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In less than a week, the nation will observe the 13th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, which paralysed the nation's commercial capital for three days in 2008.
These pictures recall the horror of the attacks that claimed more than 160 lives.
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They take us through the multiple locations of the attacks -- Taj Mahal Palace & Hotel, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Trident Nariman Point, Leopold Cafe, Nariman House (better known as the Jewish Chabad House) and Cama Hospital. Explosions also rocked the Mazagon docks and took place in a taxi at Vile Parle.
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The three days were marked by the bravery of NSG commandos, who rescued 300 people from the Taj, 250 from the Trident and 60 people (members of 12 different families) from Nariman House. Also showing exemplary courage were men of the Mumbai Police, such as Assistant Sub-Inspector Tukaram Omble, who captured a terrorist alive with his bare hands.
The nation also mourned the martyrdom of Joint Commissioner of Police Hemant Karkare, Chief of Mumbai's Anti-Terrorism Squad, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte, Senior Inspector Vijay Salaskar, Senior Inspector Shashank Shinde and the NSG commandos, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Hawaldar Gajender Singh Bisht. Three railway officials were martyred at the CST.
Keywords : Taj Hotel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, November, terror attacks, police, martyr, mourn, nation, horror, commandos.
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When police respond to a person gripped by a mental health or drug crisis, the encounter can have tragic results. Now a government insurance program will help communities set up an alternative: mobile teams with mental health practitioners trained in de-escalating such potentially volatile situations.
The effort to reinvent policing after the death of George Floyd in police custody is getting an assist through Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income people, and the largest payer for mental health treatment. President Joe Biden’s recent coronavirus relief bill calls for an estimated $1 billion over 10 years for states that set up mobile crisis teams, currently locally operated in a handful of places.
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Many 911 calls are due to a person experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis. Sometimes, like with Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York, the consequences are shocking. The 41-year-old Black man died after police placed a spit hood over his head and held him to the pavement for about two minutes on a cold night in 2020 until he stopped breathing. He had run naked from his brother’s house after being released from a hospital following a mental health arrest. A grand jury voted down charges against the officers.
Dispatching teams of paramedics and behavioral health practitioners would take mental health crisis calls out of the hands of uniformed and armed officers, whose mere arrival may ratchet up tensions. In Eugene, Oregon, such a strategy has been in place for more than 30 years, with solid backing from police.
The concept “fits nicely with what we are trying to do around police reform,” Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner said. The logic works “as a simple math problem,” he adds.
“If I can rely on a mechanism that matches the right response to the need, it means I don’t have to put my officers in these circumstances,” Skinner explained. “By sending the right resources I can make the assumption that there are going to be fewer times when officers are in situations that can turn violent. It actually de-conflicts, reducing the need for use of force.”
Eugene is a medium-sized city about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Portland, known for its educational institutions. The program there is called Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets, or CAHOOTS, and is run by the White Bird Clinic.
CAHOOTS is part of the local 911 emergency response system but operates independently of the police, although there’s coordination. Crisis teams are not sent on calls involving violent situations.
“We don’t look like law enforcement,” White Bird veteran Tim Black said. “We drive a big white cargo van. Our responders wear a T-shirt or a hoodie with a logo. We don’t have handcuffs or pepper spray, and the way we start to interact sends a message that we are not the police and this is going to be a far safer and voluntary interaction.”
CAHOOTS teams handled 24,000 calls in the local area in 2019, and Black said the vast majority would have otherwise fallen to police. Many involve homeless people. The teams work to resolve the situation that prompted the call and to connect the person involved to ongoing help and support.
At least 14 cities around the country are interested in versions of that model, said Simone Brody, executive director of What Works Cities, a New York-based nonprofit that tries to promote change through effective use of data.
“It’s really exciting to see the federal government support this model,” Brody said. “I am hopeful that three years from now we will have multiple models and ideally some data that shows this has actually saved people’s lives.” Portland, Oregon, launched its own crisis teams in February and the program has already expanded to serve more areas of the community.
About 1,000 people a year are shot dead by police, according to an analysis by the Treatment Advocacy Center, which examined several publicly available estimates. Severe mental illness is a factor in at least 25% of such shootings, it estimated. The center advocates for improved mental health care.
Mobile crisis teams found their way into the COVID-19 relief bill through the efforts of Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who chairs the Finance Committee, which oversees Medicaid.
