Cave-in alarm at GK Metro Station
New Delhi: The space under the staircase of the entrance no. 3 to Greater Kailash metro station, the adjacent road and the pavement caved in on Friday morning due to largescale erosion of underlying soil in the recent rain. Following the cave-in next to the Savitri flyover at the left turn from Outer Ring Road towards GK-II, Gate 3 was closed and the affected area was cordoned off. However, the metro services ran normally. The station, inaugurated on May 29, is on the Botanical Garden-Janakpuri West Magenta Line that connects south Delhi with Noida and west Delhi. “Silt and eroded soil seeped into the platform during the night and all construction workers from other stations were called here around 8am. More than 150 workers cleared the sludge,” said one of the workers engaged in the repair work. Till late in the afternoon, the workers were seen clearing up the mess and trying to fill up the gap with concrete and sand. DMRC said the cave-in happened due to accumulation of water as GK was a low-lying area with drainage issues. “The portion of a pavement outside the GK station caved in due to the accumulation of water after the heavy rainfall. The affected area will be fully restored by Saturday morning,” said Anuj Dayal, the DMRC spokesperson.
The space under the road is being filled up with additional concrete to avoid any such incident in future, he added. However, one of the construction supervisors indicated that a nearby storm water drain carrying rainwater to the nullah across the flyover might have leaked. Claiming that the incident exposed the shoddy work done by DMRC, Kirpal Singh, a daily commuter, said “It is only good luck that it happened during the night and no one was injured. What if an accident happened on this busy road! Who would have been responsible?”. Even though a section of the public works department road was impacted, its officials said DMRC should be held responsible. PWD’s assistant engineer responsible for the area said at the site, “We have already handed over the site to the metro and they have carried out the entire construction work. PWD has no role in it”.
Look into pothole peril: SC to road safety panel
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday expressed concern over road deaths due to potholes, saying that such fatalities were more than the number of people killed in terror attacks in the country. Taking cognizance of a TOI report on Sunday (July 15) which pointed out how pothole-related accidents claimed 3,597 lives in 2017 in comparison to 803 in all terror and Maoist attacks during the year, a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked the SC-appointed road safety committee to look into the issue and file a report within two weeks. Referring to the report, the bench said, “So many people are dying in the country due to accidents caused by potholes on roads. Reports say that more people have died due to accidents caused by potholes than deaths in terrorist attacks”. The panel, headed by Justice (Retd.) K S Radhakrishnan, has been asked to give suggestions on the measures needed to deal with the problem. Pothole-related deaths had increased by over 50% during last year compared to 2016.
The bench also observed that families of those killed in such accidents should be entitled to compensation. “It is frightening. It is about life or death,” the bench said. The bench also dealt with the issue of compensation paid to the victims of hit-and-run cases. Currently, Rs 25,000 is paid to a hit-and-run victim in case of death and Rs 12,500 for grievous injuries. The amicus curie said the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, which revises the amount of compensation to Rs 2 lakh for death and Rs 20,000 for injury in road accidents, was tabled last year in Parliament and it was passed by the Lok Sabha. “Nobody can say that the government cannot give Rs 2 lakh for deaths and Rs 20,000 for injury in road accidents even if the bill is not passed or is pending,” the amicus curie said.
Security Guard held for clicking woman’s photos at Metro Station
Bengaluru: A 30-year-old security guard of a cricket stadium near Makali, off Tumakuru Road, was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly clicking photos of a woman at Nagasandra Metro station. Police identified the accused as Ramachandra, a resident of Bagalagunte and from Odisha. He was working as a security guard with a private firm and deployed at KSCA’s stadium near Makali. Police said the incident took place at 5.45pm on Tuesday when the 24-year-old woman, resident of Bhuvaneshwari Nagar, off Hesaraghatta Main Road, was waiting for her friends at Nagasandra Metro station. She had reached there from Ulsoor. The accused clicked her pictures on his mobile, and the woman got to know about it as he didn’t turn off the flash. The woman objected to Ramachandra’s behaviour and asked him why he was taking her snaps. He denied it and tried to run away as she asked him to show his phone’s photo gallery. She chased the accused and caught him with the help of passersby. The woman and others took Ramachandra to the police station. Police found two pictures of the woman in his mobile. The accused confessed that he clicked her photos as she looked beautiful. Police have registered a case of voyeurism under IPC Section 354C. The man was produced before the court and released on bail later.
Climbers find body of soldier killed in 1968 plane crash on Himachal glacier
ANOTHER DISCOVERY: The soldier’s half preserved body was found near the Dhaka glacier base camp at 6,200m. Army has begun search operations in the area.
Uttarkashi: Fifty years after an AN-12 aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed in the Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh with 102 personnel on board while flying from Chandigarh to Leh, a mountaineering expedition has located the body of one of the soldiers on board along with some parts of the aircraft. The discovery was made by a team of mountaineers who were on a clean-up expedition to the Chandrabhaga-13 peak on July 1. The remains were found at the Dhaka glacier base camp, 6,200 metres above sea level. “We first found some parts of an aircraft. Subsequently, our team members spotted the decayed body of a soldier a few metres away,” said team leader Rajeev Rawat. “Our team took pictures of the body and the plane wreckage, and alerted the Army’s High Altitude Warfare School on July16, after which they have begun search operations in the area,” Rawat said.
