News Flash – 5 February 2018

National News



3 shoot at cash van’s gunman, flee with Rs 10 lakh



NEW DELHI: Armed robbers fled with approximately Rs 10 lakhs cash after shooting the gunman of a cash van in his leg in Rohini Sector-5 on Saturday evening. The accused fled on a motorcycle after the heist. Police said that the incident happened around 4.50 pm near the DDA market in Rohini sector-5. The Maruti Eeco car was going back to the company after collecting cash from various locations across the capital. The gunman, Dinesh Kumar (33), was in the van along with the driver Shiv Kumar. The car belonged to a company from Chhatarpur in south Delhi. As per a preliminary probe, as the cash was being loaded from a dairy in front of Maharana Pratap School, three men on a motorcycle came and intercepted the van. One of them fired at Kumar in his leg when he was putting the cash bag into the van. As the gunman fell on the ground, the criminals grabbed the bag and fled. Kumar was taken to a nearby hospital where he received treatment. He is currently out of danger. DCP (Rohini) Rajneesh Gupta confirmed the incident and said that a case has been registered to further investigate the incident. Cops suspect that the accused knew the route taken by the van and may have been following it for some time before executing the heist. CCTV footage from the area has been taken to ascertain the identity of the accused and the make of their motorcycle. Police have also taken the list of current and former employees of the cash company to ascertain their involvement in the crime.



Fire breaks out at Indian Corporation warehouse in Bhiwandi


BHIWANDI: A major fire broke out in a warehouse in the Indian Corporation building situated in Mankoli area in Bhiwandi on Saturday. The fire took place in Voltas company’s warehouse situated in the building. The fire took place at around 3.30pm and it is yet to be doused as it is spreading due to blast in a Voltas refrigerator. A fire official said that the fire brigade vehicles – called from Kalyan, Dombivli, Ulhasnagar and Thane – were trying to douse the fire.



Rs 4.5 crore gold found under 2 aircraft seats, 3 passengers held



MUMBAI: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials seized nearly 16kg gold worth Rs 4.5 crore from under seats of an aircraft and three passengers were arrested at Mumbai airport on Saturday. The accused allegedly confessed to the crime and said they were promised money to hide the gold under two seats. Imran Tazneem, Fahad Shaikh and Dharmesh Soni told officials they did not know much about Mohammed ‘Bhai’, who had given them the consignment in Dubai, with instructions to conceal it under the seats, and someone was to collect it during a domestic journey of the aircraft. DRI officials picked them up for questioning after the aircraft landed at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and recovered the gold. They claimed they were also unaware about who was to collect the gold. Officials suspect that someone associated with them may have been told to board that flight at the city airport during its domestic journey and collect the gold. The flight was bound for Ahmedabad. Soni and Shaikh live in Mumbai, while Imran is from Delhi. Smugglers uses such modus operandi to avoid suspicion, as domestic passengers are generally not on the radar of government agencies, officials said. Air intelligence unit of Customs seized 15kg gold worth Rs 4 crore and arrested a Korean last week. He had arrived from Hong Kong. They found gold concealed in a specially-made pockets of his jacket



Man, his two wives booked for making hoax bomb calls



BENGALURU: A man and his two wives from Vaderahalli, near Vidyaranyapura, are on police radar for allegedly making prank calls about a Naxal woman and her associate planning to trigger explosions at Kempegowda International Airport. Police sources said the threat calls were made twice in three days last week to two police stations. Vidyaranyapura police inspector B Ramamurthy received the first call on January 24 from a person who identified himself as Prakash Rathod. The caller informed police that a Naxal woman, named Madhu, from Vaderahalli area had planned to plant bombs at Kempegowda International Airport. The caller further said another woman, Veena, was also part of the Naxal gang and even gave her address. Ramamurthy directed sub-inspector Annaiah to rush to Vaderahalli and questioned Veena.


“Veena told Annaiah that Prakash is her husband and she did not know anything about Madhu. She was dismissive and gave no further information,” a police officer said. After seeking legal opinion, Vidyaranyapura police registered a case against Prakash Rathod, Veena and Madhu on January 31. On January 27, the miscreants made a similar call to Yelahanka New Town police. This time sub-inspector Rakesh Bagali rushed to Vaderahalli and questioned Veena. She told police she is the second wife of Prakash and Madhu is his first wife. Yelahanka police registered a case against Prakash and Madhu on January 31. “We suspect one of Prakash’s wives to be behind these calls. She must have taken help from friends to commit the mischief. We have registered a case but have not made any arrest,” S Girish, deputy commissioner of police (Northeast division) said.



