News Flash – 23 August 2017

National News



Nine coaches of Kaifiyat Express derail in UP, 70 injured



NEW DELHI: Nine coaches of the Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh this morning, resulting in injuries to at least 21 people, in the second rail accident in the state in four days. The train travelling from Azamgarh to Delhi collided with a dumper at around 2:50 am between Pata and Acchalda railway stations, a spokesperson for the North Central Railway (NCR) said. One bogie of the train overturned due to impact of collision and some compartments jumped the rails between Acchalda and Pata railway stations after crossing Kanpur, Superintendent of Police Auraiya Sanjeev Tyagi said. The accident occurred around 2.40am when the train collided with a dumper. Railways minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted about the mishap, saying that he is personally monitoring the situation. At least 21 passengers were injured and have been rushed to the hospital, a spokesperson of NCR said. Earlier, M C Chauhan, General Manager of NCR has said that at least 50 people were injured in the accident. Kaifiyat Express travels between Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi and the collision has impacted the train operations on the Delhi-Howrah route. Five trains including Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani have been diverted and seven trains including Kanpur-New Delhi Shatabdi express have been cancelled. Since both UP and DOWN lines are blocked, around 40 local trains were also being diverted. NCR sources said that work for a dedicated freight corridor was going on at the accident site at the time of the incident. The dumper did not belong to the railways, the NCR sources said. On receiving information about the mishap, senior officials rushed to the accident site which comes under Acchalda police station, around 180 kilometres from Lucknow.


Helpline numbers


Etawah-05688-1072, 266382, 266383

Lucknow-0522-2237677, 9794830975


Kanpur-0512-1072, 2323015, 2323016, 2323018

Aligarh-0571-1072, 2403458, 2403055

Tundla-05612-1072, 220337, 220338, 220339


Allahabad-0532-1072, 2408149, 2408128, 2407353

Fatehpur-05180-1072, 222025, 222026, 222436



Additional forces and ambulance were rushed to the spot from Auraiya, Etawah and Kannauj, while NDRF team was dispatched from Lucknow to provide support to the victims. A medical train and a relief train have been dispatched from Allahabad to the accident site. This is the second rail accident since last Saturday. Utkal Express had derailed in Muzaffarnagar district of UP, killing 22 people and injuring 156. A spokesman for NCR said rescue operations have been concluded and all injured were sent to hospitals nearby. General Manager, NCR, M C Chauhan and the Divisional Regional Manager have rushed to the spot.



CCTV footage leads police to ATM thieves in Kalyan



KALYAN: The Mahatma Phule police have booked two men on charges of attempting to steal from an ATM situated on Murbad road in Kalyan on Tuesday early morning. The police have identified the accused on the basis of a CCTV footage. Sources said the men had tried to prise open the Canara bank ATM located on Murbad Road in Kalyan. The police said the accused failed to break open ATM and later fled.



3 men break into bank but manage only Rs 2 lakh in coins



New Delhi: Three friends working at two bus depots in the city decided to make a quick buck by stealing money from a bank located behind one of their offices. They managed to break into the bank, but could only steal Rs 2.3 lakh worth of coins kept in 46 plastic bags as they couldn’t get inside the vault. Had they been able to break into the vault, they would have got their hands on around Rs 20 lakh, said sources. The culprits were arrested within 12 hours of the crime. One of the criminals with a tattoo of the letter R was identified with the help of CCTV footage. Two of the arrested men, identified as Rahul (21) and Anuj (23), worked at a bus depot located near the bank. The third accused, Rahul, worked at another depot. They got the idea of robbing the bank after watching crime thriller TV series. Rahul and Anuj lived in Loni of Ghaziabad and worked as cleaners at Banda Bahadur Marg DTC depot in Mukherjee Nagar. They hatched the plan two weeks ago after finding an easy access to the bank through a window located at the rear while smoking in a lane. The youths planned every minute detail, arranged necessary equipment, and did a dry run on Thursday night. One of them also entered the bank and noted the position of the CCTV cameras. On Friday night, they tried to cut the window rods with a hacksaw, but the blade broke off and fell into the bank. Surprisingly, no bank official noticed or reported it. On Sunday night, the accused came to the bank armed with an electric hand grinder, cutter and grinder blades and cut open the window rods within an hour.


After entering the bank, they cut off the wires of the CCTV cameras. However, they were left disappointed as they could only get coins in denominations of Rs 5 and Rs 10. They left with whatever they could collect. The employees of Syndicate Bank found the break-in when they came to work on Monday morning and alerted the police. “We were informed about the break-in on August 21. The bank was inspected by crime and forensic teams. An FIR was registered and special teams led by ACP Hukma Ram and SHO Anil Chauhan was formed to crack the case,” said deputy commissioner of police (northwest) Milind Dumbere. The first clue was CCTV footage showing a blurry image of two men. When studied minutely, cops found the tattoo R on the left hand of one of the suspects. As per protocol, the cops decided to question people whose offices were located in the vicinity. “The maintenance employees of BBM DTC bus depot were questioned extensively because the entry to the bank was made from the bus depot,” Dumbere said. Soon, the cops spotted a youth with R tattooed on his hand. On interrogation, the youth, Rahul, confessed to having committed the crime. The other two were arrested on his disclosure and the money was recovered. The tools used in the crime have been seized.



