News Flash – 4 December 2018

National News



3 arrested for bid to rob cash van outside ATM in Kandivli



Mumbai: Two persons were arrested from Bihar and one from Mumbai in connection with the attempted robbery of a cash van outside an ATM at Kandivli’s Lokhandwala Complex. The men were carrying guns but escaped when the van staff resisted. The accused have been identified as Garfield Menezes (45) from Dahisar, Shivam Mishra (20) from Jaunpur in UP and Mohammad Nirale (21) from Allahabad. A pistol, a country made revolver, 14 live cartridges and two scooters were seized. Mishra and Nirale had gone to the ATM and were captured on camera. Mishra works in a garage, while Nirale repairs Tyres.



Fire scorches 3km of Aarey Colony, blazes towards residences



Mumbai: A massive fire erupted on the outskirts of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Goregaon on Monday evening. Officials said the fire spread across 3km in Aarey Colony and inched towards nearby buildings. The blaze was doused around 11.30pm, said fire officials. “The flames were 500m from the residential area,” said chief fire officer PS Rahangdale, adding that over 70 fire personnel were deployed to douse the blaze. But residents of Royal Hills Society claimed the fire was 15m from their complex. Fire officials said the blaze spread due to the vast open area, dry leaves and winds. There were no reports of anyone being trapped. “Fire vehicles were unable to enter the forest and tree branches had to be used to beat the flames down. As the fire was spreading, we had asked the disaster management control to intimate police stations in the surrounding areas to evacuate Tribals and cattle inside,” Rahangdale said. Initially, four fire engines and jumbo water tankers were rushed to the site but by night, the fire brigade had increased the number of fire engines and water tankers to 10 and seven. An ambulance was also rushed to the spot.


Rahangdale said that as the fire spread towards New Mhada Colony and New Dindoshi Green Hill Society in Goregaon (E) (see map), fire vehicles were diverted from Film City. The land where the fire has erupted belongs to F E Dinshaw trust property and has been taken over by Raheja builders. It lies in the Dindoshi Hills between SGNP and Aarey Colony. Goregaon resident Amlan Dutta said the flames seemed to be spreading rapidly. “We can see fire-fighters making efforts to contain the blaze and ensure it does not spread towards residential localities”. SGNP director Anwar Ahmed said the fire started around 6.30pm on a private property on the outskirts of SGNP. “We have sent forest guards and officials to the area where the fire started. The area has a lot of dry grass”. Animal activist and wildlife warden Sunish Subramanian said his volunteers sent him photographs of the blaze. “Fires are reported in forests during winter as grass grows and miscreants set it on fire.



Cops stop Bunty & Babli in tracks with Rs.1.3 lakhs booty after 11 thefts

Shabnam Shaikh used to board or alight from trains, unzip handbags of commuters and make off with money, jewellery or cellphones. Prashant Jadhav would sell them and they would share the money.



Mumbai: You could call them the Bunty and Babli of the railways. Shabnam Shaikh (36) and Prashant Jadhav (39) had escaped the long arm of the law on 10 occasions but the thieves were not so lucky this time, as surveillance cameras captured them in the act at Kurla station recently. Shaikh and Jadhav have been arrested with stolen valuables worth Rs 1.3 lakhs. A commuter, Priyanka Tigde (29), was boarding a second class compartment of a Down slow local from platform 1 at Kurla around 10.15pm, when someone unzipped her handbag and made off with her Rs. 55,000 cellphones on November 23. As soon as Tigde discovered the phone was missing, she dashed off to the GRP outpost. “Tigde told us that she suspected a woman who had boarded the compartment right after her and stood behind her for a short while. We immediately scanned CCTV footage of the platform and found an image of the suspect. Our suspicion was strengthened when the suspect could be seen alighting from the train and approaching a man, handing him an object,” said senior inspector Mahesh Balwantrao, Kurla GRP.


Police tracked the IMEI number of the stolen cellphone through service providers and got Shaikh’s address. “We found out that Shaikh had separated from two spouses earlier and was living with Jadhav, at present at Koparkhairane. They were both arrested from home and Tigde’s phone was recovered,” said Balwantrao. On interrogation, police found a high-end cellphone and a gold bracelet the couple had stolen earlier. “Shaikh used to board or alight from compartments, unzip handbags of vulnerable commuters and make off with money, jewellery or cellphones. Jadhav would sell them and they would share the money,” said a police officer. Shaikh also confessed to committing crimes solo since 2016. Police said she had stolen mobile phones worth Rs. 46,000 in five cases besides a pair of gold earrings and Rs5,000 without Jadhav’s involvement.



