News Flash – 31 October 2017

National News



Duo stabs ATM cash van staffer, flees with Rs 18.5 lakh

Staffer Sagar (inset) was stabbed by the gang near ATM kiosk at Jalahalli Cross On S Mukherjee Road.



BENGALURU: It was 6.30am on Monday when two employees of Secure Value, a cash-logistics firm, were walking towards an ICICI ATM a few metres from Jalahalli Cross on S Mukherjee Road. Sagar and Prasanna Shekhar were carrying a cash bag with Rs 18.5 lakh, and their company vehicle loaded with Rs 1.26 crore waited for them. The duo was almost at the ATM’s doorstep when a black Bajaj Pulsar-220CC stopped near Sagar. A startled Sagar saw the rider and his pillion in full-face helmets. In seconds, the pillion rider whipped out a knife and gestured to Sagar to part with the bag. “I tried to run back to the vehicle, but the pillion rider caught hold of my shirt. I resisted. He stabbed me twice in the chest. I eased my grip on the bag and the pillion rider snatched it,” Sagar told police. The motorcycle sped towards Soladevanahalli on Tumakuru highway. Prasanna alerted the police control room. They called for an ambulance and shifted Sagar to Sparsh Hospital in Goraguntepalya. Sagar, from Nandini Layout, has been shifted out of ICU and is said to be stable.


Police said it was a well-executed heist, and the culprits possibly knew the cash logistics firm’s operational details. DCP (North) Chetan Singh Rathor told TOI they have scanned CCTV footage from the surrounding areas. “Three special teams led by assistant commissioner of police have been formed to nab the miscreants,” he said. Senior police officers said neither the ATM nor the Secure Value vehicle had a gunman. Secure Value, located behind APMC Yard in Yeshwantpur, fills cash for 25 ATMs in and around Yeshwantpur. The ICICI ATM was custodian Mohan’s first assignment of the day. Mohan and driver Prasanna Shekhar, 27, are from Laggere. The trio had joined the cash logistics firm in late 2016.



Mumbai-Delhi business class flyer plants bomb note in toilet

Security personnel on vigil as the Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight made an emergency landing at the Ahmedabad airport on Monday morning.



MUMBAI/NEW DELHI/AHMEDABAD: In an incident that sent India’s security agencies into high alert, a Jet Airways aircraft on its way from Mumbai to Delhi was diverted to Ahmedabad in the early hours of Monday after an anonymous letter ordering that the flight be flown straight to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) was found in the business-class toilet by a member of the crew. The threat letter on the Boeing 737-900 flight that took off from Mumbai at 2.55am with 115 passengers and seven crew members said there were 12 hijackers on board and if the aircraft landed in Delhi, a bomb placed in its cargo hold would be detonated. When it did an emergency landing in Ahmedabad at 5.30am, the top brass of the security agencies, who had gathered in Mumbai, Delhi and at Ahmedabad airport in readiness to handle a hijack, found the threat to be a hoax.



Delhi: Over 750 dengue cases in past week, say civic bodies



NEW DELHI: Delhi has registered a total of 753 fresh cases of dengue in the past one week taking the total number of confirmed cases this year to 6,623. One death caused by dengue was reported last week, taking the death toll to four this year as per the latest report by the municipal corporations. The number of malaria and chikungunya cases reported in the past week is 9 and 621, taking the total to 1,082 and 752, respectively. While senior officials from municipal corporations claim that they have been carrying out checks for breeding and that the number of cases have declined in past few weeks. Out of the 753 dengue cases, 388 cases have been reported from Delhi and the remaining are from other states. “There has been a decline in the number of cases compared to that of last few years. We have been constantly checking households and issuing challans for positive mosquito breeding,” said a senior official. As per the report, about 23,64,687 households have been sprayed by the three corporations and over 3 crore households have been checked by the domestic breeding checkers. “Out of the total household checked, around 1.7 lakh households were found positive for breeding grounds and we have issued legal notices to around 1.4 lakh households. There are repeated offenders and we have issued additional fine to them,” said a senior official.



Gurugram: 15 men barge into bar, shoot at 2 Bouncers to avenge assault in past

The attack at S-Bar in Grand Mall on MG Road, happened between 10.30pm and 11.15 pm on Sunday.



GURUGRAM: Over a dozen men, armed with pistols and lathis, barged into a bar on MG Road, shot at two employees, leaving them seriously injured and thrashed others in a late Sunday night attacks. The assailants also damaged an escalator and broke glass windows in the lower basement of Grand Mall, where S-Baris located, and ran riot for around 45 minutes, before a police team came in and arrested two of them. The attack was apparently planned to avenge an assault on one of the assailants inside the same bar around a month ago. Parminder Yadav and Parveen Singh, who work as bouncers at S-Bar, suffered bullet injuries in their legs and have been admitted to Artemis hospital. While Amit and Mintu were produced in a city court that remanded them in judicial custody on Monday, their other associates are still absconding. But the police claimed to have identified 8 of them based on the footage recovered from the CCTV cameras installed inside the bar and the mall. On Sunday, a group of 12-15 people, apparently led by Amit, entered the bar and started beating the employees with lathis. Three-four of them also opened fire, injuring the two. The CCTV footage also showed a group of men, with lathis in hand, running after some people while a few others firing shots. Bar manager Suraj Sharma said that they were busy attending guests around 10.30pm on Sunday when the assailants forced their way into the bar and started firing. “We ran for life as we didn’t have any weapons. Bar’s co-owner Deepak Kumar called police, who arrived within 10 minutes and controlled the situation. The entire chaos panned out between 10.30pm and 11.15 pm,” he added.