Security Guard accidentally fires outside bank, two colleagues hurt



HYDERABAD: Two private Security Guards were injured when their colleague accidentally fired his gun at Begumpet area on Saturday morning, police said. B Sumathi, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North Zone), said, “M Suresh Kumar Rao accidentally fired his 12-bore double barrel gun near the currency chest of Axis bank at Gurumurthy lane. The three had come to the chest to collect money to be distributed to other branches of the bank”. She said the injured had been admitted to a hospital, adding that their condition was out of danger. She informed that Begumpet police had registered a case and further investigations were underway.



Blaze at Rajabazar house, 60 rescued



KOLKATA: A fire on the first floor of a two-storey building on Raja Dinendra StreetRajabazar, around 4.25pm on Sunday triggered panic among residents of the area. The incident scared the people more as a wedding ceremony was being held nearby. Soon, the fire spread to an adjacent building. The fire department had to deploy 10 fire engines to control the blaze. Around 60 people were rescued from the building, where the fire broke out. The firemen are yet to find out the cause of the blaze, but they suspect it was due to a short circuit. Police said no one was injured. Residents of the area rushed to the spot to help with the rescue operation and managed to evacuate all the occupants.



ATM technician held for swapping Rs 2,000 notes with Rs 100



Ahmedabad: Crime branch officials have arrested Pradeep Rajput, 23, a resident of Vatva, for allegedly stealing money from ATMs using the password provided to him by his employer. Rajput worked as an ATM operator with Writer Safeguard, a company providing cash logistics services to banks for servicing ATMs. Rajput would to pull out a hundred notes of Rs 2,000 and replace them with a hundred Rs 100 notes. “Using the password provided by the company, he would pull out Rs 2 lakh and put in Rs 10,000,” said a crime branch official. Additional deputy commissioner of police, crime branch, Rajdeepsinh Zala said Rajput has been involved in several such incidents from August 2017 to November 2017. It is likely that Rajput embezzled several lakhs from ATMs of various banks. “Remarkably, Rajput used this modus operando after demonetization was announced by the Union government and the new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes were introduced,” said a senior crime branch official. Additional DCP Zala said Rajput was entrusted with depositing money in ATMs at Memnagar, Vadsar and Khatraj. “In August 2017, Rajput swapping the notes,” added a crime branch official. “He continued till November 2017, when removing Rs 2 lakh and replacing it with Rs 10,000, at an ATM in Bhopal. Rajput bought a MUV, an autorickshaw and some jewellery for himself with the stolen money,” added a senior crime branch official.



International News



At least 2 killed in South Carolina train wreck

Emergency crews attend to the site of a train collision near Pine Ridge, Lexington County, South Carolina, in this image obtained from social media.



CAYCE, SC: A crash between an Amtrak passenger train and a CSX freight train in South Carolina on Sunday killed two people and injured about 70 others, authorities said. The Amtrak train was heading from New York to Miami with about 139 people on board when the crash happened around 2:45 a.m. near Cayce, authorities said. The injuries ranged from cuts and scratches to broken bones, Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said. Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said the two people killed were traveling on the Amtrak train. The lead engine and several passenger of Amtrak Train 91, which was operating from New York to Miami, derailed after coming “in contact” with the freight train, Amtrak said in an emailed statement. There were eight crew members and approximately 140 passengers on board. The National Transportation Safety Board said it is deploying investigators to the scene.


The crash happened near a stretch of tracks by a rail yard about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Columbia, where several track spurs split off for freight cars to be unloaded. Authorities said they haven’t determined if both trains were moving or if the Amtrak train was diverted on to a side track. TV footage from the scene showed the aftermath of the crash, with the Amtrak engine on its side and its front crumpled. The people who weren’t hurt were taken in patrol cars to a shelter, Lexington County Sheriff’s spokesman Adam Myrick said. “We know they are shaken up quite a bit. We know this is like nothing else they have ever been through. So we wanted to get them out of the cold, get them out of the weather – get them to a warm place,” Myrick said. Palmetto Health spokeswoman Tammie Epps says 62 passengers were seen at three of its hospitals. Two of those passengers were admitted. The others appeared to have minor injuries that would not require hospitalisation. Amtrak set up a passenger information line at 1-800-523-9101.



