quick reads

The big news: Pahlaj Nihalani sacked as CBFC chief, and nine other top stories

Other headlines: Donald Trump said US military solutions were locked for North Korea, and Nitish Kumar said Sharad Yadav was free to choose his allies.

A look at the headlines right now:

  1. Pahlaj Nihalani removed as chief of Central Board of Film Certification: Lyricist and screenplay writer Prasoon Joshi will take charge.
  2. US military locked and loaded, says Donald Trump in latest warning to North Korea: Chinese state media said Beijing would not help North Korea if it attacked the United States.
  3. Nitish Kumar says Sharad Yadav free to decide where his loyalties lie: Meanwhile, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday invited Yadav to a meeting of Opposition parties in New Delhi.
  4. At least 30 children died in Gorakhpur hospital in 48 hoursThe oxygen supply was allegedly stopped after the hospital failed to clear the suppliers’ bill of Rs 67 lakh.  
  5. India’s industrial output contracts for the first time in four years: The contraction was mainly on account of a 0.4% fall in the manufacturing output.
  6. Supreme Court to hear Ayodhya case again on December 5: The three-judge bench was hearing 13 petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case.  
  7. I am now an all-party man who is above politics, says Vice President Venkaiah Naidu: He told the Opposition that he will ensure that they have a say when legislations are debated in Rajya Sabha, but the government will have its way.
  8. Army launches search operation for Al-Qaeda’s India cell chief Zakir Musa in Jammu and Kashmir: Meanwhile, there were reports of clashes between locals and security forces in Tral area.
  9. Tough to achieve 7.5% GDP growth predicted in February, CEA Subramanian admits in Economic Survey: The survey said that demonetisation added new taxpayers, but hit the informal sector hard.
  10. NHRC issues notice to Telangana government, DGP over alleged illegal detention of villagers: An internal police inquiry had corroborated the claims made by eight men who said they were tortured in police custody.  
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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.