News Flash – 26 October 2018

National News



ATM Theft Attempt


Kolkata: An unidentified person tried to break into a Canara Bank ATM on B K Pal Avenue under the Burtolla police station. Cops said the thief had targeted the ATM as it did not have any security guards. According to cops, some locals were first to notice there was a break-in attempt. “We found that the accused had managed to break the computerised vault lock of the machine but not the vault. Even the CCTVs installed at the premises were not working,” claimed a local. The cops though said that the main vault was secure.



A peek into how tech may help you beat congestion at border toll posts


New Delhi: Staring at the men giving the finishing touches to the newly installed, two-lane radio frequency ID toll infrastructure at Aya Nagar, Keshav Kumar worries he will soon lose his job as a chaser of vehicles that avoid paying the municipal tax at the border crossing. But unlike angst-ridden Kumar, the rest of Delhi has been waiting for this automated toll system to ease the jams at the borders. The work that Kumar currently does to prevent evasion of toll payment will now be done by technology. The RFID system comprising an overhead radio frequency dish, high-resolution number plate readers, axle sensors on the ground and an alarm will automate the process of toll collection. Gyan Prakash, engineer with Tecsidel India, which installed the components, explained, “The dish can read the RFID tag information in a vehicle travelling at up to 60kmph from a distance of 15-20 metres.” When a vehicle with a valid RFID tag approaches, the dish calculates the appropriate toll and deducts the amount. Information related to load and axle will be cross-verified with data from the axle sensors. Prakash added, “One of the four hi-res cameras has a range of 300m and will image the number plate. They will help make cash transactions faster because the operators do not have to enter car details manually.” The cameras, connected to the central database, will also identify vehicles older than 10 years or non-destined trucks entering Delhi.


Vehicles trying to drive past the toll gate without paying, say behind another vehicle, will be stopped by a flying squad deployed 100m away, which will be alerted by sirens and illuminated alarms. There is no penalty for evasion at present, but the Environmental Pollution Control Authority is expected to soon announce fines. The road has been bifurcated for the purpose. “Two lanes on the right will allow passage to non-commercial vehicles without obstruction,” said Yogesh Gaur, site in-charge at Aya Nagar. “Commercial vehicles will be directed to the left side, which has two toll booths: one for taxis or autos and another for heavy vehicles”. Cabbie Keshav Kumar, purchasing an RFID tag which costs Rs 237 to register, hoped not to have to stand in queues to recharge toll cards, as with the existing passes. But South Delhi Municipal Corporation has announced it is launching a mobile Android app called ECC Tag for online payments. SDMC officials said that five of the 13 border points — Aya Nagar, Kapashera, Tikri, Rajokri and DND — will be RFID-enabled first, and the rest by November end.



Another arrest in Khaira Bank Heist (Robbery)



New Delhi: A fourth accused in the sensational bank robbery in southwest Delhi’s Khaira village has been arrested. The accused had fled to Jammu after the incident and was caught when he recently came back from there. DCP (Dwarka) Anto Alphonse said the accused was identified as Sachin Antil. Cops recovered Rs 50,000 from him. Antil, a resident of Khewra village in Sonipat, was nabbed from Peeragarhi metro station on Sunday evening. His involvement was disclosed by aides who had earlier been arrested. The accused’s family was questioned about his whereabouts and the teams received an information that he would be coming to Peeragarhi. Police teams waited near the metro station and nabbed him from there. Antil told cops that he had planned the heist with the mastermind, Ram Lagan Sharma, who is still absconding. Cops said all accused were drug addicts and, on the day of the robbery too, they had taken intoxicants before committing the heist. The accused told cops that their aide, Pawan Pandey, who has been identified as the one who shot the bank’s cashier Santosh Sharma, was waiving the gun to signal the bank staff to move into a corner when it suddenly went off. The bullet hit Sharma in his back and he succumbed to his injuries.



3 robbers arrested, valuables worth Rs.10L seized in Meerpet



Hyderabad: Sleuths of Special Operations Team (SOT) of Rachakonda commissionerates arrested three robbers on Thursday and seized valuables worth Rs.10 lakhs. Acting on a tip-off, the SOT sleuths arrested V Santosh Kumar, 20, and M Sai Kumar, 19, both mechanics from Meerpet, along with N Shiva, 19, a private sector employee. Police also seized some stolen jewellery and the accused confessed to having committed a series of robberies and extortions in the city. According to police, the trio formed a gang a few years ago and targeted people travelling alone in isolated areas. “By threatening the victims, the accused used to snatch wallets and other valuables,” Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat said. Two robbery cases were booked at Choutuppal and Saifabad police stations against the trio. After the arrest, the accused confessed to have committed six more robberies at LB Nagar, Meerpet and Choutuppal in past few months. Based on their confession, police recovered a Swift Dzire car, Rs. 15,000 cash and eight cell phones.



