News Flash – 5 March 2018

National News



Delhi: Security Guard found murdered at school



NEW DELHI: A 45-year-old Security Guard working in a private school was found murdered in the premises on Sunday morning. The victim’s face was bludgeoned with a heavy object and his wrists were cut around his veins. Police officers said that around 9am, when the victim, Devi Dayal alias Devi Lal, did not respond to calls from outside, a person came looking for him and found him lying near his cabin. DCP (Shahdara) Nupur Prasad said that a case has been registered. A preliminary probe indicates that Dayal was working at the school for the past two years as an accountant with a transporter during the day and as a security guard at night. A crime team that visited the spot found a liquor bottle and two empty glasses along with some leftover food items in a plate. The crime scene indicated that the killer was known to the victim and he had a friendly entry into the school. Investigating officers suspect that the accused got Dayal intoxicated and later hit him with a stone or another heavy object when he lost consciousness. CCTV cameras installed in the school and nearby streets are being scanned to ascertain the identity of the accused.



Three persons duped as Rs 60,000 withdrawn using cloned cards in Kalyan and Dombivli



KALYAN: Three persons, including an auto driver, lost Rs 60,000 to a fraudster who allegedly cloned their cards and later used them to withdraw money from various ATMs in Kalyan and Dombivli. The auto driver, 34-year-old Yashwant Hatkar, is a resident of Katemanivali. He approached the Kolsewadi police station with his complaint on Saturday and said that an unknown person had withdrawn Rs 18,000 from his account in Bank of Baroda. He told the police that six fraud transactions had been made using his card, and every time, Rs 3,000 was withdrawn. In another complaint, Rukmini Ravishankar, a resident of Rajaji Path, said in her complaint that an unknown person had withdrawn Rs 40,000 from her bank account by using a cloned ATM card. In the third instance, a complainant, Vaman Vaikunth, alleged that he lost Rs 3,100. Acting on the three complaints, the police have booked unidentified people under sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act and have begun a probe into the matter.



Cybercrime graph spirals: 300 complaints in 50 days



HYDERABAD: Over a span of 50 days, Rachakonda’s cybercrime police have received a staggering 300 cybercrime complaints. Of this 50% are that of phishing, reveal official records. Admitting to phishing being a serious concern, cyber sleuths said that the failure of victims to file complaints immediately – or within 24 hours – makes it extremely difficult for the police to recover the money siphoned off through such frauds. Roughly, not more than 20% of this amount is recovered because of delayed filing of complaints, they added. “Over 150 cases are related to phishing. Though we have been running several campaigns to educate people about ways of avoiding avoid One Time Password (OTP) frauds, the numbers are still increasing,” said S Harinath, assistant commissioner of police (cybercrime), Rachakonda. He added: “As people often do not check their SMSs – where the banks alerts about account withdrawals are sent – because they are more consumed by other messaging services such as WhatsApp, they do not file complaints on time. As a result, recovery of money becomes a challenge”. In 2018, the Rachakonda Commissionerate reported fraud of money worth? 20 lakhs by victims due to delay in lodging complaints. “It is shocking to see how more and more educated people are falling into the trap these days. As most people transact online now, offenders are taking advantage of this to lure victims. About 8% of the victims are those lured by prize money,” said Harinath.



Six injured after gas leak leads to blast


KOLKATA: Six members of a family, including three teenagers, were severely injured after a gas leak led to an explosion at their home on Bamacharan Roy Road in Behala on Sunday morning. Police said Kanika Mondal, 36, was cooking around 9.30am when the explosion took place. The impact was such that portions of the asbestos roof were blown away and the house was set on flames. Kanika suffered maximum injuries, while three others in the house — her husband Sanjib and their children Suman, 14, and Sanjana, 12, suffered critical burns. As Kanika’s sister-in-law Jharna, 36, and her daughter Sunita, 17, who live next door, pulled them out of the house, they, too, were injured. Two fire tenders and residents of the area helped douse the flames and rescue all the six affected people. Kanika and Sanjib were admitted to Vidyasagar Hospital with over 60% burns and the others were taken to MR Bangur Hospital. Sunita was discharged later in the day. “It looks like the woman was cooking when the explosion took place. A probe has been initiated to understand what caused the explosion. We have seized both cylinders,” said a Behala police station officer.