Preliminary investigation revealed Amit, allegedly the mastermind behind Sunday’s attack, had also come to S-Bar on September 29, when he had a tiff with some employees there. He had later filed a complaint with the police, accusing Parminder, Parveen and four others of assaulting him. Subsequently, the six were arrested under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. However, all of them were granted bail later. So, Amit apparently wanted to settle the score himself. Asked about the September 29 incident, Sharma said that a month ago, Amit had come to the outlet and sat atop the bar counter. “When we requested him to get off, he got physical and our bouncers defended,” he claimed. Sharma also alleged that the assailants had been working as bouncers in a nearby mall. Inspector Vikas Kaushik (of Sector 29 police station), who is investigating the case, said Amit had a dispute with the bar owners and employees earlier. “Amit had been trying to take revenge for some time. Finally, he did it on Sunday night. It appears to be a planned attempt,” said Kaushik. An FIR has been registered under sections 147 (rioting), 148(rioting armed with deadly weapons), 149 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC and 25 and 27 of the Arms Act. Police are yet to recover the firearms used in the attack. “Probe is on and we are yet to ascertain who all were using the firearms,” said Kaushik. “We are expected to make more arrests soon. There are some youths from Faridabad who were among the assailants,” said Deepak Saharan, DCP (East).



Man held for duping elderly people at ATM



HYDERABAD: SR Nagar police on Monday arrested a fraudster who was duping people at the ATM centres by diverting their attention. In the guise of helping the victims, the accused used to swap their debit cards with defunct ones and withdraw cash later. After receiving a series of complaints, cops checked the CCTV footages and identified the offender as M Veeraiah Chowdary , 33, a pharma company employee from Kukatpally. He was caught at SBI‘s Balkampet branch. Under the guise of helping elderly people, Veeraiah used to note down their PIN and later swap their debit cards with defunct ones. After swapping the cards, Veeraiah used to withdraw cash from the victim’s bank accounts. The accused committed nine offences at SR Nagar, Sanathnagar, Pet Basheerabad, Miyapur and Chandanagar and withdrew `3.75 lakh. Cops recovered Rs. 3.5 lakh from his possession.



Rain: Holiday declared for schools in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts; Chennai colleges also to remain closed

The education department took a decision on Monday evening after weathermen said there would be heavy to very heavy rainfall in the city till Friday.



CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government declared a holiday for all schools in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts on Tuesday due to forecast of heavy rain. The education department took a decision on Monday evening after weathermen said there would be heavy to very heavy rainfall in the city till Friday. Colleges in Chennai district will remain closed on Tuesday due to rain, collector announced on Monday night.



International News



Magnitude 7.0 undersea quake hits near New Caledonia, no tsunami trigger



A major undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.0 struck close to New Caledonia in the South Pacific on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said. The quake, which was at a shallow depth of 9.3 miles (15 km)below the seabed, did not trigger a tsunami, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii and the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre. The epicenter was located 73 miles (117.48 km) east of the town of Tadine, on the Loyalty Islands, part of France’s New Caledonia territory. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.  A spokesman for the government in Noumea, the New Caledonia capital, and staff of two hotels contacted by Reuters said they did not feel the quake.



UN official: Over 13 million people inside Syria need aid



United Nations: More than 13 million people inside Syria still need humanitarian assistance and nearly half are in “acute need” as a result of having fled their homes, of hostilities, and of limited access to food, health care and other basic needs, the UN humanitarian chief has said. Mark Lowcock told the Security Council the number of Syrians who have been displaced within the country for a long time has dropped from 6.3 million to 6.1 million. But he said “levels of new displacement remain high,” with 1.8 million people reportedly forced to leave between January and September. Since just the offensive began in November 2016 that ousted the Islamic State extremist group from the city of Raqqa, its self-proclaimed capital, airstrikes and clashes resulted in over 436,000 people being displaced to 60 different locations, Lowcock said, speaking via video conference from Amman, Jordan. In the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, he said, heavy fighting and airstrikes continue to cause civilian deaths and injuries as well as large-scale displacement. The International Organization for Migration reported some 350,000 people forced to flee since August, including more than 250,000 in October, he said. Lowcock said airstrikes on the city of Al Mayadin in Deir el-Zour in mid-October left hospitals and medical facilities “inoperable,” depriving about 15,000 people of health care. He said the UN children’s agency UNICEF and the World Health Organization reported that the attacks destroyed a cold room where at least 140,000 doses of UN provided measles and polio vaccines were destroyed.


“This is a particular setback for efforts to check one of the world’s largest polio outbreaks in recent memory, an outbreak which continues to plague Deir el-Zour in particular, with new cases continuing to be reported,” Lowcock said. He said nearly 3 million people continue to live in besieged and hard-to-reach areas where the UN faces “considerable challenges” in meeting humanitarian needs. Lowcock said there was an expectation that progress in de-escalating fighting would result in increased humanitarian access but “this has yet to materialise”. On average, he said, only 10 percent of people in besieged locations were reached with UN assistance every month this year. In the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, “one of the four de-escalated areas where nearly 95 percent of Syria’s besieged population lives,” shelling has been reported in recent weeks and humanitarian access has been severely curtailed for months, Lowcock said. “Since the start of the year, 110,000 people have received food assistance, out of an estimated population of nearly 400,000,” he said. “Today, the UN and partners delivered food, nutrition and health assistance to 40,000 people”. Lowcock said “an alarming number of child malnutrition cases” have been reported in eastern Ghouta and more than 400 people with health problems need medical evacuation. Britain’s UN ambassador, Matthew Rycroft, called the situation in eastern Ghouta “atrocious,” saying de-escalation should not mean bombardment. “What we fear is that the de-escalation zone is becoming a starvation zone,” Rycroft said. “So we call on the Syrian regime and their allies to lift the blockade to allow humanitarian aid to get through”.

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