News Flash – 31 January 2018

National News



ATM cash van driver and colleague escape with Rs 90 Lakh

Police registered a case of theft against the duo following a complaint by Raghunath B, an official of CMS Securities.



BENGALURU: A driver with a cash logistics firm and his colleague sped away with a van ferrying Rs 90 lakh to ATMs in west Bengaluru on Monday evening. The vehicle was found abandoned on the city outskirts without the cash. Narayana Swamy, 45, of Uttarahalli and driver with CMS Securities, and cash loader Narasimha Raju, 28, of Hebbur in Tumakuru district, sent gunman Nataraj, 60, assigned to their vehicle to fetch bananas at Jnanajyothi Circle, near Jnanabharathi, before fleeing around 4.45pm. Police registered a case of theft against the duo following a complaint by Raghunath B, an official of CMS Securities. The trio was assigned to collect money from various client-banks and load it into ATM kiosks in south and west Bengaluru. They collected about Rs 2.15 crore from SBI, Syndicate Bank and HDFC Bank branches in Hosakerehalli, Seetha Circle, Srinivasa Nagar, Girinagar, Bull Temple Road, Gandhi Bazaar, VV Puram, Pantara Palya and Rajarajeshwari Nagar. Security guard in van was sent to buy bananas.


They loaded around Rs 1.25 crore into various ATM kiosks and their Tata Sumo with Rs 90 lakh arrived at Jnanajyoti Circle around 4.45pm. Narayana Swamy stopped the van near a private school behind the Jnanabharathi campus and asked security guard, Nataraj, to get bananas for them. Nataraj got down from the vehicle to purchase bananas. He returned to find the vehicle missing. He rushed to his office and informed his superiors about the incident. Police said the duo reached an isolated area at Machohalli, Ramanagara district, abandoned the vehicle and fled with the money. Police were alerted about the vehicle late at night by passersby. They rushed to the spot and seized it. CMS staff and police tried to contact the duo on their phones, but they were unreachable.



Fire erupts in shop in Dongri, 4 injured



MUMBAI: Four people were injured after a fire erupted in a shop at JB Shah Marg in Dongri’s Mohammad Manzil on Tuesday. The incident happened at 12.30am. The four who have been injured in the incident – Aslam Hussain Bhabi, 45, Faheer Ahmed, 19, Sohail Hassan Bhabi, 30, Hazarimal Gupta, 30, have suffered around 25 per cent burns. They were rushed to JJ hospital and are undergoing treatment. The condition of the victims is stable, said civic officials.


After Rs 23 lakh theft, domestic help with 21 police cases held



MUMBAI: A 33-year-old woman who used to take up jobs at plush apartments and allegedly clean them out over the next few days, has been arrested by the police. Bharti alias Narmada Khan, the accused, knows a smattering of different languages. The police said Bharti used to change her look or take up a disguise before heading for a new job. The police said there were 21 criminal cases registered against her at various police stations in the city. Bharti had an inter-faith marriage and has children. She separated from her husband and now lives with her partner near Mulund check naka. On January 25, the Dindoshi police station received a complaint about a flat in the Gokuldham area of Goregaon having been looted of valuables worth Rs 22.85 lakh. This included 820 gm of gold ornaments and Rs 32,000 in cash. The incident had occurred between January 19 and 25. When the police spoke to the owners, they learnt that a maid named Bharti had been hired on January 21. The owners had not run any check on Bharti’s antecedents. They did not have her full name, address or photograph. They had not kept a copy of her identity card.


“We tracked down Bharti to her residence. She was arrested on January 26 and 560 gm of stolen gold jewellery worth Rs 16 lakh was recovered from her,” said senior inspector Rajaram Vanmane, Dindoshi police. Bharti was booked under Section 381 of the IPC (theft by servant). A magistrate court remanded her in police custody till January 31. On making inquiries, the police learnt that Bharti had been booked in three cases at the Amboli police station and three at the Oshiwara police station. She had been booked in 15 cases at Nagpada, Colaba, Navghar, Matunga, Cuffe Parade, Versova, Shivaji Park and Andheri police stations. “We want to appeal to citizens to take the police help and check the antecedents of their domestic staff. It’s also necessary to maintain their photograph, full name, address and a copy of their identity card,” said Vanmane.



Fire beside tracks delays several trains


AHMEDABAD: A major fire in a dead high-tension cable passing near railway tracks forced the railways to suspend train movements toward Sabarmati railway station. The fire began in the cable duct. Railway officials deputed a team of four high-level technical officers of Ahmedabad Division to inquire into the incident. Fire officials said it is very likely that garbage and other waste may have accumulated near the dead cable and caught fire, resulting in the incident. Railway officials said that because of the fire, train movements from Sabarmati and toward Sabarmati railway station were affected. Several trains to Rajkot and Delhi were affected. Ashram Express, scheduled to leave Ahmedabad station at 6.30pm, was nearly one hour late. Railway officials said the track was found fit for use at around 7.15 pm after which train movements re-started. The Surat-Jamnagar intercity departing at 8.10pm and the Gandhinagar-Indore train, which was to depart Sabarmati at 7.01pm were late by around 18 minutes. Jayesh Khadia, deputy chief fire officer, said the fire started in the electric cables laid below the railway track. “We consulted railway and electricity company authorities to understand the mechanism and then started the operation. The flames were doused in half an hour,” he said.