“Too often law enforcement is asked to respond to situations that they are not trained to handle,” Wyden said. “On the streets in challenging times, too often the result is violence, even fatal violence, particularly for Black Americans.”
Wyden’s legislation includes $15 million in planning grants to help states get going. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the program could take a couple of years to fully implement. The $1 billion will be available to states for five years, beginning next April. Wyden said it’s a “down payment” on what he hopes will become a permanent part of Medicaid.
The idea may be well-timed, said Medicaid expert MaryBeth Musumeci, of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. The coronavirus pandemic has worsened society’s pervasive mental health and substance abuse problems. At the same time, protests over police shootings of Black people have created an appetite for anything that could break the cycle.
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“All of those things coming together are putting increased focus on the need for further developing effective behavioral health treatment models,” Musumeci said.
In Rhode Island, the nurse turned malpractice lawyer Laura Harrington is helping coordinate a grassroots campaign to incorporate crisis teams into the state’s 911 system. She said she’s been surprised at the level of interest.
“I don’t want to get into blaming,” Harrington said. “We could blame social services. We could blame people who don’t take their medications. We could blame the police. I want to move forward and solve problems.” (VOA/KB)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked the police force to safeguard and build on the humanitarian image they developed during Covid-19 pandemic.
Virtually addressing the probationers of Indian Police Service (IPS) passing out of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVP NPA), Hyderabad, he said the new image built by the force during the crisis had become its biggest asset and there was need to preserve it.
Modi said the country saw the human face of ‘khaki’ during the pandemic as the police personnel were seen singing songs, providing food and water to those living on footpath and risking their lives to carry patients to hospitals.
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“In the eyes of a common man, by and large the image of police was of a baton, argument and repression. It does not mean that they were not doing any humanitarian work earlier but during Coronavirus for the first time the society felt its collective impact,” he said.
During an hour-long interaction with probationers from various parts of the country, the Prime Minister shared his thoughts on various issues. He underlined the need for the police to make use of the power of the society which always comes forward to render humanitarian assistance during crises.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: अपने निजी बचत से अब तक इतने रुपये दान कर चुके हैं प्रधानमंत्री मोदी!
Modi called for use of technology for intelligence and effective policing. He said while the system of intelligence gathering at the level of constables remained crucial, the police should also make use of technology available. He said big data, artificial intelligence and social media were the new weapons of the police and stressed the need for their effective deployment.
Stating that the IPS batch has many people in the batch with technology background, he advised them to form teams to use technology. He pointed out that technology helps in detecting crime through CCTV footage or mobile phone tracking. He also had a word of caution for the police officers. “Technology is also becoming a reason for suspension of policemen. Sometimes they lose their cool and do something and somebody from a distance records this on camera and it goes viral. Pressure builds on the system to suspend the policemen and it become a blot on their career,” he said
A total of 131 probationers of Indian Police Service (IPS) of 2018 batch passed out on successful completion of their training at the academy. The batch includes 28 women probationers. (IANS)
By Salil Gewali
Finally, many individual government authorities have decided to crack the whip on the defaulters who do not care to wear masks properly in public places. The fear of losing money has now brought them to senses than the fear of the dreaded coronavirus. The credit also goes to our patrolling police and defense forces for taking the defaulters to task. But I would also like to raise another question. Are the authorities concerned checking whether the worn maskss are “clean” or not, or they are just the showpieces?
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It is quite noticed many in the market areas are wearing the masks that have not been washed even once since they have purchased. I think the health authorities in their directives should have prefixed the mask with “clean” as — ‘wear a clean mask’ instead of just ‘wear a mask’. Wearing “unwashed” masks could be more disastrous than wearing no masks amid the spike in the COVID cases. The unclean mask could lend the breeding space not just for COVID -19 but for other viruses/bacteria as well. One strongly feels here that the government should not overlook the unhealthy habit of some of the citizens who go around and mingle with the crowd wearing unwashed masks. Even a small negligence of one citizen can lead to mass infection.
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AUTHOR’S BIO- An India-based writer and researcher, Salil Gewali is best known for his research-based work entitled ‘Great Minds on India’ which has earned worldwide appreciations. Translated into Twelve languages, his book has been prefaced by a world-acclaimed NASA Chief scientist – Dr. Kamlesh Lulla of Houston, USA.