The officer, however, said they suspected a faulty regulator fitting may have caused leakage, which in turn caused the explosion. “Gas usually leaks from an appliance, connection or fitting. It accumulates in a confined space and that is what catches fire or explodes. In this case, the regulator was missing, while the cylinders were intact,” said the officer. In another incident on Sunday, a fire broke out in the ground-floor kitchen of a three-storey building on Kailash Bose Street near Amherst Street around 11.30am. One fire engine was pressed into service. However, no one was trapped or injured. According to an oil company official, gas leaks can occur from defective rubber tubes (ones that connect the cylinder’s outlet to the burner), faulty regulator fitting and poor handling of gas appliances. Apart from that, leaving a pot unattended on the stove can cause the food to spill over, which douses the burner and causes gas leak.



Security Guard attacks college girl alone at home, arrested



CHENNAI: In yet another daring attack on women, a security guard barged into an apartment in Kasturibai Nagar, Adyar on Friday evening and launched a brutal assault on a 23-year-old architecture student, smashing her head against a wall and savagely biting her lips in an alleged robbery bid. The police, who identified the assailant as Nirbhav Kumar Yadav of Bihar, said the victim’s mother and brother, who arrived soon after the assault, helped neighbours nab him. He was booked under IPC Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 441 (criminal trespass), apart from Section 4 of Tamil Nadu Women Harassment (Prevention) Act and a court sent him to jail. The incident occurred around 8.20pm when Pratiksha, a fourth year B Arch student at a Kodambakkam college, was alone at her home with her pet dog. Her mother Revathi, who practices criminal law in the Madras high court, and brother P Rishi, a 19-year-old engineering student, had gone to a nearby shop. Her father Purnakumar was in Dindigul where he works as chief manager at an Indian Bank branch. Srinivasan, the guard at Sai Darshan Apartments, had gone to switch on the motor. When Revathi and her son returned and found no answer to their knocks, they assumed Pratiksha, amid preparations for her semester exam, had fallen asleep. They decided to leave for the house of Revathi’s brother in Thiruvanmiyur when they heard her cries and raised an alarm.


Other residents of the complex arrived, broke open the door and overpowered Yadav. When police personnel arrived, they found Pratiksha bleeding profusely from the lips. She was also injured in the head when Yadav threw her against a wall and dragged her into a bedroom and her dress was torn, an officer said. Pratiksha was taken to the SRMC Hospital in Porur where doctors plan to perform a cosmetic surgery on her lips. A police officer quoting doctors said she was out of danger. An investigation officer said, “The suspect stayed in the house for about eight minutes before her mother and brother arrived. The woman, a regular gym-goer, offered stiff resistance”. Yadav, a native of Nalanda district employed with Taramani-based Vijay Security Service, worked at a showroom in the day and at night guarded a store 400 metres from Sai Darshan Apartments. He stayed in Taramani. The incident has shocked residents of the 15-year-old three-storey building. “The complex has seven CCTV cameras but none was functioning properly. The digital video recorder (DVR) was not updated,” said a resident. A police officer who interrogated Yadav said the assailant pushed Pratiksha’s pet dog into a bedroom before attacking her.



International News



4 killed, 24 injured in Poland apartment building collapse

Firefighters and rescuers work at the scene of a building collapse in Poznan, Poland on March 4, 2018.



WARSAW: An apartment block collapsed Sunday in Poland‘s western city of Poznan, killing four people and injuring 24 others, officials said as teams of firefighters and rescuers with dogs combed the rubble in search of more victims. The building contained 18 apartments and 40 residents, according to firefighters spokesman Slawomir Brandt, who gave the death toll. TVP INFO showed part of a four-story building in a heap and rescuers checking the debris in sub-freezing temperatures. Police and prosecutors were at the site questioning witnesses. “We heard this loud bang and then terrible cries from people “Save us! Save us,” ground floor resident Krzysztof Sledz told the state news agency PAP. “My wife and I dressed and left the apartment to help the neighbors”. He said they pulled their neighbor’s two-year-old daughter from a bed strewn with rubble. “I thought she was dead, she was blue. But they say she is in hospital,” Sledz said.


Hospital spokeswoman Urszula Laszynska said one young girl was hospitalized in stable condition, while two other children were dismissed after being treated for bruises. Residents who were not injured were taken to a nearby hotel. Regional governor Zbigniew Hoffman said it was too early to determine the cause of the collapse but added that a gas explosion was one possible explanation. Regional construction inspector, Pawel Lukaszewski, said the remaining part of the building was closed down and its gas was cut off. Last April, six people were killed and four injured when a gas explosion caused a small apartment building to collapse in the southwestern Polish town of Swiebodzice.



