News Flash – 29 November 2017

National News



Cops get Rs 9 lakh more gold in bank heist case



NAVI MUMBAI: Crime branch unit 3 team arrested two more members of a gang involved in the burglary at a Bank of Baroda branch in Sanpada on November 26 and 27. Shubham Mishra and Aadesh Mishra, who were arrested in Allahabad, were brought here after obtaining their transit remand custody. Cops have so far arrested nine gang members. A police source said, “During their interrogation, some burglars claimed that their accomplice, Gena Bachchan Prasad, who had taken the shop on rent to run a general store, from where the 40-foot tunnel was dug, had expired following prolonged illness when he had gone to his home town in UP. They claimed that he passed away before the burglary. Prasad had taken the shop on rent in May 2017 and in July he went to UP, claiming he was unwell. Hence, two gang members took charge of the store. But we believe the gang members are lying to misguide us. Their claims will be ascertained”. Police have recovered only around 3.5 kg of gold from the accused in police custody. While cops have recovered 300 gm gold worth around Rs 9 lakh from the eight arrested accused, Shubham Mishra, they will obtain the police custody remand of the ninth arrested accused, Aadesh Mishra, for recovery of his share of gold from the loot. Another police official said, “The kingpin, Deepak Mishra, who resided in Nalasopara and hails from UP, took away a major share of the loot of around 11kg of gold. Another mastermind too took a major share. We are yet to recover around 8kg of stolen gold, Rs70,000 and a diamond ring worth Rs. 50,000”.



Mumbai among worst hit by dengue this year in state


MUMBAI: Pune, Mumbai, Nashik and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations collectively recorded 58% of dengue cases in Maharashtra so far this year, the latest report of the state health department has revealed. Mumbai not just witnessed a high incidence of cases but even recorded the highest number of deaths in the past five years. As per civic records, 17 people succumbed to dengue this year, of which 12 deaths were recorded in September alone. Around six of the deceased were children. A BMC official said the cases continue to be reported though the situation is under control now. Till October, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) registered the maximum 1,058 cases – highest in the state – followed by Mumbai (913), Nashik (504) and Pimpri-Chinchwad (342). The report only takes into account data of government designated sentinel centres. The positive cases reported by private hospitals are considered ‘suspected cases’ by the department. “Going by the figures collated and compiled every year, the disease burden of dengue has considerably gone down over the years. Deaths have significantly reduced as well,” said M S Diggikar, joint director (vector-borne diseases), state health department.


The rural and urban distribution of cases shows that 78% cases are from the state’s urban areas. “As per our analysis, rural parts registered a total of 1,077 cases, accounting for 22% of the total dengue burden, while urban areas, including municipal corporations, registered 3,720 cases that comes to around 78% of the total cases,” said state entomologist Mahendra Jagtap. Rural parts of Nanded (123), Pune (113), Kolhapur (109) and Beed (102) recorded maximum cases so far this year. Among the municipal corporations, city limits of PMC have been a hotbed of dengue in Maharashtra. The number of “confirmed” dengue cases in the city has already breached the 1,000-mark till now. This has happened for the first time in the last 15 years. As per the latest report of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), 1,520 “confirmed” dengue cases have been recorded between January 1and November 28. In the last 15 years, the annual tally has never crossed the 700-mark. Activists said half-hearted surveillance work is at the root of the spiraling cases.



Train to Ghaziabad derails near Okhla station


NEW DELHI: An MEMU (Mainline Electric Multiple Unit) train coming to Ghaziabad from Palwal via New Delhi derailed near Okhla railway station on Tuesday morning when the train was entering the station. No injuries were reported, however, officials said the train had slowed down considerably while approaching the station. Preliminary investigation revealed that the axle bearing of the coach failed, while a spring also came off, which resulted in the derailment. The train was brought back on track and taken to the yard for further repair work, while the passengers were shifted to another EMU train, which departed within an hour, and official said. “The train’s second coach’s motor wheel came off the rail as it was about to enter Okhla station. During investigation, it was found that only one wheel had come off and there was no fault found in the tracks,” a senior railway officer said. The incident also led to trains being diverted as one line of the track was blocked till 2.30pm.


Normal traffic resumed once the track was cleared. Senior railway officials also visited the spot, along with Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel to assess the situation and said the matter would be investigated. “The speed of the train was between 7km/hrs. and 10 km/hrs. as it was approaching the station, so no real damage took place and all the passengers were safe,” said the official. Railways is no stranger to such derailments. On September 14, the last coach of the Jammu-New Delhi Rajdhani Express had derailed after entering platform 15 of the New Delhi railway station. On September 7, two coaches of the Kashi Vishwanath Express had derailed at the Shivaji Bridge, a few hundred meters from the New Delhi railway station, with one passenger reportedly injured.



