News Flash – 6 September 2019

National News



Turkish Duo held in City for 60 ATM Frauds in Assam

Abdul Halik (left) & Eurah Igdi.



Mumbai: Colaba police on Wednesday arrested two key members of a Turkish gang that installed skimming machines in ATM kiosks and cloned debit and credit cards to steal money. While Colaba police are trying to ascertain if the Turkish duo, identified as Abdul Halik Yurgan (42) and Eurah Igdi (33), are involved in any city cases, the Assam cyber police say the arrested accused are involved in over 60 such crimes in Assam, especially in Guwahati. Sources said the Assam cyber police on Tuesday contacted the city police to alert them about the presence of the Turkish nationals in Mumbai. “The Assam police informed us their investigation suggested the two had taken shelter in Colaba, but their mobile phones were switched off. We studied the suspects’ call records and zeroed in on them,” said inspector S Mohite. Based on the photographs provided by the Assam police, the Colaba police arrested the two men from a hotel in the area.



During interrogation, the two allegedly admitted to being part of a larger gang. Police said the modus operandi of the gang was to enter unguarded ATM kiosks and install skimming machines along with a secret camera. When unsuspecting customers went to withdraw money, the magnetic code would be copied onto the skimming machine and the camera would capture the passwords. The accused would use the data to clone the debit/credit cards and siphon off money. Assam cyber police led by inspector Rajib Borah on Thursday arrived and took transit remand of the duo who will be produced in an Assam court. Assam police, who were already on their trail, got their first lead when the duo struck at an ATM kiosk in south Delhi and withdrew Rs 11,000. After the customer filed a complaint, CCTV images were examined and Assam police realized they were the same suspects who were on their radar. However, the duo fled to Mumbai.



Flood Alert in Nilgiris as Pykara Dam Brims

GONE TO WASTE: PWD officials fixing the breach occurred on the banks of Kongan canal near Papanasam in Thanjavur district.



Udhagamandalam: The Nilgiris district administration issued a flood alert following heavy rain in the catchment areas of Pykara dam on Thursday. District collector J Innocent Divya has advised people living on the banks of Pykara, Singara, Moyar, Masinagudi and Thengumarahada to move to safer places as surplus water from Pykara dam would be released. The public were asked not to venture near the dam and banks of Moyar river. With rain lashing western parts of the Nilgiris, all the major reservoirs in the area are filling up fast. The storage level at Pykara dam touched 95ft. Water from the dam will reach Moyar River via Glenmorgan, Singara and Masinagudi. In turn, Moyar River joins Bhavani River at Mettupalayam. While Avalanche received 114mm of rainfall, Gudalur registered 146mm for 24 hours ended 6am on Thursday.



Upperbhavani received 99mm of rainfall and Naduvattam experienced 111mm. Devala and Glenmorgan registered 76mm and 56mm respectively. The Nilgiris has been experiencing moderate to heavy rain for the past few days. Meanwhile, excess water released from Karnataka reached the state on Thursday morning. The water inflow at Biligundulu, the entry point of the Cauvery in Tamil Nadu, shot up to 30,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) on Thursday from 10,000 cusecs earlier after excess water was released from the dams in Karnataka following heavy rain in the catchment areas of the Cauvery. Dharmapuri district has imposed ban on coracle rides and bathing in Hogenakkal Falls following the huge inflow of water.



International News



A political Blast & a Car Bomb Rock US-Taliban Deal

A foreign soldier with a Nato-led mission inspects the site of a suicide attack that killed 10 in Kabul on Thursday.



Washington: The Trump administration’s “peace deal” with Taliban is coming apart even before it has been signed.US is preparing to cut and run from Afghanistan amid the sound of bomb blasts and gunfire announcing the victory of extremism over a patchy 18-year American effort to ensure there is never another 9/11. A Taliban car bombing on Thursday at a Kabul check post that killed 10 civilians and two Nato troops a US and a Romanian service member underscored a political explosion in Washington when it emerged that secretary of state Mike Pompeo has declined to sign an agreement stitched together by Zalmay Khalilzad, President Trump’s special representative for Afghanistan. Pompeo, a CIA ex-director, is apparently paying heed to a legion of ex-diplomats and officials who’re saying the deal amounts to surrendering to Taliban and will eventually enable the return to power of Pakistan-backed forces that hosted the terrorists behind 9/11. According to Time magazine, which first reported on the fissures in the Trump administration, Taliban asked for Pompeo to sign an agreement with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the official name of the government founded by Taliban in Afghanistan in 1996, because that would amount to its de facto recognition as a legitimate political entity.



But he declined to do so, conveying that “when there is an agreement approved by all parties, including the President, and if the secretary is the appropriate signatory”, he will sign it. Pompeo’s bailout enraged Trump’s rightwing supporters, who want the president to keep to his promise to bring US troops back home from Afghanistan before the 2020 election, and who see the secretary of state’s bailing out as a betrayal, although Trump himself has not commented on it. “Pompeo, who hated Trump before he wormed his way into the administration, is undermining his peace plan in Afghanistan… (he is) apparently willing to abuse his power to obstruct the President’s peace achievement,” the blog Big League Politics wrote. Trump has tried to walk a vague, if delicate, middle path, making it appear to his supporters as if he is pulling out all US troops while conveying to those who are skeptical of the deal that upwards of 8,000 US military personnel will stay back to ensure Taliban sticks to the pact. Already, the Taliban is starting to celebrate US’ defeat and exit, with two blasts this week even as Khalilzad is canvassing support for his deal in Washington. The developments have left the pro-US (and pro-India) Ashraf Ghani government, which has largely been kept out of the loop, in disarray.



“No one speaks with certainty. None,” an Afghan official taking part in briefings on the deal with Khalilzad told Time. “It is all based on hope. There is no trust. There is no history of trust. There is no evidence of honesty and sincerity from the Taliban,” and intercepted communications “show that they think they have fooled the US while the US believes that should the Taliban cheat, they will pay a hefty price”. Celebrating Taliban’s return will be Pakistan, which birthed and nurtured these extremists in its madrassas to take over Afghanistan, which it regards as a “strategic depth” against India. Although Taliban hosted the terrorists who carried out 9/11, there was a prelude to it that will be of concern to New Delhi. Taliban also welcomed the dogs of war Pakistan used in Jammu & Kashmir, notably Maulana Masood Azhar, Omar Saeed Sheikh and Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar. Only a few US commentators recall the role Pakistan played in the rise of Taliban and terror across the world. “Khalilzad’s agreement also makes no mention of Pakistani sanctuaries which Taliban now enjoy. That Pakistan also provided safe haven to Osama Bin Laden as the al-Qaida leader plotted attacks globally appears forgotten,” wrote Michael Rubin, an ex-Pentagon official and a resident scholar at American Enterprise Institute.

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