News Flash – 23 November 2017

National News



Juhu Airport enacts full scale emergency through mock drill

Mock Drill at Juhu Airport |Photo by Nilesh Wairkar



MUMBAI: The Juhu Airport had a full scale emergency at the airport. They enacted an aircraft with fire on Wednesday. Shailendra Chaudhary, head of security said, “We enacted a crash landing of a flight, using an aircraft of Bombay Flying Club flown by its president Captain Mihir Bhagvati. We had enacted that it caught fire. Then we sent our agencies like Fire Brigade, ambulances, emergency vehicles. We also coordinated with city fire brigade, Nanavati and Cooper hospitals”. Mihir Bhagvati, said “I flew a Cessna 172 owned and operated by BFC. This aircraft was a part of the full emergency mock drill. I took off at 3:05 am and declared a full emergency at 3:22 pm, approximately 25 kms north of Juhu. I radioed out May Day (which means there is a full emergency). I reported smoke in cockpit followed by an explosion and fire on-board the aircraft after which the airport, ATC went in full emergency mode and triggered all the standard operating procedures and brought in our aircraft on priority landing basis and shut down all operations at Juhu Airport”. “After this, we flew and landed on runway 26 and proceeded to end of the runway where there is a fire pit. We then evacuated the aircraft with fire crew and ambulance within 26 seconds,” added Bhagvati.



Comprehensive plan for women safety in eight metropolises soon



New Delhi : A comprehensive ‘safe-city’ plan for women will soon be kicked off in eight metropolises, including Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, where a robust emergency response system and police verified public transport will come into place, the Home Ministry said today. Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba today reviewed the plans which will be implemented in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Hyderabad. The plan was first mooted in the wake of the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case. A comprehensive review was undertaken to gaugue the progress and examine steps taken by the police and civil administration of these eight cities regarding women’s safety, a home ministry statement said. The issues which have come up for discussions include 33 per cent reservation of women in police, installation of CCTV cameras, deployment of women in police stations, emergency response system, police verified public transport, prevention of cybercrime, infrastructure issues, mapping of dark spots and crime-prone areas and involvement of educational institutions, among others. Municipal commissioners, police commissioners, senior state government officials and civil society representatives attended the steering committee meeting constituted by the home ministry under the chairmanship of the home secretary.


The initiatives taken by these cities for women’s safety were also discussed in detail. These initiatives include ‘Himmat’ app, all women patrol van, ‘shishtachar’ programme of Delhi Police; ‘Hawkeye’ mobile app and ‘Bharosa’ programme of Hyderabad Police; ‘Suraksha’ app of Bengaluru Police and Power Angels of UP police. The steps taken by other metro cities including mobile counselling vans for hearing the grievances of women, lighting in the sub-urban railway station areas, complaint boxes in colleges, dedicated helpline for women, awareness programmes organised by the police, setting up of shelter homes for women and making provisions for street lighting were also discussed. It was brought to notice that police representatives are taking steps in the direction of implementing the target of 33 per cent reservation for women in police. It was informed that more than one lakh women are using ‘Himmat’ app, which has been made bilingual by Delhi Police. The use of social media platforms for women’s safety was emphasised during the meeting. The representatives also discussed various measures which can reduce the response time and thus ensure better results.


The setting up of norms for standardisation of luminosity for CCTV cameras was discussed by the participants. The home secretary said that independent analysis and feedback system should be institutionalised to assess the perception of women on ground regarding their safety issues. Their feedback and suggestions on various issues can also be incorporated after independent survey and the approach to women’s safety can thus be fine-tuned. Gauba emphasised on ‘targeted intervention’ by the police and civil administration, which will have larger impact on women’s safety. The home secretary emphasised on integrated command and control centres and on collaborative monitoring by police and privately installed CCTV cameras. This integration should be in a time-bound and phased manner, he stressed. It was decided that the police and municipal corporations of these eight cities will frame a plan of action. The plan will be forwarded by the respective state level committee headed by the chief secretary of the state. The plan of action to be submitted by these cities within a month will be assessed by the Steering Committee headed by the Union Home Secretary, which will make suitable recommendations.



