News Flash – 29 August 2019

National News



Masked Men try to Rob ATM, Escape



Chennai: Two masked men who attempted to rob an ATM at Korattur took to their heels when an alarm went off while they tried to break open the machine on Wednesday. Police said the machine belonging to a private bank at Padi-Mogappair Road, Korattur, was not loaded with cash as it was not functioning. Around 2am on Wednesday, two men covering their faces with handkerchiefs attempted to open the machine by removing the screws when the alarm suddenly went off. The masked men, who were shocked, escaped from the spot. Based on a complaint by bank officials from the headquarters in Hyderabad, police began investigation and found the ATM centre did not have a security guard as the machine was out of service. No money was stolen.



Swine Flu Death: Hospital Guilty of not Testing Youth, to pay Rs.25 Lakhs



New Delhi: In a significant judgment, the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission awarded Rs 25 lakh to a man after finding a city-based hospital guilty of not testing his son for swine flu, though the entire city was under its grip 10 years ago. The commission observed that the 24-year-old victim’s condition deteriorated as the H1N1 test was delayed and the hospital was ill-equipped to treat his case. “What is expected from the medical practitioner is to take due care and caution while giving treatment as per the established medical jurisprudence avoiding delay,” commission member Anil Srivastava said. The observation of the commission could also be a lesson for other hospitals. In its view, if the hospital was “handicapped” in treating the patient, it should have either not admitted him or made all possible arrangements to make up for its deficit. “Their guilt is further aggravated as the hospital admittedly had no laboratory to conduct the test,” it said. On December 9, 2009, Kailash Khandelwal had brought his son Umesh, who was suffering from high fever, cough and respiratory problems, to Ayushman Hospital in Dwarka. The hospital admitted the patient after conducting the formalities. Umesh was diagnosed with acute bronchitis but when his condition worsened, his father insisted on the H1N1 test to be conducted.



The hospital, it is alleged, did not pay heed. When Khandelwal turned adamant, the hospital pointed out that it did not have a laboratory. “Three crucial days were wasted making the condition of the patient from bad to worse,” Khandelwal alleged. When results came in from another lab, it showed that the patient tested positive for swine flu. Khandelwal alleged that as the hospital was incapable of treating his son, it advised him to go to another hospital. Umesh was rushed from one hospital to another but most of them refused to admit him as his condition was very critical. Umesh died on December 15. The hospital contested Umesh’s claims and denied any negligence on its part. The commission noted that Khandelwal had complained to the Delhi Medical Council, but the latter did not go into the point of negligence against the hospital with objectivity. “The hospital admitted the youth knowing fully well it did not have proper facilities to treat the patient. Secondly, it delayed conducting the vital H1N1test,” it observed. Despite all the symptoms and the fact that in 2009-2010 swine flu had spread in the city in all corners, the hospital reportedly did not undertake any test for H1N1. On the contrary, the commission said, the hospital had admitted the patient, keeping him for three to four days with “virtually no treatment” for the ailment and his father too was kept in the dark. “This is per se negligence,” it held.



Spate of Burglaries Rattles VK Residents


New Delhi: For the past month, Vasant Kunj residents have lived in fear, not knowing if they would be the next target of burglars using lock cutters and crowbars to force their way into homes. Alarmed by the frequency of the robberies, including of a brand new SUV from C-9 pocket, the residents’ welfare associations of C and D sectors have now advised residents to ensure additional safety measures whenever leaving home. Police said that there were 3-4 robberies and have registered cases of criminal trespass and house burglaries. The residents, however, complained that there were actually around 20 robberies and the cops had registered cases of a single day as one. Snehlata Rathee, president of the D-6 pocket RWA, claimed that even on Wednesday, the residents had held a man who had entered their pocket posing as a labourer but was found clicking videos of the buildings. “When we caught him, he claimed to be playing a mobile game. Instead, we discovered videos of the buildings in his phone later,” said Rathee The people of the gated colonies aren’t quite happy with the police response. Harjinder Singh Saroha, vice-chairperson, Federation of Residents’ Welfare Associations of Vasant Kunj, said the lack of interaction between the SHO of Vasant Kunj (north) police station and the residents had resulted in poor coordination between the cops and colonies’ security personnel. “With regular interactions between the colonies and police missing, we have been forced to take our own security measures, such as asking the guards to click photographs of suspicious vehicles and their drivers and to keep a record of people entering or exiting the colonies,” said Saroha.



