4 states to see hail, storms on weekend, warns Met
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday approved ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of those killed in the thunderstorm that hit various north Indian states, particularly Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, on May 2. Modi also cleared Rs 50,000 each for the seriously injured. As many as 124 people lost their lives due to thunderstorm and lightning in five states earlier this week, the home ministry said quoting figures reported by the affected states. The highest number of casualties were in UP, where 73 people were killed and 91 injured. In Rajasthan, 35 people were killed and 209 injured, and 12,000 electric poles were uprooted and 2,500 transformers were damaged in the storm. While six were killed in Uttarakhand, two lives were lost in Punjab. Another eight persons died under similar conditions in Telangana. A fresh warning was issued on Friday about possible thunderstorm accompanied with squall or gusty winds for the next 3-4 days, the meteorological department said. On May 6 and 7, thunderstorm accompanied by squall and hail is likely in parts of J&K, HP and Uttarakhand. Thunderstorm and squall is also forecast in parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, western UP, Bengal, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Eastern UP may witness thunderstorm with gusty winds on May 6. Dust storms are very likely in isolated places in UP and Rajasthan.
RTO to train Mumbai auto drivers to save mishap victims during ‘golden hour’
MUMBAI: The RTO is seeking assistance of auto drivers to prevent fatalities due to road mishaps. The RTO in western suburbs will sensitise a group of auto drivers in Andheri on Saturday on how to save lives and shift victims of road mishaps to hospitals during the ‘crucial golden hour‘ the first hour immediately after the accident. The event is being organised with the help of expert doctor trainers from Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital. “We will be training auto drivers on how to use first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training to save lives on the road,” said KT Golani, vice president of WORSPA (Welfare Organisation for Road Safety & Prevention of Accidents). He stated that auto drivers are the first responders to any mishap on lanes and by lanes of Mumbai. They witness the accident, be it a two-wheeler rider being injured or a motorist being critically wounded, and can rush to the rescue of victims, he stated. He further said, “At least 60 auto drivers have expressed willingness to attend this training event, which will be launched by regional transport officer Abhay Deshpande at the RTO office in Andheri at 11 am on Saturday”. Another senior official said that the state has the dubious record of having third largest number of road accidents, fatalities and injuries among all states in the country. “The issue has to be dealt with seriously, and we have given priority on this aspect during the ongoing Road Safety Fortnight,” he added.
2 Romanians used cloned ATM cards to steal money, held
NEW DELHI: Two Romanians who used to withdraw money from ATMs using cloned plastic cards have been arrested. As many as 48 cloned cards, Rs 9.05 lakh, 2,760 pounds, 5,000 euros and 10,000 dollars were found with them. Police suspect the involvement of more people in the crime who may be hiding in Nepal. The accused, Iulian Dumbrava and Traian Mirea, came to India around four years ago and had been shifting from one hotel to another in Delhi since then. They also went to Nepal. During this time, they stole money from many ATMs in the capital. A case has been registered at the Mehrauli police station. A police team was formed to nab the accused after a number of people complained that money was being withdrawn from their accounts through ATMs located in isolated locations and at odd hours. CCTV footage from these areas was scanned and the team started keeping a watch on such ATMs.
Around 4.30pm on Wednesday, the police team spotted a suspicious man wearing a helmet trying to withdraw money from an ATM on MB Road in Saidulajab. Constable Pankaj rushed inside the ATM and overpowered the man, who was later identified as Dumbrava. He had 14 cloned plastic cards with passwords and Rs 48,000 with him. During interrogation, he told the police about his accomplice, Mirea. He too was apprehended on Ignou road after a chase. Mirea was found to be having 34 cloned plastic cards and Rs 1.4 lakh in a black bag. The duo told the police that they used to come to India through Nepal, and procure cloned plastic cards and PIN numbers from their associates. They took rooms in a hotel in Delhi. The duo then looked for unmanned ATMs, hid their face with a mask, helmet, cap, goggles etc., and withdrew money using the cloned plastic cards. They converted the money into foreign currency and fled to Nepal.