‘Crime graph rising in Bhadreswar’: Not feeling safe, say locals


BHADRESWAR: Residents of the Hooghly industrial belt — considered a crime-free zone till recently — are now a worried lot. The murder of Bhadreswar Municipality chairman Manoj Upadhyay on GT Road has got them wondering whether rising unemployment, the uncontrolled real-estate boom and associated extortion racket have led to a severe deterioration in the situation. Some have even started blaming the decision to bring police stations between Uttarpara and Bandel under the Chandernagore Police Commissionerate from July this year. “Things were never this bad. Policing was better and officers had better information about local gangs and their plans. Nowadays, we find history-sheeters moving around freely. People are being threatened and even attacked. Things have got too centralized with the local police stations losing authority. How else can one explain the gathering of so many criminals with arms near the Bhadreswar police station,” a retired state government employee from Bhadreswar said. This part of the district, comprising some of the oldest towns and municipalities in state, has started witnessing crime that locals had never imagined could take place. Early on October 1, an armed gang stormed into a nursing home in Serampore, assaulted paramedics and pointed guns at doctors, demanding treatment of an associate injured in a road accident. The gang fled before the cops arrived.


“Such crimes were unheard of. Even the 2014 lynching of a jute mill CEO caused a lot of tension in the area, even though it was primarily due to labour trouble. Now, people are scared to buy plots or houses in this belt. Even before the owner starts digging the foundation, mastaans turn up to demand a huge sum on behalf of local clubs. There are regular robberies and break-ins. Youngsters are getting drawn into crime too,” said Rupashri Mukherjee, a local resident. Less than a month ago, retired professor of Kalyani University, Sulekha Mukherjee (74), was found murdered in her Chinsurah house. Later, her maid was arrested for the murder, along with two others. Earlier in October, professional footballer Snehasis Dasgupta was found dead under mysterious circumstances beside the railway tracks in Serampore. Though a senior police officer maintained that such pre-meditated crime, committed by people who have access to the victims, can’t be controlled, locals claimed otherwise. “Then why is it that such crimes didn’t take place earlier? We are no longer safe here. Criminals are no longer afraid of being apprehended. There are regular robberies, snatchings and break-ins but cops often refuse to lodge complaints,” another resident said. CPM district secretary and former MLA Sudarshan Roy Chowdhury said people have become insecure since the Commissionerate came into being.


Times View: A murder, more often, is a crime against an individual. But sometimes a murder may point to a more widespread law-and-order problem. This incident, where a prominent politician has been killed, looks like it belongs to the latter category. It is imperative that cops go to the bottom of the case – not only finding and putting the culprits to trial but also identifying the real reasons behind the murder – so that the citizen’s belief in the rule of law is not undermined.



Gold worth Rs 43 lakh seized from passengers at Chennai airport



CHENNAI: Customs officials at Chennai airport on Tuesday seized 1.4kg of gold worth Rs 43 lakh from three passengers, in two separate incidents, and arrested one of them. In the first case, two carriers travelling on the domestic leg of a Dubai-Cochin-Chennai SpiceJet flight (SG 608) were stopped at Chennai airport. They were carrying 11 gold bars, worth Rs 37 lakh. Customs arrested one of the passengers. In the second incident, 161gm gold worth Rs 4.7 was seized from a passenger who arrived in Chennai from Colombo on a Sri Lankan Airlines flight. He was carrying a gold chain and a gold ring inside his pant pocket. Officials were conducting further investigations.



Coast Guard rescues six from sinking fishing boat



AHMEDABAD: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) rescued six fishermen who were stranded in mid-sea after their boat developed a technical snag and started sinking off Jakhau coast on November 20. According to coast guard officials, they received a distress call from the fishing boat ‘Naukeshwari’ that was sinking 42 nautical miles off Jakhau. Following the message, coast guard ship ‘Samudra Pavak’ was rushed to the site at around 12:30 hours. “The boat was found capsized and wholly submerged with heavy ingress of water. All the six crew members were rescued and brought back to Porbandar at around 4pm on November 21,” ICG said in a statement.



International News



US Navy plane with 11 aboard crashes into Pacific; 8 rescued

A US Navy C-2 Greyhound approaches the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during the joint military exercise between S Korea and the US in the international waters.



TOKYO: Eight people were rescued and three remained missing after a US Navy plane crashed into the western Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, the Navy said. The C-2 “Greyhound” transport aircraft came down about 500 nautical miles (925 kilometers) southeast of Okinawa as it was bringing passengers and cargo from Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Navy said in a statement. The Reagan was operating in the Philippine Sea during a joint exercise with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force when the twin-propeller plane crashed at 2:45 p.m. Japan time. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear and the incident will be investigated, the Navy said. Eight people were rescued about 40 minutes later. They were taken to the Reagan for medical evaluation and are in good condition, the Navy said. US and Japanese naval ships and aircraft are searching for the missing. Japan’s Defense Ministry said the crash site is about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northwest of Okinotorishima, a Japanese atoll. The names of the crew and passengers are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Philippine military spokesman Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla said his military alerted its ships and aircraft shortly after learning about the crash but could not provide help because of the distance from the country.


