Navy on Standby for Emergency Evacuations
New Delhi: The Navy is on standby to deploy warships for emergency evacuation of Indians if the Iranian missile strikes on US-led forces in Iraq escalate into a wider conflict in the middle east region. The Navy currently has a warship, the 4,000-tonne stealth frigate INS Trikand, deployed in the Gulf of Oman as part of the ongoing “Operation Sankalp”, which was launched in June last year to safeguard Indian flagged vessels transiting through the Strait of Hormuz after some maritime security incidents in the region. “INS Trikand can be diverted to help in the evacuation if it’s required. The Navy is also keeping a couple of warships on full operational readiness,” said an official. Similarly, IAF can deploy its heavy-lift aircraft like C-17 Globemaster-III for the evacuation if the need arises. Indian warships have been maintaining a continuous presence in both anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden as well as Operation Sankalp.
Heavy Snow Leaves Tourists Stuck
S(NO)W TRAVEL ADVISORY: Old Manali after heavy snowfall on Wednesday. The town has received over 60cm snow since Tuesday evening and snow accumulation at Solang valley is over 90cm. With maximum temperature being recorded in single-digit in most areas, Himachal Pradesh is reeling from freezing conditions. Over 300 transformers in the state are shut, plunging many regions into darkness. Thousands of tourists were left stranded on Kullu-Manali and other stretches in the state for hours after continuous heavy snowfall from Tuesday evening in the region rendered roads impassable, with nearly 300 cars getting stuck. Authorities have advised people not to travel to Shimla and Manali as over 250 roads have been blocked on the stretch. Heavy rain and snow across the state have crippled life with 582 roads, including five national highways and one state highway, completely blocked
Woman Returning from ATM Robbed of Rs.15k
Kolkata: A history-sheeter followed a senior citizen returning from an ATM in Belgachhia, entered her home and snatched away her purse, containing Rs 15,000 and her bank pass book on Monday. Within hours, cops from the Tala police station arrested the accused, Palas Banerjee (36), and recovered a significant portion of the money. Banerjee has a number of cases registered against him, including that of burglary, robbery and an attempt to break an ATM in Belgachhia three years ago. According to DC (eastern suburban), Ajoy Prasad, Raja Dey, a resident of Block E of Belgachhia Villa alleged that his mother, Arati Dey, was ribbed of her purse around 3.30pm on January 6. She had just returned home after withdrawing Rs 15,000 from SBI’s Milk Colony branch and climbing up the stairs when the accused snatched away the purse, which also contained a pass book. A case was registered at Tallah police station.
“A CCTV footage was recovered from a restaurant, located at a distance from the incident spot. ARO Sadhan Das then received some information from police sources and managed to arrest Banerjee around midnight on Tuesday. Based on his statement, the stolen purse has been recovered. We have found Rs 7,200 and the pass book,” said DC Prasad. The accused was earlier arrested by Tala police in 2016 for trying to break a private bank ATM at 36, Belgachhia Road. The accused remained unsuccessful but machine got damaged. At present, he works as a helper to a cook. We are taking him into police custody to find out whether he was involved in any other crimes recently, said an investigating officer.
Ukrainian Plane Crash in Iran Kills 176; Attack not Ruled Out
Rescue workers at the site where the Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of Tehran, on Wednesday.
Ukraine: A Ukrainian airliner carrying at least 176 people crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran on Wednesday, killing all on board. It was unclear what caused the disaster, but the aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, went down amid a conflict between the US and Iran. Early statements from both Ukraine and Iran about what happened to the flight bound for Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, were both confusing and contradictory. Just hours earlier, Iran had fired missiles at two bases in Iraq that house US troops, and Iranian forces were on alert for an American counter-strike. Though the evidence remained sketchy, aviation experts said that what was known indicated that the plane could have been attacked. Investigators should have that possibility “at the top of their agenda”, said Peter Goelz, a former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board in the US. The Iranian Students’ News Agency, a state-run media organisation, shared a video it said showed the predawn crash in Shahedshahr, with an aircraft, apparently in flames, descending in the distance before a bright burst filled the sky upon impact.