The burglars, captured on CCTV footage, struck between August 7 and August 9, targeting empty houses. The CCTV films show them breaking locks with a cutter and ransacking the apartments. “We had to go to meet an ailing relative,” said D-6 pocket’s D P Singh, one of the robbery victims. “When we returned, we found the lock broken and the house ransacked and cash and jewellery at home gone”. That same night, the criminals also entered the houses of a woman, a serving CBI officer and an office, fleeing with money and ornaments. Rathee said that they had made repeated appeals for the removal of debris along the colony walls with no success. The burglars had made use of the debris to scale the wall. “There is a forested area behind the colony and this makes for a handy getaway route for the miscreants,” pointed out Rathee. “The mud and garbage dumped on the other side of the wall has made it easy for them to enter the colony. I have been writing to all government departments regarding the security, but no action has been taken so far.” She, however, appreciated the efforts of the SHO of Vasant Kunj (south) police station in placing two beat constables to monitor the wooded area. P Prem Nath, resident of C9 pocket where the burglars were caught by the CCTV cameras breaking the door locks, suggested police patrolling during the day too. “Even having two police motorcycles with sirens will keep criminals at bay,” Nath said. “We are sure that they carry out a recce of the area during the day and police presence would deter them”. Nath said the residents were thinking of approaching senior police officers with a security plan regarding the robberies. Devender Arya, DCP (south-west), was not reachable for a comment though TOI tried to contact him for his comment.



Rs.10 Crore Property Gutted in Pesticide Unit Blaze

The fire caused by short circuit spread to two adjacent factories



Hyderabad: A fire broke out at a pesticide factory in the Cherlapally industrial area and spread to two other factories around 5 am on Wednesday. Though there have been no casualties, property worth over Rs.10 crores was damaged, fire officials said. A short circuit in a room behind the pesticide factory, AgriTech Private Limited, triggered the fire which soon spread from room filled with papers to barrels containing pesticides. “Five people who live behind the factory heard the explosion and raised an alarm. Some 15 barrels were kept near the room where the short circuit occurred and most of the barrels exploded,” said Shekhar Reddy, station fire officer, Cherlapally. The fire spread to a nearby pesticide factory and a bore well storage unit. “The two pesticide factories are owned by brothers. Both the factories are gutted because of the accident. The walls of the buildings also partially collapsed, so the firefighting team faced a tough time dousing the fire completely,” said the SFO. As many as five tenders and 25 water tankers with over 30 firefighters were put in place. But it took half the day for the firefighters to douse the fire. ““The property losing all three units is estimated to be above Rs.10 crores and included drilling machines, raw material, and other items,” said a fire department official.



West Bengal Wages Biological War against Dengue


Kolkata: With nearly 300 people affected by dengue in Kolkata and deaths being reported from North 24 Parganas and Nadia, the state health department has decided to procure bio-larvicide to combat the vector-borne disease. An amount of Rs 14 crore has been earmarked for the purpose, half of which has already been sanctioned by the finance department. Bio-larvicide is believed to be more effective than guppy fish, which has been used so far to counter the vector borne disease by destroying mosquito larvae. The bio-larvicide is a compound prepared from the bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI). It will be used in powder form, which is eco-friendly and approved by the Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme for use in anti-mosquito drives.



“This is the first time that the state health department is using bio-larvicide to counter mosquitoes. One lot has been procured and is being used. The second one is being procured,” said Ajay Chakraborty, director, health services. Earlier, the health department used to depend on guppy fish and chemical insecticides for killing mosquito larvae. While guppy fish itself a biolarvicide is more effective in large expanses of water like a pond, the BTI toxin is known to be more apt for smaller surfaces with clean water, which are the preferred breeding grounds of the Aedes Aegypti, the mosquito that spreads dengue. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had recently expressed scepticism about how effectively the guppy fish were being used. She said more fish should be released in North 24 Parganas, which has been recording the highest number of dengue cases for the last few years.



International News



Attackers set Mexico Bar on Fire, 25 Killed



Coatzacoalcos (Mexico): At least 25 people were killed and 11 badly wounded when gunmen burst into a strip club in eastern Mexico, doused it with gasoline and ignited a raging fire, officials said on Wednesday. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador condemned Tuesday night’s “shameful” attack in the city of Coatzacoalcos, and said federal authorities would investigate evidence that it may have stemmed from collusion between the state prosecutor’s office and organised crime. The attack is the latest to rock the state of Veracruz, a flashpoint in bloody turf wars between rival drug cartels.

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