The ill-fated plane has been the subject of much intrigue over the decades. The aircraft with 98 passengers and four crew members had gone missing on February 7, 1968, after the pilot decided to turn back while approaching Leh due to inclement weather. Its last radio contact was over the Rohtang Pass. Thirty-five years later, in 2003, the plane’s wreckage was discovered in the South Dhaka glacier by an expedition of the ABV Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali. The mountaineers found the remains of a body, subsequently identified as that of Sepoy Beli Ram, an Armymen who was on the flight. In August 2007, an Indian Army expedition code named Operation Punaruthan-III recovered three more bodies from the site. From 2003 till 2017, only five bodies of the crash victims have been recovered. It is believed that scores of other bodies of the victims may also be lying in the area.
WhatsApp to limit forwards to 5 users to curb rumours
New Delhi: Instant messaging service WhatsApp, facing increasing censure from the government over the spread of fake news and rumours and their deadly consequences, announced fresh curbs on Friday on its India service, including limiting simultaneous message-forwarding to just five users at a go. Under pressure after rumours and fake news spread via its app led to a spate of horrific lynching’s, WhatsApp said it was launching a test to limit message-forwarding on the app. In addition, it said, it would “remove the quick forward button next to media messages”. “We believe that these changes, which we’ll continue to evaluate, will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be —a private messaging app,” the company said in a statement on Friday. On Thursday, the government had issued a fresh warning to the company, saying it had to play a more aggressive role in curbing fake news. The government warned that failure to contain fake news would make the messaging platform an “abettor” of a crime committed and could lead to “consequent legal action”. It has been conveyed to them in unmistakable terms that it is (fake news) a very serious issue which deserves a more sensitive response,” the information technology ministry had said in the latest warning. The company, though, is still to file a specific response to the government’s new warning.
WhatsApp, which had added a feature to let people forward a message to multiple chats at once a few years ago, had earlier this month launched a “forward label” to identify messages which are not original and have been forwarded. More than 20 people have been killed by mobs in the past two months across the country after being accused of kidnapping children and other crimes in viral messages circulated on WhatsApp. “In India, where people forward more messages, photos and videos than any other country in the world, we’ll also test a lower limit of five chats at once and we’ll remove the quick forward button next to media messages,” it said. Earlier, WhatsApp had announced features to help users identify messages that had been forwarded and then issued full-page advertisements containing tips on how to spot misinformation. “We built WhatsApp as a private messaging app—a simple, secure and reliable way to communicate with friends and family. And as we’ve added new features, we’ve been careful to try and keep that feeling of intimacy, which people say they love,” the company’s statement said, adding, “We are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we’ll continue to improve our app with features like this one”.
14 injured in knife attack in Germany
Berlin: A man armed with a knife attacked people on a bus in the northern city of Luebeck on Friday, injuring several including one seriously before he was arrested, police and the local state prosecutor said. The local Luebecker Nachrichten, without citing its source, said the attacker was a 34-year-old man originally from Iran who now had German nationality and had lived in Luebeck for years. The interior minister of Schleswig-Holstein, the state where Luebeck is located, did not assume there was a terrorist motive, the local paper added. “The exact number of injured is still unclear. There were no dead,” the police said. The local Luebecker Nachrichten reported at least 14 people were wounded, two seriously.
UK making kids spy on terrorists, drug dealers & gangs
London: Children are being used to spy on terrorists, drug dealers and grooming gangs by police and security services in Britain. The government admitted that the use of children as “covert human intelligence sources” could rise as teenagers are increasingly drawn into extremism, gang violence and “county lines” drug running. A report by a House of Lords committee raised concern about proposals to extend the period — from one to four months — that police and the intelligence services use underage informants. “We are concerned that enabling a young person to participate in covert activity for an extended period of time may expose them to risks to their mental and physical welfare,” Lord Trefgarne, chairman of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, wrote in a letter to the security minister. The amendment to current law requires that sources the age of 16 should have an appropriate adult present at any meetings with their handler, but those between the ages of 16 and 18 are expected to go alone.
Peers said a code of practice was “very vague” on how kids’ welfare would be protected. They questioned whether police and intelligence officers were capable of assessing juveniles’ mental health, and asked how a consistent approach was guaranteed across forces and other agencies. “It does not fully satisfy our concerns about the extent to which juveniles are being used for covert surveillance or how their welfare is taken into account, and how extending their period of operation may affect them…” The Home Office pledged to carry out monthly reviews of welfare and safety, and said juveniles cannot be deployed to obtain evidence against their parents or guardians. In a letter to the committee, security minister Ben Wallace said child spies “have a vital role in investigations by public authorities and can provide evidence that cannot be obtained by any other means… They may have unique access to information about other young people who are involved in or victims of such offences”.