3 charged with manslaughter over UK fire that killed 5 including 3 of Indian-origin



LONDON: Three men arrested earlier this week in the UK for the building fire in Leicester city that killed five people, including three of an Indian-origin family, have been charged with manslaughter and arson, police said Sunday. The Leicestershire Police named the men as 33-year-old Aram Kurd, the owner of the Polish mini-supermarket Zabka on the ground floor of the building, 32-year-old Hawker Hassan and 37-year-old Arkan Ali. “All three have been charged with five counts of manslaughter and with arson with intent to endanger life,” the police said in a statement. They are being held in custody over the weekend and will appear before Leicester Magistrates tomorrow, it said. Two other men, in their 30s, arrested on Friday on suspicion of conspiracy to cause an explosion and for offences under the UK’s Proceeds of Crime Act, remain in police custody and continue to be questioned by detectives. “Throughout this complex investigation we have been urging journalists and members of the public not to speculate about the cause of the explosion. With three people now charged and due in court, it becomes even more important, for legal reasons, that this message is heeded,” the statement said.


The police have formally identified members of the Indian-origin family from Mauritius that were among the five people “missing”, feared dead. Brothers Shane Ragoobeer, 18, and Sean Ragoobeer, 17, who lived in the flat above the Polish shop were identified following “detailed forensic enquiries conducted over several days”. Their mother, 46-year-old Mary Ragoobeer, is yet to be formally identified but police said the fifth body is believed to be of the local cafe worker. The others killed in the explosion and ensuing fire on February 25 include 18-year-old Leah Beth Reek, Shane’s girlfriend, and 22-year-old Viktorija Ijevleva, a shop-worker at the Polish mini-supermarket. An inquest into their deaths will be conducted at a later date. Police have refused to comment on local media reports claiming the explosion at the two-storey building may have been caused by an illegal alcohol distillery. Human remains were recovered from the ruins of the building after the blast, which was followed by a massive fire that injured several others on February 25. Specialist officers continue to sift through the wreckage in search of clues, with the scene expected to remain cordoned off for a further several days.



‘Beast’ snowstorm, ‘Emma’ batter Britain, leave 11 dead



LONDON: Motorways were shut, thousands of schools were closed and flights and trains cancelled as heavy snowfall and blizzards continued to batter the UK on Friday. The army was called in to rescue hundreds of drivers stranded in sub-zero temperature on roads across the UK, assist the emergency services and help ferry hospital staff to work. One driver working for Greggs bakery handed out doughnuts and cakes from his lorry to people stuck in their cars on A1. Meanwhile, hundreds of rail passengers were trapped in freezing temperature on trains all night on Thursday night. Major incidents were declared across the south west of the UK and by Friday afternoon the death toll had risen to 11 after a 70-year-old man died after going for a walk on the Torquay cliffs. On Thursday a seven-year old girl pedestrian was killed when a car veered off the road in icy conditions and smashed into a house in Cornwall and a 52-year-old homeless man was found dead inside his freezing tent. Others were found dead lying in the snow or killed in road accidents. More than 200 people were trapped all night on a South Western Railway train from Cardiff to Bournemouth without heating after the train got stranded due to electrical problems. They were finally rescued on Friday morning. A South Western Railway spokesperson said: “We sincerely apologies to passengers who were stranded on trains overnight. Our staff, together with Network Rail have battled tirelessly throughout the night to try to get trains moving in very challenging conditions.” Rail passengers were advised not to travel.


The disruptive weather was caused by freezing winds and heavy snow showers from Siberia, nicknamed the ‘Beast from the East’, which hit the UK on Monday, that then collided with Storm Emma, a deep area of low pressure that came across the Atlantic that first hit Portugal and then ripped through the UK on Thursday night, bringing heavy snow, freezing rain and gusts of 60mph to 70mph wreaking havoc. By Friday the Environment Agency had issued eight flood warnings and 29 flood alerts in the south-west and north-east of England. In a rare move, the Met Office had issued its highest level warning, a red warning, for Scotland, southwest England and southeast Wales, which meant severe disruption and heavy snowfall were expected. “We have only ever issued one red warning before,” Alex Burkill, a meteorologist at the Met Office, told TOI. “And we issued two in 24 hours. This has been the worst snow event we have seen in the UK since 1991”. By Friday afternoon the red warning had been lifted but yellow warnings remained in force across most of the UK as snow in Wales reached 53cm and many homes faced power cuts. “We expect to see temperatures creeping up and the weather cooling down over the weekend,” Burkill added. There was some good news amidst the chaos. In County Durham a woman gave birth to a baby girl in the snow at the side of the A66 road. The baby was dubbed #A66snowbaby by the Great North Air Ambulance.

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