BBMP to install LED screens on Brigade Road, MG Rd; 5 crore sanctioned for CCTV cameras



BENGALURU: Mayor R Sampath Raj on Tuesday announced an allotment of Rs 5 crore for installing CCTV cameras at area identified by police as vulnerable points across the city. This is above and beyond the Rs 10 lakh already awarded to each ward to install CCTV cameras and comes in the backdrop of alleged molestation incidents on New Years’ Eve last year on and around MG Road. As part of its measures to check unruly behaviour over New Year’s Eve, BBMP said large LED screens would be hired and installed at revelry hotspots on MG Road and Brigade Road on December 30 and 31 and collect the live feed from installed cameras. “We should ensure that such incidents are never repeated. Corporator also should identify spots in their wards where large crowds gather, speak to joint commissioners concerned and ensure such arrangements are made. There should also be helplines for complaints to be recorded and we should use new technology to work for women’s safety,” he said. Meant to permanently serve the interests of the city, the CCTV cameras, Raj said, would come in handy to monitor New Years’ Eve celebrations if they come up in time.


“These cameras will be as per police specifications, including those with 360-degree views. They will be linked to one server monitored by police and one monitored by BBMP. They will be used to check law & order situation, while we can use them to ensure black spot clearance and other civic works,” he said. BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad spoke about Bengaluru’s enlistment among eight cities picked to lead the way in providing public safety to women. These cities have to submit project proposals within the next four weeks for speedy roll-out of projects. “Along with the recent bill passed by the state legislature calling for CCTV cameras in private establishments, being chosen to be a role model for Safe Cities will also be helpful. CCTV cameras should be set up in commercial establishments and should store footage of past 30 days. Apart from these buildings, we can prepare a project report for cameras on arterial roads and start work,” he said.



Howrah goon dupes elderly man at ATM kiosks, nabbed



KOLKATA: The Watgunge police on Monday arrested a man for duping elderly persons inside ATM kiosks, in the name of assisting them with withdrawals. A resident of Howrah’s P K Banerjee Road, Vinod Kumar Shaw (37), was arrested for stealing more than Rs 1 lakh from two different ATMs in the city recently. Shaw is wanted in 13 similar cases in Howrah. His latest victim was Watgunge’s Karl Marx Sarani resident Umesh Kumar Roy, whom he dumped on November 19 at an ICICI ATM in Watgunge. DC (Port) Waquar Raza said, “Shaw would offer help to elderly persons at the ATM kiosks. He would ask for their PIN but feed a wrong number to the machine. He would then ask the victim to contact the bank as the machine wouldn’t accept the PIN. Shaw would return back a fake debit card to the victim by keeping them busy in a conversation. After the accused left, he would use the PIN and the victim’s debit card to withdraw cash”. The local shop owners helped the cops identify and arrest Shaw from a furniture shop on Kona Expressway. “The bank statement showed that Rs 1,65,000 was debited. While Rs 65,000 was swiped at shops, the rest was withdrawn from ATMs. A case of cheating and criminal conspiracy has been registered in the case. “We will pray for his police custody and try to ascertain if he has other associates,” said an investigating officer.



International News



At least 11 dead as floods and landslide hit Indonesia

A man carries a goat to safety during a flood in Pacitan, East Java, Indonesia.



JAKARTA: At least 11 people have died in severe floods and landslides in the east of Indonesia‘s main island of Java, an official said today. A landslide killed nine people at Pacitan in East Java province and two people died in floods triggered by heavy rain in the same area. Thousands of homes were flooded and 4,000 people forced to evacuate them, said a spokesman for the national disaster mitigation agency. The extreme weather will continue to hit the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali, the spokesman added, warning people to be prepared for floods, landslides and tornados. The agency said it urgently needs blankets, clothes and inflatable boats for affected areas. Indonesia is often hit by landslides and floods. Twelve people including three children died in a landslide on the holiday island of Bali in February. In September last year almost 30 people died in devastating floods and landslides in Garut, West Java.



Tourists feel the heat as Bali volcano keeps airport closed

A general view shows Mount Agung erupting seen at night from Kubu sub-district in Karangasem Regency on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on Nov 28, 2017.



