also said the changes would be reflected within 72 hours. When there was no update, I checked online and found the fraudulent transactions. Later, I learnt he used the OTP to change my wife’s registered mobile number with the bank, which he used in the transactions,” he said.



Ajit first approached the cyber-police station at Bandra-Kurla Complex, which told him to complain to the bank and e-wallet office. Later, the cyber police acknowledged the written complaint and told him to complain to the local police station. A case was filed under the Indian Penal Code section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and under the IT Act 66 (C) (identity theft) against Bharadwaj. He said 35 transactions ranging from Rs2,000-3,000 were carried out to transfer the money to various e-wallet accounts. “A probe is on; we have sought details from the bank. We are also going through call data records of the fraudster’s number,” said Santacruz police senior inspector Shantanu Pawar. Cyber advocate Vicky Shah said with the advent of social networking and technology, fraudsters have found innovative new ways of committing fraud. “Banks which are beneficiaries in the transactions sometimes do not cooperate or give information on time. Thus, law-enforcement agencies are helpless,” said Shah.



* Check bank statements weekly

* Register for transaction alerts on mobile and email

* Register for OTP

* Do not give credit card details to unsolicited callers

* Do not give photocopy of credit card to anyone without proper diligence

* Do not give your card along with pin at shops, petrol pumps or hotels

* Do not save credit card/CVC/CVV numbers as contacts on phone

* Do not hand over copies or original documents containing personal data like birth date, PAN, financials, address proof to unknown persons

* Never sign blank application forms

* Never give photocopy of card reverse to anyone



Traffic crawls in Lutyens’ Delhi as road caves in near India Gate



NEW DELHI: Traffic in Lutyens’ Delhi came to a crawl during peak hours after a massive road cave-in near the C-Hexagon-Akbar Road crossing on Wednesday morning. Snarls choked almost all connectors to the C-Hexagon, with bumper-to-bumper traffic on all roads in the area. In the rest of the city too there were gridlocks due to unregulated movement of the kanwariyas. The cave-in caused jams on Bhagwan Das Road, Akbar Road, Zakir Hussain Marg, Pandara Road and other arms of the C-Hexagon. “There was huge traffic on central Delhi roads especially from Akbar Road-C-Hexagon towards Rajpath Road-C-Hexagon due to the cave in,” said a senior traffic police officer. Police officers said that normalcy was restored around afternoon but said the situation could again go out of hand during the peak hours on Thursday. The pit is almost 10-feet wide and workers there said it would take three days to repair it. NDMC officials, who are overseeing the repair, said that a leaking water pipeline could be the reason why the road caved in. Traffic officials said that the area has been barricaded and that heavy vehicles could access the road only one at a time. They said the department had sent reminders to civic bodies about taking corrective action on these stretches.



In other parts of the city, kanwariyas reduced the traffic movement to a snail’s pace on Ring Road. So much so, that a distance of 5km on a south Delhi stretch took more than an hour-and-a-half to cover, said commuters. “It took me more than two hours to just cross the ITO flyover on the Ring Road. I had to switch off my car ignition and wait for nearly an hour,” said Arvind Kumar, an executive with a private company. Kanwariya movement in areas like Sardar Patel Marg and Dhaula Kuan made travel through Lutyens’ Delhi even worse. Commuters took to social media to register complaints. According to one commuter, it took him more than 45 minutes to cross the stretch between Bhagwan Das Road and Rajpath. Traffic police sources said that besides the usual choke points across the city, 20 new points where kanwariyas have gathered were identified and corrective measures taken to control their movements.



Sri Lankan held in Bengaluru is Tamil Nadu’s most-wanted bank card fraudster

The cloned cards and equipment seized from the accused.



BENGALURU: Sri Lankan national Divyan alias Dinesh alias Pulikesi, 30, who landed in Bengaluru police custody on Friday, happens to be Tamil Nadu’s most-wanted bank card fraudster who had been on the run for five years. The then TN governor had issued an exclusive detention order in 2012 to nab the foreign national, suspected to have swindled over Rs 100 crore. Apparently, his blunder of revealing his original cellphone number after purchasing a TV set using a cloned card brought Bengaluru cops to his doorstep in Jalahalli. Along with Divyan, his accomplices Nawaz Shariff, 22, and Nadeem Shariff, 30, were taken into custody by a Central Crime Branch (CCB) team; 270 dummy credit debit cards, 114 cloned cards, 36 EDC machines and other equipment used for the fraud were found at his apartment which was taken for a monthly rent of Rs 50,000.



