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Saturday,19-June-2021

Crime

Death toll reaches 3, NDRF calls off rescue: Kolkata bridge collapse

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One more body was recovered from the bridge collapse site in south Kolkata’s Majherhat on Thursday, taking the death toll to three in the accident, police said.

The recovery was made at around 6.30 a.m. as the rescue operations continued overnight.

“The body was that of one Goutam Mondal trapped under the rubble,” the police said.

They suspect he is one of the two labourers who were missing since the bridge collapsed on Tuesday afternoon. The rescue team late on Wednesday recovered the other body of Pranab Dey.

Both are from West Bengal’s Murshidabad distrct.

“The rescue operation has ended,” said an official of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

As many as 19 people were injured in the accident and many of them, were discharged from the hospitals. The condition of two remain critical.

The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the family of the deceased while the critically injured would get Rs 1 lakh each.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the collapse site on Wednesday evening and said the accident would be investigated by a high level committee led by the state Chief Secretary Malay De.

According to her, a compensation cheque was already sent to Soumen Bagh’s family, who died on Tuesday after the 54 year-old bridge collapsed.

Banerjee on Thursday would hold a meeting with the state Public Works Department (PWD) and Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) officials and sought a detailed health report of the bridges.

Crime

Mumbai police nab 2 crime serial actresses for theft

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Two actresses who have worked in television shows on crime have landed in the police net for alleged theft of a large sum of money, officials said here on Friday.

They are Surabhi Shrivastav, 25 and Mohsina Shaikh, 19 who have been seen in episodes of ‘Savdhaan India’, ‘Crime Patrol’, and other crime-related shows on various channels.

They were arrested in connection with the theft of Rs 3.28 lakh from the locker of a paying guest in Goregaon east suburb of north-west Mumbai.

Sometime ago, the two women had gone to a friend’s home in a posh building in the Royal Palms area of Aarey Colony which provides accommodation as paying guests.

While staying there as paying guests, they allegedly stole the cash from the locker of another woman staying there as a PG, and then quickly left the place.

After her loss, the victim lodged a complaint with Aarey Police Station which probed the case. While scanning the CCTV footage of the society, the police saw the women decamping from the building.

They were picked up and after sustained grilling admitted to the crime, said a police official.

According to police, the two female actors were going through a financial crisis owing to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown that has hit the entertainment industry hard, and they took the opportunity to make some quick money.

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Crime

5 held for Mumbai society Covid vaccination fraud

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Crime

In a major breakthrough, the Mumbai Police have arrested five persons in connection with the allegedly fraudulent Covid-19 vaccination drive conducted at a posh housing society in Kandivali in May end, a top official said on Friday.

The action follows a complaint lodged by the Hiranandani Residents Welfare Association of the posh Hiranandani Heritage Society in Kandivali west with the local police on Wednesday.

The society management had organised a private vaccination camp for its residents and in-house staffers like security personnel, drivers or domestic helpers on May 30.

Of the 435 flats in three residential towers, around 390 residents had been inoculated during the drive that day, but belatedly realized that they may have been cheated.

Additional Commissioner of Police, Mumbai North Region, Dilip Sawant said that no permission of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had been taken for the private vaccination camp conducted at the society.

After the society’s complaint, the police moved swiftly and managed to arrest five persons — Mahendra Kuldeep Singh, 39, Sanjay Gupta, 25, Chandan Singh, 32, Karim Akber Ali, 21 and Nitin More, 32 — within 72 hours.

“So far, we have picked up five persons, including four from Mumbai and one from a railway station at Madhya Pradesh, who is being brought here for the probe,” Sawant said.

The shaken residents said that a facilitator claiming to represent the reputed Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) had negotiated to provide 400 vaccine doses for Rs 1,260 each and around Rs 5 lakh was paid to him.

However, the KDAH management has already denied that the society had approached them and advised people to be careful, even as the police and BMC launched separate investigations.

The residents suspected something amiss when they did not get the Covid Vaccination Certificates (CVC) immediately after the dose, but some of them started getting their CVCs in early June, and none of them reported the usual side-effects post-vaccination.

Sawant said that there were errors of the vaccination date, timings, and venue, there was no doctor present which is mandatory, etc and after the residents realised that they were duped, they sought police help.

He said that the accused are suspected to have stolen the identities of various hospitals, and the vaccines were not procured from any authorised sources, while some society members are worried about what was administered to them in the name of vaccines.

After the fraud erupted this week, the Mumbai Police are now probing whether the same group or other unauthorised persons have conducted similar illegal vaccination camps in other housing complexes.

The BMC said that no permission was given to the society for the inoculation and urged the people to adhere to the civic body’s norms and verify all claims to guard against falling prey to such fraudsters.

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Crime

Supreme Court raps Munmun Dutta over Bhangi remark, but stays FIRs

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Munmun-Dutta

“What you said may amount to bringing an entire community into disrepute,” said a Supreme Court bench on Friday as it stayed criminal proceedings against “Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah” actor Munmun Dutta for allegedly using a casteist slur.

The bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian said: “You say you are a woman but tell us if women have any better rights than men or they also have equal rights?”

Senior advocate Puneet Bali, representing Dutta, argued that in the video posted on a social media platform last month, Dutta did not use the word ‘Bhangi’ intentionally and the word was used in West Bengal to refer to those who took intoxicants.

The bench replied that was not true. “You may not be informed. Everyone knows the meaning. Same word is used in Bangla. She was in Kolkata when she said this,” noted the top court.

Bali acknowledged his client made a mistake and deleted her Twitter post within two hours of posting the video.

Bali argued that the top court in several cases clubbed FIRs arising out of the same incident and urged all cases should be shifted to Mumbai.

The top court issued notice to state governments and complainants, after hearing Dutta’s counsel that the FIRs lodged in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana, should be clubbed.

The actor had triggered an outrage with an YouTube video, leading to lodging of FIRs under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Later, Dutta tendered an apology and took down the offensive part of the video. She said she used the word because of language barrier.

Bali contended before the bench that the petitioner was a woman and five FIRs had been lodged against her. However, finally, the top court agreed to examine her plea and stayed the proceedings in the FIRs.

The top court also issued a notice to Dalit rights activist and lawyer who got the first FIR registered against the actor in Haryana’s Hisar on May 13. The FIR was filed under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for allegedly humiliating the community.

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