Two held for stealing cash bags from Metro scanners


New Delhi: Delhi Metro Police have solved multiple thefts after designing an “electronic route” using CCTV footage at stations. The cases involved foreign nationals losing their bags containing large amount of dollars and euros, apart from other valuables. Two men have been arrested in separate operations. The thefts were carried out at the baggage scanners installed at metro stations, DCP (Metro) Dinesh Gupta said. While 19-year-old Aman Singh, an employee at a toy shop at Terminal-2 of IGI airport, has been arrested for targeting women passengers, the other accused, Dilip Singh, a contractual employee at the income tax department, was nabbed for robbing passengers on the Khan Market-Nehru Place route. On November 24, a woman named Aiman from Tanzania had reported that her purse had been stolen from the scanning machine at IGI metro station. “The grey purse contained around 9,400 US dollars, Rs 5000, passport, an iPhone and a Samsung S6 Edge phone, apart from gold jewellery,” Gupta said. A team led by ACP Prashant Chaudhary and SHO Vivekanand spotted a youth picking up the bag from the scanner in the CCTV footage. After tracking his movements, the cops suspected the involvement of employees. DMRC staffers and CISF officials were also interviewed for clues and the team zeroed in on the toy shop at T2 from where Aman Singh, a diploma holder in civil aviation hospitality, was arrested.


Singh disclosed that he targeted women passengers coming from T3 to IGI metro station. “The accused would pick up the bags of women from the scanner when they went for frisking,” Gupta added. The accused also confessed to having targeted a woman named Anjana who lost her purse containing PAN card, debit card, gold earrings, mobile phone and Rs 15,000 on November 18. The other incident occurred on November 27 when a Spaniard, Oscar Merino Lubian, from Barcelona reported theft of his bag containing his wallet, headphones, credit card, driving licence, Euros and Rs 20,000 when he put it in the scanner of Khan Market metro station. A team led by inspector Anil Pandey was formed to crack the case, Gupta said. Cops scanned CCTV footage from a dozen metro stations between Khan Market and Laxmi Nagar in which the man was identified from a camera installed near the automatic fare collection gate. The footage was circulated in WhatsApp groups of all Delhi Metro police stations and cops in plainclothes were deployed at Laxmi Nagar metro station. After two days, the suspect was spotted entering Laxmi Nagar metro station and nabbed. The accused, Dilip Singh, is a resident of Indirapuram and worked at the I-T office at Laxmi Nagar, police said.



Robotic canines may replace CISF Dogs at Airports

Industrial canines can sniff explosives at airports as well as X-ray scan the luggage of passengers with their eyes.



New Delhi: The German shepherds, Labradors or Belgian Malinois used by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in airport security could soon be a thing of the past as they now have competition from a factory-built dog. These industrial canines can sniff explosives at the airports as well as X-ray scan the luggage of passengers with their eyes, according to officials familiar with technology programs of CISF. The use of “robotic canines” came up in discussions at the Global Aviation Security Symposium 2018 held at Montreal, Canada this week attended by CISF DG Rajesh Ranjan and additional DG M A Ganapathy, also incharge of aviation security at airports across India. Currently, robots can be found at the airports of several developed countries like the UK, the US, Canada, Japan, Korea etc. for various purposes including passenger information and security checks. Officials said CISF attended the global aviation symposium organised by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for the first time last week and had fruitful bilateral discussions with European Union nations and other ICAO members. “We already have a tie-up with Transport Security Administration (TSA) of the United States but now we have a capacity building pact with the EU as well, which will help us explore a lot about new technologies and methods of securing our airports,” said an officer.


Apart from robot canines, use of CT scan based screening of hand-luggage, cabin baggage, artificial intelligence, state-of-the-art explosive detectors and biometric control access were also discussed at the meetings. Indian agencies largely depend a lot on manpower for the security checks but CISF, wants to adapt new technologies considering the global threat to the aviation sector, increasing air travels and new methods of smuggling drugs, gold, explosives etc. via air. South Asia’s largest aviation security force, CISF guards 61 airports across the country and has already started biometrics system at some airports and it is testing full body scanners. The force also guards Delhi Metro, space and nuclear installations, sensitive government buildings and oil and natural gas facilities and has been rated one of the best in providing industrial security. An official pointed out that the points discussed at the ICAO symposium are usually binding on the member countries, which means CISF will have to continue its efforts to adopt technologies in coming years. In the two-day symposium, aviation security experts from various countries discussed the need of effective risk awareness, robust application of enhanced security measures in the wake of emerging threats and the need for establishment of a stronger aviation security oversight regime capacity building through training of human resources etc.



