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Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Sharjah Accident - Arrangements made to repatriate bodies

SHARJAH — Oct. 16: Grief-stricken relatives and friends of the four-member family killed in a freak accident on Airport Road in Sharjah on Friday evening were making arrangements for repatriation of the bodies with a heavy heart.

The  members of the ill-fated family — Saseendhran Pillai (40) Jaisree (32) Vignesh (7) and Vivek (3) — died when their van hit another car and a road divider.

Speaking to Khaleej Times,  Suresh, a relative of the deceased, said: “Everybody is still in a state of shock. We cannot believe that they are all dead. We are planning to repatriate the bodies to Kerala for the last rites. We have already started the procedures.”

Suresh said the passport of Saseendhran was still with his old employer. He had changed his job to another company in Bur Dubai recently.

"We contacted the former employer who has returned his passport. Meanwhile, police have opened the apartment in Deira where the family was staying  and found the passport of Jaisree and the two kids," he disclosed.

“We visited the police station and have collected all the necessary documents for the repatriation of the bodies,” Suresh said,  hoping that the formalities will be completed soon.

The bodies are still at the Al Qassimi Hospital morgue.


'Vignesh's smiling face will be missed'

DUBAI — Oct. 16: "The smiling face of seven-year-old Vignesh Pillai will be missed," said Gita Pabreja, supervisor for primary section (boys) at the Indian High School (IHS) Dubai.

Recalling  the grade two student who died in a tragic car accident alongwith his family on Sharjah Airport Road on Friday, she said, "Vignesh  was a bright child and a good student. I cannot forget his bright inquisitive eyes always looking at o both peers and his teachers. He was always eager to help his teachers in class, whether it involved distributing circulars, books, or even providing the teacher with any stationery items in class," the supervisor said.

Gita said the boy was an avid reader and participated in various activities in school.

“It is unfortunate to lose such a bright kid,” she said, expressing grief over the tragic death. “When I announced the tragic loss during the primary school assembly today, I could see the shock on the faces of the little children, specially his classmates. Several classmates also asked me if they would really never see Vignesh again in school. I  had no answer to their innocent questions," she said.

The school principal also expressed profound grief over the tragic death of Vignesh and his family. “Vignesh was at the IHS since grade one and all his teachers and classmates never had anything to complain against him,” said  Ashok Kumar. The school representatives will visit the morgue today and place wreath on the body of the dead as mark of respect, the  principal added.


'Males more prone to traffic violations'

ABU DHABI — Oct. 16: Male motorists commit more traffic violations than female motorists, according to a study released by the Security Research and Study Centre in Emirates.

Traffic violations committed by males constitute around 95 per cent of the total violations during 1999-2004 while violations by women account for 5  per cent.

Abu Dhabi women are responsible for the greatest number of violations followed by Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Fujairah and Um Al Quwain.

Moreover, the study also revealed that UAE nationals top the violations list during the last six years with 31.8 per cent of the total violations committed by them.  

Pakistanis come in the second place with 21.14 per cent followed by Indians with 13.67 per cent and Bangladeshis with 2.4 per cent. The study says that these high percentage of violations committed by Pakistanis and Indians was due to the fact that many of the bus or taxi drivers are from those two countries. Concerning Arab nationals, traffic violations committed by Egyptians reached 4 per cent while Syrians' was 3.74 per cent followed by GCC citizens with 3.72 per cent.

Those from West accounted for 0.99 per cent.  The average of violations during months of December and November was 8518, the highest compared to other months.


Extension ruled out in eviction deadline

DUBAI — Oct. 16: The Dubai Development Board has ruled out extension of the eviction date even as the residents of the Shaikh Rashid Colony in Al Ghusais expressed their unwillingness to move out of the flats.

According to the notice, the people will have to vacate the flats by October 31. At present there are more than 350 families residing in the colony. The families, however, are not in a mood to leave.

The Board has been maintaining that the buildings were in a bad shape and the eviction was for their safety only.

"We are not thinking of giving them more time now. In fact they have already been given enough time. The first eviction notice was served to them in May. There were summer vacations during which they could have easily found a new place to live in," said Isra, an official with the Dubai Development Board.

"We are taking the step for their own good. The buildings are not in a good shape and there is always a risk factor involved. They will have to move," she added.

The officials said that the people could always opt for flats to be constructed after the existing structures are demolished.  The construction of the new flats would begin by the end of the year, they added. But the officials were silent when they were asked if they would help residents find an alternative accommodation now.

The residents, many fuming over the attitude of the Board,  said the reason trotted out by the board for the eviction was ‘not acceptable‘ to them.