Social media helps book cops for traffic violations
HYDERABAD: Traffic police have booked 46 cases against men in khaki for violating traffic rules in three months. Incidentally, these cases were booked on complaints received on their social media platforms. However, road safety experts dismiss them as just 10% of the violations. “We get complaints through social media. We also book cases when we carry out special drives. We received 29 complaints through WhatsApp, 12 complaints on Facebook, 3 on Twitter and two cases on Hawk Eye application,” Hyderabad additional commissioner of police (Traffic) Anil Kumar said. Recently, Hyderabad traffic police posted pending traffic challans against a traffic policeman on their official Facebook page. They posted the picture of the four pending challans against the policeman with a message: “’We won’t wink at the violations of our men. We definitely shoot him with e-Challan. Traffic Law is equal for all and should be followed for our own safety. Please wear a helmet. Happy riding (sic)”. Soon after the post, people started sharing pictures of other cops not wearing a helmet or triple riding and other violations. “Police personnel are treated no differently. They receive a warning and attend counselling sessions,” the additional CP said. “Through social media alone, the cases are close to 50, which is only 10% of the violations. Almost every now and then I see cops driving without helmet or park their vehicles in the middle of the road. One of the most common violation is putting a ‘police’ sticker on their personal vehicle’s registration number, which is also a violation,” Vinod Kumar Kanumala, founder of Indian Federation of Road Safety, said. Director-general, Road Safety Authority, T Krishna Prasad said such behaviour by government officials, especially police, was not acceptable. “We will take up a campaign this month-end and educate all government employees not to violate traffic rules,” he added.
6 dead in Kenya overnight flooding with 11 others missing
A cart puller crosses a flooded street during heavy rain, in downtown Nairobi, Kenya.
NAIROBI: Six people have drowned in Kenya in overnight flooding and 11 others are missing, local authorities said Friday, the latest of dozens of deaths caused by heavy seasonal rains in recent weeks. “We are at the scene looking for bodies,” Kajiado County police chief Kipkemboi Rop told The Associated Press after the Kandisi River overflowed its banks on the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi. The UN humanitarian agency in a statement on Thursday said at least 80 people have been killed and 244,000 people displaced from their homes by the heavy rains since March, the majority of them in Tana River, Kilifi and Mandera counties. Floods from the seasonal rains hit as the East African nation was recovering from a devastating drought last year that affected half of its counties. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in a separate statement estimated that 100 have been killed over the weeks of flooding, with 29 counties affected. “Livestock has also been affected, and crops, because most people were growing crops for the rainy season,” said the organization’s disaster management delegate, Marshal Mukuvare. The aid group warned that the floods could trigger or worsen outbreaks of diseases such as malaria and cholera. Despite the heavy rains, Nairobi residents are experiencing a water shortage. Many have taken to social media to question why water is still being rationed even as dam’s fill. The government hasn’t responded.
Myanmar jade mine slag heap collapse kills at least 14
YANGON: A jade mine slag heap collapsed in northern Myanmar on Friday, killing at least 14 people, rescue officials said, the latest in a series of disasters to hit the largely unregulated gem industry. Myanmar is a major gemstone producer and the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi pledged to tighten controls after a landslide in a jade mine killed more than 100 people in 2015 in Kachin state, the site of Friday’s collapse. Friday’s accident happened in the early morning in the village of Wai Hka, when workers were scavenging through heaps of mining debris for discarded jade. “I barely escaped… The soil bulk collapsed and killed people,” said miner Min Naung, 30. Many jade mines are owned by companies linked to leaders of the previous military government, ethnic armies and Chinese firms. Workers, many of them migrants from elsewhere in Myanmar, toil long hours in dangerous conditions and for little pay. “To safeguard people’s lives and to reduce the risk of landslides, companies should follow the mining law while digging,” said Chit Kaung, administrator of Wai Hka, where most of its 50,000 population work in mines. Environmental advocacy group Global Witness put the value of jade production in Myanmar at around $31 billion in 2014. Experts say the majority of stones are smuggled to China. Fighting between government forces and an ethnic armed group in Kachin has displaced more than 5,000 people since early April, the United Nations says.