The Nov. 16-26 joint exercise in waters off Okinawa has been described by the Navy as the “premier training event” between the US and Japanese navies, designed to increase defensive readiness and interoperability in air and sea operations. The Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet has had two fatal accidents in Asian waters this year, leaving 17 sailors dead and prompting the removal of eight top Navy officers from their posts, including the 7th Fleet commander. The USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided near Singapore in August, leaving 10 US sailors dead. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided off Japan. The Navy has concluded that the collisions were avoidable and resulted from widespread failures by the crews and commanders, who didn’t quickly recognize and respond to unfolding emergencies. A Navy report recommended numerous changes to address the problems, ranging from improved training to increasing sleep and stress management for sailors.



PNG police enter abandoned Australian-run detention camp



SYDNEY: Papua New Guinea police moved into a shuttered, Australian-run refugee camp on Thursday in the most aggressive push yet to force hundreds of men to leave the island detention centre. Asylum-seekers, who have been barricaded in the abandoned camp for 23 days without electricity or water supplies, said the police pulled belongings from their rooms and shouted at them to get in buses lined up to take them to transit centres elsewhere on Manus. Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani tweeted from inside the camp that “police have started to break the shelters, water tanks and are saying ‘move, move'”. “Navy soldiers are outside the prison camp. We are on high alert right now. We are under attack,” he said, adding that two refugees were in need of urgent medical treatment. Other refugees posted photos and video to social media sites showing police entering the camp and pulling detainees’ belongings from their rooms. The police operation came as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reaffirmed his government’s stance that none of the refugees, who were sent to the camp for trying to reach Australia by boat, would be brought to his country. The camp, established alongside another on Nauru under Canberra’s harsh immigration policy, was shut on October 31 after a PNG court ruled it was unconstitutional. But some 600 men refused to leave and move to three PNG-run transition centres on the island, despite Australia cutting off water and electricity, and with limited food supplies. The detainees said they were fearful of hostile locals outside the camp, and said the new centres were not fully operational, with a lack of security, sufficient water or electricity.


Some 200 have since moved to the new facilities, but the rest have stayed put despite worsening conditions. The men are barred from resettling in Australia, and Turnbull said Thursday their actions were meant to pressure Canberra to let them move to his nation. “They think this is some way they can pressure the Australian government to let them come to Australia. Well, we will not be pressured,” he told reporters in Canberra. “The people on Manus should go to the alternative places of safety with all of the facilities they need”. Australia’s Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told local media it was “outrageous that people are still there”. Australian activist group GetUp said more than 10 buses were parked outside the camp, although its human rights campaigner Shen Narayanasamy told AFP police “have not as yet forcibly dragged anyone” to them. Global rights group Amnesty International said Thursday there were “risks of serious injury if the authorities use force”, and called for the refugees to be brought to Australia. Australian Federal Police said in a statement to AFP that they had one liaison officer on Manus, but no personnel were in the camp or involved in the police operation. Meanwhile, the PNG Supreme Court is due to hear on December 15 an appeal against its ruling earlier this month that the camp’s basic services were not to be restored, lawyer Ben Lomai told AFP Thursday.


PNG Police Commissioner Gari Baki on Tuesday said his officers would not use force to move the men. “The refugees will be asked politely to pack up and voluntarily leave the centre,” police said in a statement Tuesday. Canberra has tried to resettle the refugees in third countries, including the United States, with little success. Just 54 refugees have been accepted by Washington, with 24 flown to America in September. Despite widespread criticism, Canberra has defended its offshore processing policy as stopping deaths at sea after a spate of drownings. The camps’ conditions have been slammed by human rights groups amid reports of widespread abuse, self-harm and mental health problems. Amnesty said the refugees’ safety fears were also “well-founded”, adding that some had previously been “attacked and seriously injured” by locals “who have made clear they do not want the men on Manus”. The Australian Medical Association on Sunday called on Canberra to allow doctors to help the refugees, warning there was a “worsening and more dangerous situation emerging on Manus”.

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