Kolkata Police plans to add shock batons to its armory



Kolkata: The city police plans to acquire a new weapon for its armory—shock batons, which are used to temporarily incapacitate an attacker through a mild electric shock. According to the specifications sought, a baton shock will deliver a charge of 1.5 kilo volt (peak voltage) for a maximum of 1 millisecond (a thousandth of a second). Aware of possible safety issues, Kolkata Police in its bid document—where it has sought 20 other specific weapons and equipment — has clearly stated the shock batons will be used only by specialized forces. Sources said this is an indication that the batons are unlikely to be used in everyday law and order duties and will be used only “under specific provocations”. The tender, bidding for which closes on November 2, states that the force is looking to buy merely 10 of them for now. The tender comes with a rigorous set of specifications that the force hopes will be met. Shock batons are increasingly being looked upon as a low-risk weapon and are being used by cops in situations where the general public or the officers themselves face a severe threat or actual violence upon which no rigorous action could be taken.


The weapon is in use in several states, including Jammu & Kashmir, where both the police and paramilitary forces are using it to control aggressive protesters. “We will be using it in very limited situations. We are aware that Kolkata’s requirements are vastly different from some regions where it is being used. For now, it will be deployed with our specialized units like our commandos and RAF teams,” said a senior Lalbazar official. Apart from the shock batons, the city police also plan to equip its personnel with shock resistance fibres, full body protectors, dragon light, loud hailers and tactical zip tie handcuff. The police have only recently floated a global tender to acquire a miniature remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Widely used by top-notch security forces, ROVs help in detecting possible bombs or other terror threats planted in vehicles and places which are either difficult to access or where there are chances of loss of human lives. The police modernization programme will not end with these new acquisitions. The entire city will be mapped using Geographic Information System (GIS), and the spots where crimes against women have been reported frequently will be identified for installation of panic buttons. On pressing the panic button, alert will be sent to the nearest police station which will rush its personnel to the spot.



Traffic Violation: Over 60,000 to lose Licence


Chennai: The Chennai City Traffic Police have asked regional transport offices in Chennai to suspend licences of 61,504 traffic violators. Jumping red light, drunken driving, over-speeding, overloading, carrying passengers in goods carriages and using mobile phones while driving is some of the offences which have invited trouble for these Chennai drivers. Driving two-wheelers without helmets and driving four-wheelers without a seat belt are the other violations. Over-speeding tops the list of offences, with 2,917 licences of motorists exceeding speed limits facing the axe. “People think they can get away with jumping a red signal, but 29,032 people who violated the rule are in our hit list,” said a police officer. Another 10,651 will lose their licence because of drunken driving, and 8,810 for using mobile phones while driving. The list includes 9,664 drivers who carried more than permitted number of people in goods carriages and 430 others for overloading goods carriages.


“We’ve received recommendations from police seeking suspension of drivers’ licences for various traffic violations and we are looking into this,” said a senior RTO official. “First-time offenders will have their licences suspended for a specific period, while repeat offenders will lose their licences. The punishment will be decided on the recommendations by the traffic police”. Police officers said many two-wheeler riders are yet to realize the importance of wearing helmets. “Since we fine them only Rs.100 for the first two violations, many take it easy. People should know that repeated violation of the helmet rule will cost them their licence,” said the police officer. “We are enforcing the rule in right earnest. But enforcement alone cannot make people obey rules. They should realise it is for their own safety,” said A Arun, additional commissioner of police, traffic. “Issuing challans was not effective as people think they can go scot-free paying Rs.100 for traffic violations like jumping signals and talking over mobile phones. Now we want to send out a message that if they can’t drive safe, they can’t drive at all,” said R Sudhakar, joint commissioner of police, traffic, south.



International News



US girls, 11 & 12, planned to kill schoolmates, drink blood



Bartow: Two middle-school girls in central Florida brought knives to school in a foiled plot to kill classmates, cut them up and drink their blood before killing themselves. The two girls, ages 11 and 12, were armed with knives on Tuesday at Bartow Middle School before they were caught, according to arrest affidavits. No one was hurt. The girls face charges of conspiracy to commit first degree murder and possession of a weapon at school, among other charges. It will be up to prosecutors to decide whether the girls will be charged formally as juveniles or adults. The girls planned to stake out a school bathroom and wait for smaller students. “They were hoping to kill anywhere from 15-25 students. They hoped it would make them worse sinners ensuring that after they committed suicide … (they) would go to hell so they could be with satan,” a police official said.



Robbers snatch 40 Miss France dresses in break-in



France: Robbers snatched 40 gowns fit for beauty queens during a break-in at the headquarters of the Miss France organising committee, the pageant’s grande dame said on Wednesday. Genevieve de Fontenay (86) said she was heartbroken over the theft of the dresses.

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