Bengaluru has 5,067 potholes



BENGALURU: The BBMP has finally finished counting potholes in the city, putting the final tally at 5,067. The civic agency claimed 3,738 of the identified potholes had been filled by Tuesday evening. Palike officials had put the number at 3,360 on Monday night, a couple of hours before ending their exercise. B S Prahallad, chief engineer (road infrastructure), BBMP, confirmed that civic staff identified 5,067 potholes along the 957km stretch of roads in the city. “The highest number of potholes (2,045) was found in the East zone; we have filled 1,817 of them,” he said. The pothole count is part of BBMP’s action plan to fix the roads. The exercise began a week ago and the filling up of potholes began three days ago, officials said.



Aadhaar now made mandatory for vehicle registration in Telangana



HYDERABAD: Want to register your vehicle with the Road Transport Authority in Telangana? Make sure you have an Aadhaar card. For, with effect from Tuesday, the Telangana transport department has made Aadhaar mandatory for registration of all vehicles. In fact, the Aadhaar number is now a must to avail of any service offered by the RTA in the state. And the new rule does not even spare those wanting to transfer vehicle ownership for second or third time sales. Confirming this, joint transport commissioner T Raghunath told TOI that Aadhaar has indeed been made compulsory for registration of all category of vehicles, be they knew, second hand or third hand, with effect from August 22, 2017. “Applicants cannot book slots online on the transport department website for any service offered by RTA in the state without providing their Aadhaar number,” Raghunath said. What’s more, furnishing one’s Aadhaar number is not enough. Applicants will now also have to provide their correct mobile number to the department to avail services. “It has also been made mandatory to provide the mobile phone number of the vehicle owner to prevent people from giving wrong numbers. A one-time password is sent on the mobile phone, which the applicant has to type in to book his/her slot,” joint transport commissioner (Hyderabad) Panduranga Rao explained. Earlier, the Aadhaar number was optional for the registration of new vehicles and the transport department officials did not insist on it for those registering used vehicles.


Officials of the transport department said the move is aimed at creating a database of owners of all vehicles, mainly details of the new owners of old vehicles as the department does not have the coordinates of the “current owners of about 10 lakh old vehicles” that were sold by the first owner to the second, third or even fourth or more persons. In fact, the transport department will soon be providing a facility on its website for those selling their vehicles to register the details of the person they are selling their vehicle to, ensuring that the department is up to speed on the vehicle ownership, even if the new owner does not come forward to transfer the ownership of the vehicle in his or her name. Deputy commissioner of police (traffic) A V Ranganath said the transport department will share this data with the traffic police, which can seize the vehicle during routine checks if they find the new owner continuing to drive the vehicle in the name of the previous owner to avoid being slapped with cases and penalty points for violation of traffic rules.



Low traffic helps Bagdogra start trial run for stamp-free bag tags



KOLKATA: Tourist movement through Bagdogra airport has reduced to a trickle following the two-month-long strike in the Hills. But for airport authorities, it has opened a window of opportunity to undertake a trial for doing away with the practice of stamping cabin baggage tags that will come in handy when tourism finally resumes. Several major airports, including Kolkata, have already dispensed with stamping of hand baggage tags. Several among the 2,954 passengers who boarded flights from Bagdogra airport on Monday were taken by surprise when CISF personnel in the security hold area did not stamp the tags attached to their cabin luggage. While the move to eliminate baggage stamping is intended to save time, CISF jawans had to assuage anxious passengers that they would not be harassed during boarding for the missing stamp. Till Sunday, passengers were forced back for another round of security check if the bag was without a tag or had a tag without a stamp.


Airport director Rakesh Sahay said the trial will be conducted for a week. “On an average, we have 3,000 departing passengers. In tourist seasons like summer and Puja, the figure increases to over 4,000. By removing the requirement to stamp the baggage tag, it will save time. It may not appear much to an individual passenger, but operationally, it will make the flow of passengers through the airport more efficient”. According to CISF sources, it takes approximately five seconds for a jawan at the X-Ray point to locate the tag and stamp it and another five seconds for the jawan at the boarding gate to locate the tag and check if it is stamped. Once stamping is eliminated, it will save more than 11 hours in total. It will eliminate the confusion and tension caused when CISF personnel at the X-Ray point miss stamping a bag. The practice of stamping hand-baggage tags was introduced in the late 1970s as an anti-hijacking measure, but over time, X-Ray machines have made the exercise redundant. Stamped tags have a number to identify the counter where it was screened. The exercise was used to fix responsibility in case something that could be a threat to flight safety went beyond that point by identifying the screener whose lapse led to it. Nowadays, full-camera coverage does the same work without tag stamping in many airports across the world.