Fled to Bengaluru in 2012: Source booked in Chennai alone and TN police declaring him as a notorious fraud, Divyan fled the state in November 2012, the same evening the governor issued an order to detain him in the camp for notorious foreign suspects. “Divyan came to Bengaluru in 2012 and was operating a big racket. Apart from Nawaz and Nadeem, we suspect 10 more are involved. We also suspect Shorty’s hand,” said an investigating officer with Bengaluru CCB in Chennai police said Divyan, a native of Jaffna, came to the city in mid-2007 and teamed up with fraudster and Sri Lankan national Umesh alias Shorty. “Shorty was his guru in the trade and they were involved in nearly 2,000 offences in the state where they had siphoned off over Rs 2 crore,” said a CCB official in Chennai.



Century-old auditorium set ablaze in Kurseong



DARJEELING: Violence and arson spiralled in the Hills again on Wednesday with protesters setting public and private property on fire in four pockets. Worse, miscreants set afire the nearly 100-year-old community auditorium -Raj Rajeswari Hall-in Kurseong where Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had been a guest to a programme. The community hall that stood as a symbol of bonhomie between the Hills and the plains was gutted allegedly by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters late on Tuesday night, though GJM leaders denied the charge. Miscreants also tried to set the government tourist lodge on fire but it was only partially gutted. The instances of arson continued on Wednesday when a group of Morcha supporters whose faces were covered set ablaze a police jeep that was carrying food for cops a few metres away from Sadar police station. Raj Rajeswari Hall, situated on Dow Hill Road in Kurseong and a favourite venue to celebrate both Bengali and Nepali festivals, remained untouched during the 1986 Gorkhaland agitation even though Kurseong was hit by violence. The incident took place at around 12.30am on Wednesday .The wife of the caretaker, who passed away a month ago, was inside the hall along with her son. She rushed out when she heard sounds of somebody smashing the window panes and vandalizing the place. She told police that the faces of the men were covered with black cloth. ” After vandalizing the place, they poured fuel and set it on fire. The local people were too scared to go to the spot till the police arrived,” a senior officer said. The awe-inspiring hall was built by Ray Bahadur Sashi Bhushan Dey in memory of his late wife Raj Rajeswari Devi. Since then, the hall has been the epicentre of all cultural activities in the tourist town.



“Durga pujas started hundred years ago at the same venue. In 1930, when the hall was built, the puja was shifted the re. The fire has erased a slice of history in the Hills,” said Chandan Karmakar, trustee member of the Raj Rajeswari Hall. The entire Kurseong town was plunged into shock at the loss of one of their most iconic structures. Former CPM MLA from Kurseong Tulsi Bhattarai condemned the attack saying that the movement in the Hills is taking a dangerous turn, driving a wedge between the Hill people and the Bengaliadivasi population in the Dooars and the plains. “This hall was the favourite destination to celebrate every festival. It is very sad that such an iconic place has been targeted,” said Arunmoy Mondal, secretary of the Bengali Association in Kurseong. In Darjeeling, the Morcha workers set on fire a police jeep that was carrying `khichdi’ and “aloo dom” for the security personnel in broad daylight. Protesters also set ablaze the garage of the Trinamool councilor at ward 2 in Mirik. “GJM is an advocate of peaceful protests. Our workers are not involved in any such incident. But people are infuriated at how the police have been targeting unarmed protesters,” said Susma Rai, central committee member of the GJM. The women’s wing of the GJM will observe Shahid Diwas on July 21to pay homage to eight people who lost lives in alleged police firing since the Gorkhaland agitation re-erupted last month. It will coincide with the Shahid Diwas observed by the Trinamool Congress every year on this day.



Two-day wet spell shrinks margin of deficit; heavy rain alert for today



HYDERABAD: The continuous low-intensity downpour over the last 48 hours significantly reduced the rainfall deficit in Hyderabad from 29% to 14%. On Tuesday till 8.30pm, the city received a total of 60.2 mm of rainfall, said Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) officials while issuing a heavy rainfall warning for the entire state for Wednesday. The rain, they said, was triggered by a low pressure area spanning across the north western and central Bay of Bengal. With heavy showers lashing the city, residents struggled to reach home, especially from the airport as cab drivers cancelled on trips. Surge prices skyrocketed, for the few who managed to get cabs. “While the intensity of the rains was comparatively lesser on Tuesday, the duration of the rains more than made up for the deficit monsoon. There will be spells of heavy rainfall over the city on Wednesday, owing to the depression over the Bay of Bengal. It is currently located 80km away from Puri, and once it makes landfall, under its influence, the city will receive heavy rain,” said K Naga Ratna, head of the weather forecasting unit of the department.



Private weather forecasting outfits said heavy rainfall over the next 24 hours is also expected to be accompanied by thundershowers in the city. “So far, Hyderabad has recorded 113.8 mm of rain as against the average of 179.2 mm of rain for July. If showers continue, the rainfall deficit might even drop to zero,” said Mahesh Palawt, chief meteorologist, Skymet. Dilapidated building razed by GHMC: The GHMC on Tuesday demolished a dilapidated building in Secunderabad, fearing it may collapse due to the rain. In a meeting, civic officials were directed to demolish other old compound walls. Officials of the town planning wing said that they would ask builders to stall cellar excavation work till the end of monsoon season.