Suicide bombing in northwestern Pakistan kills 11 soldiers



MINGORA: A suicide bombing in Pakistan’s northwestern Swat Valley killed 11 soldiers and wounded 13 on Saturday in what authorities said was the first attack in over three years in the region once ruled by militants. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomber detonated his explosives vest near an empty lot used by the soldiers for sports and exercise in the Kabal area, the military said. Initial reports said three troops died in the attack but later the army said another eight soldiers who were critically wounded died of their wounds. One officer was among those killed. The military said the wounded were being treated at a local hospital. Security forces cordoned off the area and were searching for possible accomplices of the bomber, the statement added. Islamic militants ruled the picturesque Swat Valley from 2007 until a massive military operation routed them from the area in 2009. The operation involved evacuating 2 million people from the valley. They were able later to return to their homes. Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other political leaders condemned the attack. Abbasi pledged that the country’s security forces will “fight until the last terrorist is eliminated”.



Four killed in chemical factory blast in China



BEIJING: An explosion ripped through a chemical factory in east China’s Shandong Province today, killing four people and injuring six others, officials said. The blast occurred in the morning at the Jinshan Chemical Plant Co Ltd in an economic development zone in Linshu County while maintenance work was underway, according to the county government. Four people were killed and six others wounded in the blast, local authorities said, adding that two persons were severely injured. Owner of the chemical plant is in police custody, state- run Xinhua news agency reported. Two persons were killed and eight others injured in a chemical factory blast in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region last year.



Russia steps up air raids on Syria’s Idlib province after jet shot down


AMMAN: Russian jets intensified their raids on rebel-held towns and cities in Syria‘s northern Idlib province on Sunday night, a day after rebels shot down a Russian warplane and killed its pilot. Civil defense sources said air raids struck the towns of Kafr Nubl and Maasran, as well as the cities of Saraqeb, Maarat al Numan and Idlib, and that several deaths and dozens of injuries were reported as rescuers dug through the rubble. A hospital was hit in Maarat al Numan, witnesses and residents said, and at least five people were feared killed in another attack that damaged a residential building in Kafr Nubl. Video recorded by rescuers showed babies on stretchers being rushed by civil defense workers out of the damaged hospital while other rescuers fought to extinguish a fire. In Idlib city, the provincial capital, one witness said a five-storey building was leveled and that at least fifteen people were feared dead. In December, the Syrian army alongside Iranian-backed militias and heavy Russian airpower launched a major offensive to take territory in Idlib province, the last and most-densely populated province still mainly under opposition control. Russia’s defense ministry and Syrian rebels said the Russian SU-25 jet was downed on Saturday in an area that has seen fierce fighting on the ground and heavy air strikes targeting rebel groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. Syrians who oppose Assad view Russia as an invading force and blame it for the deaths of thousands of civilians since Moscow joined the war on the Syrian government’s side in 2015. Russia’s Defence Ministry denies aiming at civilians and says it targets only hardline Islamist militants in Syria.


Air strikes on Saturday after the downing of the jet killed at least 10 people, including children, in Khan al Subl near where the plane crashed, rescuers said. The bodies of a family of seven were pulled from rubble following another attack in the town of Maasran, a local civil defense body said. “We are pulling bodies from under collapsed walls. The Russians are taking their revenge on civilians, many of whom were already displaced and had fled their homes from earlier bombardment,” said Ahmad Hilal, a civil defense rescuer. The Syrian army and its Iranian Shia militias allies made a string of gains in the last week after capturing a major air base that brought them just 12 kms (7.5 miles) from Saraqeb, the first heavily populated city in Idlib within their reach. They were pushing towards the main Damascus-Aleppo highway, the capture of which would cut rebel supply lines and open the door to an army advance into the heart of the province. On Sunday, rebels led by the militant Turkestan group waged a counter attack against the Syrian army and Iranian backed militias near the Abu Duhur air base in southern Idlib. The bombardment from the sky and fears of revenge by advancing Syrian troops and Iranian-backed militias have led to an exodus of tens of thousands of civilian’s further north to the safety of makeshift camps on the Syrian side of the Turkish border. Syrians have poured into Idlib at an accelerating rate over the last two years, forced to abandon their homes in other parts of Syria that the government and its foreign military allies have recaptured from rebels. The United Nations and aid workers have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe if the fighting nears the province’s most heavily populated areas, where some two to three million people live.

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