KARANGASEM: Indonesia kept the airport on Bali closed on Tuesday as ash from an erupting volcano swept the holiday island, leaving thousands of tourists stranded, and authorities tried to persuade villagers living near the crater to leave their homes. A total of 443 flights, both domestic and international, were affected by the closure of the airport, about 60 km (37 miles) from Mount Agung which is spewing smoke and ash high into the sky. “Aircraft flight channels are covered with volcanic ash,” the transport ministry said in a statement, citing aviation navigation authorities. The airport – the second-biggest in Indonesia – will be closed at least until 7 a.m. on Wednesday (2300 GMT on Tuesday), the ministry said. Frustration at the airport was starting to boil over, with an estimated 2,000 people attempting to get refunds and reschedule tickets. “There are thousands of people stranded here at the airport,” said Nitin Sheth, a tourist from India. “They have to go to some other airport and they are trying to do that, but the government or authorities here are not helping”. Others were more relaxed.”No, there’s not a lot of information … very little. (But) it’s all right. We’re on holidays so it doesn’t matter. We don’t know what’s going to happen but we can get back to the bar and have another drink,” said Matthew Radix from Perth. The airport operator said 201 international flights and 242 domestic ones had been hit. Ten alternative airports had been prepared for airlines to divert inbound flights, including in neighbouring provinces, the operator said, adding it was helping people make alternative bookings and helping stranded travelers. The airport on Lombok island, to the east of Bali, had reopened, authorities said, as wind blew ash westward, towards the southern coast of Java island.


PRAYERS: Agung towers over eastern Bali to a height of just over 3,000 metres (9,800 feet). Its last eruption in 1963 killed more than 1,000 people and razed several villages. On Tuesday, however, life went on largely as normal in surrounding villages, with residents offering prayers as the volcano sent huge billows of ash and smoke into the sky. Some villagers who fled in September, when the alert was last raised to the highest level, have gone home despite government warnings. On Monday, authorities said 100,000 residents living near the volcano had been ordered to get out of an 8-10 km (5-6 mile) exclusion zone, warning a larger eruption was “imminent”. While the population in the area has been estimated at anywhere between 63,000 and 140,000, just over 29,000 people were registered at emergency centres, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the Disaster Mitigation Agency. “Not all people in the danger zone are prepared to take refuge,” he said. “There are still a lot of residents staying in their homes”. Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Centre has warned that an eruption of a size similar to that seen in 1963 could send rocks bigger than a fist flying a distance of up to 8 km (5 miles), and volcanic gas a distance of 10 km (6 miles) within three minutes. Monitoring has shown the northeastern part of Agung’s peak had swollen in recent weeks “indicating there is fairly strong pressure toward the surface”, the centre said.



Japan on alert as boats thought to be from North Korea found

A wooden boat is moored at a nearby marina, in Yurihonjo, Akita prefecture, northern Japan.



TOKYO: Japan is stepping up patrols and urging local authorities and fishermen to be on the alert after several boats thought to be from North Korea, some carrying dead bodies, were found on its northern coast. “The coast guard and police have to cooperate to step up sea patrols around Japan,” the chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said Tuesday when asked about reports that a boat carrying eight dead bodies was found on the coast of Akita prefecture, which faces North Korea across the Sea of Japan. “The government intends to improve this to ensure we can guard against suspicious boats or people arriving in Japan,” Suga said. He said local authorities, fishermen and residents should report if they spot any questionable boats or people. Last week, police rescued eight people thought to be North Korean fishermen who ended up stranded along with their squid catch. A week earlier, the coast guard rescued three North Korean men from a capsized fishing boat off Japan’s northern coast. They were transferred hours later to another North Korean vessel that was to return them home. The coast guard later found three bodies of missing crew members from that boat, then four more bodies in another capsized boat believed to be North Korean. They were thought to have drowned.


It is unclear if the people aboard the several dozen North Korean boats that drift near Japanese shores each year are intending to defect or simply unable to make their way back aboard their unseaworthy wooden boats. The boat recovered Monday was spotted on Saturday, but seas were too rough at the time for rescuers to approach it. It was un-flagged and was reported to be “nationality unclear”. However, a coast guard official reached by phone in Akita said one of the bodies was holding a 1,000 won North Korean note, suggesting the boat was from there. Six bodies were found inside a storage room near the bow of the boat, below deck, and another two near the stern. All were men and partially decomposed, the official said. She spoke on condition of anonymity, following coast guard policy. The crude vessel with its very low gunwale had lost its propeller and rudder, and was similar to other poorly equipped boats often seen operating from North Korea.

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