WhatsApp group admin arrested on sedition charge in Chennai



CHENNAI: The Chennai city police have registered a sedition case against a man who is the admin of a WhatsApp group for forwarding and receiving messages that could incite hatred between two groups of communities. However, the man was released on bail immediately after he was produced before a magistrate court in Alandur. The airport police arrested Tadikala Saleem, 36, a native of Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh, based on the complaint of an inspector attached to the customs air intelligence officials at Chennai airport. Saleem came to Chennai airport and waited outside the international arrival point to pick up his friend, who was coming from a Gulf country. However, the customs air intelligence officials nabbed his friend for carrying excess gold in his luggage. During inquiries, the man revealed to the officials about Saleem who was waiting outside. Later, Saleem too was nabbed. Customs officials snatched Saleem’s mobile and checked the messages in WhatsApp groups. They found some messages and voice messages ‘inviting youngsters to gather at Jantar Mantar in Delhi for a flash protest’. The message contained a picture of a woman stamping her foot on the Quran. The police booked a case under Section 124 (A) of the IPC (sedition; whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India).



Local train ram’s buffers at Sealdah station



KOLKATA: Passengers of the 34417 Up Sonarpur-Sealdah Local survived a scare after the train rammed into the buffers of platform 13 at Sealdah station on Wednesday morning. At least 21 passengers suffered injuries — most of them after getting thrown off from the gates on to the platform due to the severe jolt. Some women were injured after the ladies’ compartment, second from the front, derailed and came in contact with another train on platform 14, nearly 4.5feet away. Eastern Railway, which ordered an inquiry into the accident, said three persons received minor injuries and medical care was provided. Motorman Mainul Haque and guard R A Biswas were suspended. Officials said prima facie, there was no technical problem with the rake and the accident occurred as Haque was unmindful. Trains are supposed to enter terminating stations at speeds not exceeding 5km/hr. It was suspected that Haque didn’t control the speed and failed to judge the distance from the buffer while applying brakes. Biswas should also have alerted Haque of the fact that the train was moving too fast. The train was re-railed at 12.13pm and moved to the car shed for inspection. By then, three pairs of local trains had to be cancelled but services in the Sealdah south section were maintained from other platforms. “After the train entered the platform, I moved to the gate. There was a jolt as it stopped and I fell out,” said Garia resident Lina Das, who injured her knees and arms. As the couplings of the derailed coach had snapped, it had to be towed by a locomotive. Services at platforms 13 and 14 resumed at 1.30pm after the tracks were checked for damage.



Corporation undertakes awareness drive on dengue at schools



CHENNAI: With chances of mosquito breeding increasing following sporadic rains, Greater Chennai Corporation has launched an awareness drive on dengue at its schools. On Wednesday, corporation commissioner D Karthikeyan took part in a drive at a school in T Nagar in which more than 1,500 students participated. Corporation health officials will cover 200 schools and teach students ways to prevent spread of dengue. To fuel the drive, the civic body has appointed 1,585 student ambassadors who will advise classmates and families against discarding of open containers and boxes that collect water and let mosquitoes breed. The students have been taught to caution people against taking medicines without consulting doctors in case of fever. From January, Chennai has seen around 100 cases of dengue. Health officials anticipate this could rise with sporadic rains in the city.



International News



20 Yemeni civilians killed in air strike: UN, witnesses

Airstrike in Yemen.



ADEN: An air strike on a group of displaced Yemenis has killed at least 20 civilians, mostly from the same family, a UN statement and witnesses said Wednesday. The attack on Tuesday afternoon hit a group of civilians in the Mawza district of the southwestern province of Taez, a statement by the UN refugee agency said. Residents said the attack was carried out by a warplane from the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in support of Yemen‘s internationally recognized government.



Head of Islamic State in Afghanistan killed: Pentagon



WASHINGTON: The head of Islamic State in Afghanistan, Abu Sayed, was killed in a strike on the group’s headquarters in Kunar province earlier this week, the Pentagon said on Friday. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement that other members of the Islamic State group were also killed in the strike on Tuesday. US defense secretary Jim Mattis told reporters, “The significance is you kill a leader of one of these groups and it sets them back … it is obviously a victory on our side in terms of setting them back, it is the right direction”. Sayed is the third Islamic State leader in Afghanistan to be killed since July 2016. Former leader Abdul Hasib was killed in a joint US and Afghan operation on April 27 in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Hasib’s predecessor Hafiz Saeed Khan died in a US drone strike in 2016. Afghan troops, backed by US warplanes and special forces, have been battling militants linked to Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan for years. The local affiliate of Islamic State, sometimes known as Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) after an old name for the region that includes Afghanistan, has been active since 2015, fighting the Taliban and Afghan and US forces. General John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, has vowed to defeat Islamic State there this year.

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