Tamer Mohammed Abdulla, an employee with the Dubai Transport Authority and a resident of Shaikh Rashid Colony, said, “The Development Board's claim that they were forced to demolish the buildings as they are in a bad condition is not true. We have never asked for a maintenance. But, whenever the maintenance staff is deputed,  they found nothing to repair since the buildings are in a good condition. I think that they want to replace the old buildings with new ones only to increase the rent," he said.

Elsadiq Mohammed El Hassan, father of four children, said, “the time is running out and it is very difficult to find accommodation at an affordable  rate in Dubai."

He complained that the time given by the Board to find a low-cost accommodation is not enough.

"The rampant rent increases in Dubai will force several families to send their children and wives back home. My children are studying in Dubai and I have failed to find a flat near their school," El Hassan said, adding the parents will be forced  to shift their wards to another school if they are forced to live in far-off places like Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hayer or Al Faqa.

"The evacuation of the families without providing alternatives will affect the social structure of the city which will become a city of males after families are forced to leave the city in search of cheaper houses,” he said.

The other residents also expressed similar views. Mohammed Ijza, father of five children, who has been living in the Ghusais Building No.2 for more than 15 years, said that the Development Board served the notices without considering the situation of low-income families.

The board had no answer when asked what they would do if nobody vacates their flats. "We have not thought in this regard. Then we would have to sit with our Board of Directors and discuss as to what can be done. But then we just want their safety. They should listen to us and move," said the officials.


Man stranded in Dubai airport with fake passport

Dubai: Oct. 16: A Malaysian man tried to avoid the hassle of renewing his passport by buying a fake one, and ended up being deported and stranded in Dubai.

The 41-year-old had to spend a week in the Dubai Airport Duty Free area after Malaysian authorities deported him to the UAE, his last point of embarkation, for holding a fake passport, which he had purchased in the UK.

A senior official with the Malaysian Consulate General told Gulf News the man was visiting his wife, who is eight months pregnant, in the UK.


"He was afraid of getting into trouble for overstaying in the UK if he went to the Malaysian Embassy. He was staying in Chinatown, so he thought the easiest thing was to buy a fake one," he said.

The man and his wife took a flight to Malaysia, transiting in Dubai, in late September. In Kuala Lumpur, immigration officials detected the forged document. As he had no identification to prove that he was a Malaysian citizen, he was sent back to Dubai. He was forced to stay in the airport in Dubai while Malaysian officials in the UAE and back home scrambled to verify his identity.

"We had to get his family to send us documents identifying him, verified by our Foreign Ministry. We also took his thumbprint and compared it to the one recorded in our National Registration Department database," he said.

The process took about a week, and on October 1, the man was on a flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Gulf News contacted the man's family in Malaysia. Two weeks after his ordeal, his sister-in-law said the man was glad to be back in Malaysia.

Letter leads to missing mental patient in jail

Sharjah: Oct. 16: A letter from a mentally unstable man in jail to his mother in India reunited him with his brother here.

Ramillo, the brother of Mahesh Samal, a 29-year-old Indian who went missing from his house in Sharjah two weeks ago, found out that his brother was in Sharjah Central Jail, as his mother called him from India and told him that Mahesh had sent her a letter from jail.

Gulf News had reported that Mahesh had gone missing and his brother was looking for him.

"Police arrested Mahesh one hour after he left the apartment at 3am, as they could not find any identification papers on him," Ramillo said yesterday.

He said since Mahesh was new in the country and did not have Ramillo's mobile number, he wrote a letter to his mother in India telling her he was in Sharjah Central Jail.

"My mother called me and told me Mahesh was in Sharjah Central Jail. I visited him there on Saturday and I will visit him today to see what the procedures are to release him," Ramillo said.

Mahesh Samal was staying with his brother in Al Rolla's Mussalla area when he disappeared two weeks ago.

Mahesh's brother had brought him here on September 29 on a business visa from the Sharjah Naturalisation and Residency Department to find a job as a car washer or as a labourer.

Arrested at night

Ramillo did the rounds of hospitals with his brother's picture until midnight to find him. He enquired with psychiatric wards but to no avail. He had also gone to the Indian Consulate and submitted papers to the authorities to help trace his brother.

A Sharjah CID source said there is a campaign to crack down on illegal residents. Mahesh was found wandering late at night and looked disturbed. A CID patrol asked him for his identification papers, but he was not carrying any. He did not even know where he was. The source said police took Mahesh to the Sharjah Police Headquarter, which referred him to the central jail.





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