Ennore fisher folk panic over high tides

Huge waves breached bunds along the coast on Monday night and entered some houses.



CHENNAI: Fisher folk living in hamlets along the coastline in Ennore are in the grip of fear after high tides battered the shore over the last few days. On Monday night, at around 11pm, huge waves breached the bunds of the shore and entered some houses. Residents stacked up sandbags along the shore on Tuesday morning as a makeshift solution. K. Bharathi, president of the South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association, said, “The rough sea has left two men injured and several boats damaged. Those who ventured into the sea are finding it difficult to return as some boats have capsized at sea and their catch of fish was lost. The scenario in Pudupatinam is also bad with high tides lashing the coast”.


Chinna Kuppam, a fishing hamlet near Ennore, has also been badly hit with some houses being damaged on Monday night. S Vincent, a fisherman, said, “On Monday, the waves were huge and intense, giving us a sleepless night. Some of the fisher folk who have been affected are now housed at shelters near the fish market. “It is sad that officials or police did not come to our help during this crisis. Members of the fishing community have been badly affected and it is time the state government and fisheries department surveyed the damage and ensured compensation for the affected families,” said K Bharathi, another fisher. Fishermen said that though the sea is rough at times, it has been unusually so for the last four days, with no respite. A fisherman, M Kumar, said, “The fisheries authorities should ensure that those living along the coastline are moved to safer places such as marriage halls and community halls as it is hazardous to be living near the shore with high tides lashing the houses”.



International News



Saudi police detain teenage boy for dancing in the street

A screen grab of the video.



DUBAI: Saudi police said on Tuesday they had detained a 14-year-old boy who was filmed dancing to the 1990s hit song “Macarena” at a street crossing in the coastal city of Jeddah, in a clip that was widely shared on social media. The teenager, whose name and nationality were not given, was being questioned because he had shown “improper public behaviour” and disrupted traffic, a statement from Mecca police said. It was not clear whether he would be formally charged. In the 45-second video, a teenager wearing a striped t-shirt, grey sports shorts and brightly-coloured shoes strides to the middle of a crosswalk. He starts dancing to the catchy tune in front of five lanes of cars stopped at a traffic light. Earlier this month police arrested and released a Saudi singer for using the ‘dab’ move in an onstage dance. Abdallah al-Shahani appeared on a viral video performing the dance at a music festival in the city of Taif in Southwestern Saudi Arabia. The dance had been banned in the Kingdom by the National Committee for Drug Control, on the grounds that it advocated or encouraged drug abuse, according to Saudi media. Saudis are among the most active users of social media in the Arab world, using the Internet as an outlet for debate and interaction in their deeply conservative society.



Taliban warns Afghanistan will become ‘graveyard’ for US


KABUL: The Taliban on Tuesday warned that Afghanistan would become “a graveyard” for the United States after President Donald Trump cleared the way for thousands more American troops to be sent to the war-torn country. “If America doesn’t withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, soon Afghanistan will become another graveyard for this superpower in the 21st century,” Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban in Afghanistan, said in a statement. He added that America should think of an exit strategy “instead of continuing the war”. “As long as there is one US soldier in our land, and they continue to impose war on us, we, with a high morale will continue our jihad,” Mujahid said. Trump backtracked from his promise to rapidly end America’s longest war in his first formal address to the nation as commander-in-chief late Monday, though he did not offer specifics. He said he had concluded “the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable”, leaving a vacuum that terrorists “would instantly fill”. While Trump refused to offer detailed troop numbers, senior White House officials said he had already authorised his defence secretary to deploy up to 3,900 more troops to Afghanistan. Earlier Mujahid had dismissed the strategy as vague and “nothing new”. “For now I can tell you there was nothing new in his speech and it was very unclear,” he said. A senior Taliban commander told AFP that Trump was just perpetuating the “arrogant behaviour” of previous presidents such as George W Bush.


“He is just wasting American soldiers. We know how to defend our country. It will not change anything. “For generations we have fought this war, we are not scared, we are fresh and we will continue this war until our last breath,” he told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location. He added that the statement proved the current Afghan government “is a US puppet”. The insurgents signalled their intentions minutes after Trump spoke by claiming the US embassy in Kabul had been the target of a rocket attack late Monday. The rocket landed in a field in the city’s diplomatic quarter, with no casualties reported. Trump also lambasted US ally Pakistan for offering safe haven to “agents of chaos”. A commander from the Taliban-allied Haqqani network, long believed to have links to Pakistan’s shadowy military establishment, told AFP that Trump “has proved it’s a Crusade”. “His statement has proved that he wants to eliminate the entire Muslim umma (community),” he said. Prior to Trump’s announcement the Taliban had written an open letter warning him not to send more troops and calling for the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

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