MHA launches ‘Cyber Dost’ for online Safety



New Delhi: The government is advising adolescents to be cautious when an online chat partner showers them with too many compliments on their appearance in a short span of acquaintance. Or not get aggressive with a cyber-bully but politely tell him to stop, failing which he must be blocked and, if needed, one’s parents alerted. These are some useful tips from ‘cyber dost’, an illustrated e-handbook put together by the home ministry to educate pre-teens and teens on risks like cyber bullying, cyber grooming, online gaming, email fraud. The booklet, prepared in consultation with cyber security experts, was uploaded on the home ministry website on Monday. “Children are highly vulnerable as they are exposed to cyber space with limited understanding of cyber threats and safeguards. While experimenting is a good way to learn, it is important proper guidance is provided to children so that they can protect from adverse impact of cyber technology,” it said.



Moderate rain likely in city for two days


Chennai: After a fortnight’s lull, the city is likely to get light to moderate rain or thundershower in some places including suburbs on Tuesday and Wednesday. The rain, triggered by a trough that has formed near the coast, started on Monday evening when different parts of the city received isolated drizzle or mild rain. The city received 3mm rain between 5.30pm and 10.30pm. A forecast by met department says the city and its suburbs Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur should get rain on Monday night and on Tuesday. A forecast for 24hours says there is a possibility of thundershower in some areas of the city. ECR and OMR areas received good rain in the evening which gradually spread to other areas. However, private weather blogger Pradeep John cautioned that the trough was not due to low pressure or cyclone and that there was no reason to panic. “Easterly wave or trough will bring rain to Chennai till December 6. The hot spots for this spell are Tiruvallur district, Nellore, Chittoor and south of Chennai in Kancheepuram district around ECR -Kancheepuram belt and delta regions will have chance of heavy rains,” said Pradeep John. A weather inference by the met department said, “A low pressure area is likely to form over equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal around December 6”. Though there may be some spell of heavy rain in some parts of the city, the rain may not be enough to fill the city’s reservoirs. South Tamil Nadu including Tuticorin and Kanyakumari are expected to get rains.



International News



Paramedics, students join protests in France

FRANCE IS BURNING: The ‘yellow vest’ protests began last month.



Paris: Anti-government protesters gained new allies on Monday as French paramedics and students joined ongoing rallies while the prime minister met with political rivals in a bid to ease the anger following riots that rocked Paris. Facing the most serious crisis since his election in May 2017, President Emmanuel Macron remained silent but met with police officers to offer them support after “a day of unprecedented violence,” the Elysee palace said. On Saturday, more than 130 people were injured and 412 arrested in the French capital amid one of the worst waves of unrest in the country in recent years. Police responded with tear gas and water cannons, closing down dozens of streets and subway stations to contain the riot. The “yellow vest” movement — led by protesters wearing the distinctively coloured roadside safety vests used by motorists is bringing together people from across the political spectrum complaining about France’s economic inequalities and waning spending power. More protests took place on Monday in Paris, as dozens of ambulances blocked a bridge leading to the National Assembly. Lines of riot police stood in the rain to prevent them from getting too close to the building. The paramedics who joined the demonstrations are complaining about changes to working conditions.


Students opposing education reforms also joined in, blocking dozens of high schools across France, according to French media reports. Clashes between protesters and police officers took place again on Monday on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, where demonstrations have been particularly violent in recent weeks. Macron, just back from the Group of 20 summit in Argentina, held an emergency meeting Sunday on security. The government hasn’t ruled out the possibility of imposing a state of emergency. Saturday’s rioting was the third straight weekend of clashes in Paris. The protests began last month with motorists upset over a fuel tax increase and have grown to include a range of complaints that Macron’s government doesn’t care about the problems of ordinary people. During Monday’s protest by paramedics, some demonstrators set fire to a small pile of debris and blocked traffic. One activist held up a sign reading “The State killed me,” and others chanted “Macron resign”.

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