News Flash – 3 September 2019

National News



Robbers Target Army Truck with Rs.250 Crores Chopper Parts



Ghaziabad: Three men were arrested early on Monday for allegedly robbing the driver and a helper of an army truck that was carrying helicopter parts worth Rs 250 crore on Saturday. Police said the arrested men did not know about the consignment that was being carried to Imphal from Delhi cantonment. The parts of the helicopters, deployed in border areas, were sent to Delhi for an inspection. Police said the truck had left Delhi cantonment around 11pm on Friday. “An army personnel, Vishal, and a different driver were assigned the duty to accompany the vehicle, but they handed over the truck to driver Atul and helper Anil somewhere in Delhi and Vishal had asked them to pick him up from his house on the way,” said SSP Sudhir Kumar Singh. Around 1.30am when the truck reached near New Bus Stand in Ghaziabad, a Swift car came from the back side and intercepted the vehicle. Some men came out of the car and snatched Rs 20,000 cash and ATM cards from Atul and Anil at gunpoint. Another helper, Ashok, managed to escape.



Man held for bid to ‘Dig into ATM’



Ahmedabad: Crime branch sleuths on Monday arrested Budha Bhimsinh Patel, 25, a resident of Modhva village in Dahod, for allegedly attempting to break into an ATM, at Vitthal Vibrant Complex in Chandkheda on August 26. ACP Bhagirathsinh Gohil said on reviewing CCTV footage from the ATM booth, they saw a man enter with a pickaxe in hand. “Through human intelligence, we learned that the suspect was Patel, who was working on demolishing a house in Ahmedabad and lived somewhere near Ambawadi,” added ACP BV Gohil. Crime branch sources said they laid a watch in the area and nabbed Patel from near CN Vidhyalaya on Monday. During his interrogation, we learned that he had been working in Ahmedabad for about three months. “He was working on demolishing an old house in Ambawadi and used to stay at the site with his wife,” a crime branch official added. That night, accompanied by his friends Raju and Parshottam, he set off in an auto and they decided to break into the ATM at Chandkheda. “They broke open the lock on the shutters and while Raju and Purshottam kept watch, Patel entered the booth with the pickaxe and tried to break the machine open, but could not,” said ACP Gohil. ACP Gohil said Patel will be handed over to the local police station for further investigation.



Flood Alert again in Coastal Districts, Rivers may rise



Pune: The Central Water Commission (CWC) on Monday put coastal districts like Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri on a flood alert once again after triple-digit rains made a comeback in the state and the Met department forecast of rains likely to pick intensity from September 3. The CWC also cautioned that due to the heavy rain forecast in the Ghats of Pune, Satara, Nashik and Kolhapur, rivers Godavari, Bhima and Krishna are expected to rise and maximum vigil is to be maintained. The CWC said their heavy rain is likely in Konkan, Goa and the hill ranges of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra for the next four days. “There is a probability of a sudden rise in water levels in the west flowing rivers between Tapi and Tadri, such as Damanganga, Ulhas, Savithri and Kal, flowing through the states of Maharashtra and Goa and the Union territories like Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu,” it warned. The CWC said maximum vigil should to be maintained along the low-lying areas of rivers which are near railway lines and highways during the period mentioned. “Due to the forecast of heavy to very heavy rain in the Ghat areas of Maharashtra in the districts of Nashik, Pune, Satara and Kolhapur, the rivers Godavari, Bhima and Krishna are expected to rise again based on the intensity of rainfall. Maximum vigil should to be maintained while releasing waters from dams in these basins as most of the dams are already more than 90% full,” it said.



The CWC said proper release advisories for downstream areas as well as for lower riparian states in these basins have to be issued well in advance as most of the dams in the downstream lower riparian states are also very near their full reservoir level (FRL) and no storage is possible in many of the dams in downstream reaches, especially in the Krishna basin. Anupam Kashyapi, head of weather, IMD Pune, told TOI that there are chances of heavy rains at isolated place in the Ghats of Pune and Satara till September 6 and Kolhapur on September 3. “As dams in these locations are already filled to the brim, the impending heavy rains may create a problem especially in the low-lying areas,” he said. Heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places has been forecast for Konkan and Goa and heavy rains at isolated places have been forecast in Madhya Maharashtra during the next four days, till September 6. “Several weather conditions may contribute to the heavy rains, including the approaching monsoon low from the Bay of Bengal, the monsoon trough’s likely shift to the south of its normal position, chance of the formation of an upper air cyclonic circulation over north Maharashtra and westerly winds from the Arabian Sea picking up speed,” said Kashyapi. With the increase in wind speed during the next few days, copious moisture is expected to be dragged towards Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra. “Also, an off shore trough off the Karnataka and Kerala coast may extend up to the Maharashtra coast in the coming days, aiding the heavy rains. Closely packed isobars over the Arabian Sea will further help the monsoon to remain active in Maharashtra during the next few days,” he said.