International News



Floods peak in Paris as France sees worst rains in 50 years


PARIS: Floodwaters peaked in Paris on Monday and were threatening towns downstream as the rain-engorged Seine River winds through Normandy toward the English Channel. Rivers swollen by France’s heaviest rains in 50 years have engulfed romantic quays in Paris, swallowed up gardens and roads, halted riverboat cruises — and raised concerns about climate change. The Meteo France weather service said January has seen nearly double normal rainfall nationwide, and the rains in the past two months are the highest measured for the period in 50 years. “I’m amazed. I’ve come to Paris since 1965, most years, and I’ve never seen the Seine as high,” said Terry Friberg, visiting from Boston. “I love Paris with all my heart but I’m very worried about the level of the river”. Flood monitoring agency Vigicrues said the water levels in Paris hit a maximum height of 5.84 meters (19 feet, 2 inches) on the Austerlitz scale early Monday. That’s below initial fears last week, and well below record levels of 8.62 meters in 1910, but still several meters above normal levels of about 1.5 meters on the Austerlitz scale. And the waters are expected to stay unusually high for days or weeks. That’s bad news for tourists hoping to cruise past Paris sites on the famed “bateaux mouches” riverboats, or visit the bottom floor of the Louvre Museum, closed since last week as a precaution. Riverside train stations along the line that serves Versailles are also closed, and will remain that way for several more days. Water laps the underside of historic bridges, and treetops and lampposts poke out of the brown, swirling Seine.


South African tourist Michael Jelatis, visiting Notre Dame Cathedral on an island in central Paris, was among many people linking the floods to global warming, blamed for increasing instances of extreme weather. “Around the world we’re all aware that things like this, unusual weather, are happening. I mean back home we are in a serious drought at the moment as well,” he told The Associated Press. Overall, Paris is better prepared than when it was last hit by heavy flooding in 2016, and Parisians have largely taken disruptions in stride this time. Other towns on the surging Seine have seen it much worse. The floods have caused damage in 242 towns along the river and tributaries already and more warnings are in place as the high waters move downstream. In Lagny-sur-Marne south of Paris, Serge Pinon now has to walk on a makeshift footbridge to reach his home and its flooded surroundings. His basement is submerged in water; as are the plants he was trying to grow in a backyard greenhouse tent. He lost a freezer, a refrigerator, a washing machine and dryer to flood waters. “We’re up to the maximum, maximum and now we’re just waiting for it to go down,” he said. “This year the flood has risen more rapidly than usual. Here it usually rises in a regular fashion and we have the time to see it coming we can save things. But this time it rose too quickly”. Elsewhere in the town, street signs stick out of the water and a lonely boat floats in the Marne River, once accessible from the riverbank but now unreachable on foot. Mayor Jean-Paul Michel said that residents are used to seasonal floods, but this one is exceptionally long-lasting, now in its third week. “So it goes on and on, and we think it’s going to carry on for (another) long week before the flood starts subsiding,” he said.



Activists: Gov’t attacks kill civilians in northern Myanmar



BANGKOK: Government air strikes and shelling of ethnic Kachin rebels in northern Myanmar have killed five civilians and wounded more than a dozen others since the weekend, a lawmaker and activists said Tuesday. The government offensive has also trapped more than 3,000 other civilians, miners of amber and their families, in mineral-rich Kachin state, they said. Regional lawmaker La Seng said the injured included several civilians being treated at a hospital in Kachin state’s Tanai township. Local religious leader Je Di, a Baptist minister, said the miners were kept from fleeing to safer areas by military checkpoints blocking the roads out. Local civil society groups said they are negotiating with the northern army commander to try to rescue the trapped civilians. “The army commander has not given permission for us to go and evacuate these people who are trapped,” said Gum Ja of the Peace Talk Creation Group based in Kachin state. “This is not the first time the army is doing this and they don’t care that the lives of civilians are in their hands”.


The Kachin Independence Army, along with about a dozen other armed ethnic groups, has been fighting for greater autonomy from the central government. An uneasy peace ended in 2011 when fighting erupted between the Kachin army and the government military, leaving hundreds killed and more than 100,000 civilians displaced. Myanmar’s military has been accused of decades of human rights violations against ethnic minority groups. Most recently, it has been accused of abuses in what it calls “clearance operations” against ethnic Rohingya Muslims in the western state of Rakhine, from which nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh. The United Nations and the U.S describe the army’s crackdown as “ethnic cleansing”. Increasing hostilities in both Kachin state and Shan state, also in the north, have put at risk a national peace process led by Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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