Retd. Colonel Fires in Air to save Security Guard from Assailants


Pune: A retired army colonel fired a round in the air from his licensed pistol to disperse three men, including his former driver, assaulting a watchman of his housing society at Kadnagar in Undri on Sunday night. Later, when the police arrived on the scene, the colonel had to misfire another round for removing a bullet, which was stuck in the pistol magazine, before handing over the firearm and remaining bullets to the police for investigation. The watchman, Mohammad Mainulla Shahidali Siddiqui (26), was admitted in a hospital with severe head injuries and a fractured leg. The Kondhwa police have arrested Suresh Vrundavan Mandal (30) and Avinash Sitaram Nikam (20), two of the three assailants, for attempted murder and launched a hunt for the third suspect. On Monday, the police secured the arrested duo’s custodial remand till September 4 from a city court. “Mandal was working as a driver with the colonel till recently,” the police said. The colonel, who did not wish to be named, told TOI, “The society gate where the assault took place is located close to the building where I stay on the first floor. On Sunday night, I heard some commotion and came out in the balcony. This is when I saw Mandal and two others attacking Siddiqui. A group of 20-25 outsiders had also entered the society gate and were pelting stones”. “Sensing trouble, I came down with my firearm. I first appealed to the attackers as well as the intruders to stop the violence. When they continued with the assault, I fired one round in the air from my pistol to save the watchman,” the colonel said.



Sub-inspector Santosh Shinde of the Kondhwa police told TOI, “The colonel had recently removed Mandal from the service as he would often show up drunk and create ruckus. Around 8.30pm on Sunday, Mandal came to the society and started creating a scene. Siddiqui, who was then guarding the society gate, reported the matter to the colonel who reached the gate and asked Mandal to leave the place immediately”. “Mandal, however, assaulted three other colleagues of Siddiqui before fleeing. The three injured then left the place for securing treatment from a nearby medical facility. Later, Mandal returned with Nikam and another man and the trio launched an attack on Siddiqui with iron rods and wooden sticks. This is when the colonel came out of his house on hearing the commotion,” Shinde said. “On witnessing Siddiqui bleeding profusely from the head, the colonel asked Mandal and the two others to stop attacking the watchman. The trio, however, did not pay any heed to him and continued with their assault. That is when, the colonel pulled out his licensed pistol and fired a round in the air. The sound of firing had a desired effect as the three assailants dispersed from the spot,” the officer added. “We have registered an offence under sections 307 (attempted murder), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code against the three suspects and will record the colonel’s statement in due course,” Shinde said, adding, “The colonel has already handed over his firearm, bullets and photocopies of his firearm license and other relevant documents”.



Pashan, Dattawadi Residents Die of Swine Flu, Death Toll Rises to 52


Pune: Two women a forty-year-old resident of Pashan and a 65-year-old from Dattawadi succumbed to swine flu-induced complications in city hospitals in the past three days. With this, the number of casualties of the H1N1 virus this year has increased to 52. The Pashan resident developed an influenza-like illness on August 27; she had a cough and a fever. She was admitted to Jupiter hospital on August 29. She was initially on supplementary oxygen support. However, when her breathlessness did not improve, she was put on ventilator support on August 29. “She had tested positive for swine flu and succumbed on August 30,” said Jupiter hospital’s medical superintendent Vikas Patil. The woman was on regular treatment for schizophrenia and hypothyroidism, doctors said. The Dattawadi resident developed a fever with chills on August 20. Her condition later worsened, as she developed breathlessness. She was admitted to Kashibai Navale Medical College and Hospital in Narhe on August 26. She had a history of diabetes and hypertension. “She tested positive for swine flu, developed H1N1-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome and died on August 29,” a doctor said. “Delayed treatment and over-reactive immune response to viral infections are mainly the reasons why people die of swine flu,” senior physician D B Kadam, who is on the state government’s technical committee on swine flu, said.



Doctors said it was extremely important to initiate antiviral medication within the first 48 hours of the infection’s onset. “During season like this, a patient should consult a doctor even for cough and cold,” Kadam said, adding it was crucial to check the virus before it got attached to cells of the lungs. “It will then become very difficult to control the damage to the lungs,” Kadam added. Any delay in starting oseltamivir (Tamiflu or Fluvir) can allow the infection to easily spread to the lungs. “This can lead to development of pneumonia, which could further hamper the absorption of oxygen into the blood. That is how the condition of a swine flu patient becomes critical,” Kadam said. Normal partial pressure of oxygen in blood should be around 98-110mm of mercury. This concentration of oxygen drops in a patient with pneumonia. “To improve the condition, nasal-oxygen is provided initially. If that fails, mask oxygen is used. If both methods fail, we must use a non-invasive ventilator. The last resort is putting the patient on full ventilator support,” he said, adding that ventilator-related complications, like acute respiratory distress syndrome and bacterial co-infection, were common among patients.



International News



Flash Floods Kill 6 Desis at Kenya Park



Kenyan authorities have suspended visits to the gorges of the famous Hell’s Gate National park in the Rift Valley on Monday after a flash flood killed at least six tourists and their driver. Five Kenyans of Indian descent, an Indian national and their Kenyan driver died in the Sunday evening tragedy, said a spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Service. Search and rescue efforts were underway for any possible survivor but water levels were high in the gorges.

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