quick reads

The big news: Rahul Gandhi to become Congress chief soon, says Sonia Gandhi, and 9 other top stories

Other headlines: Army said it wanted to boost infrastructure along the China border, and the HC criticised the trial court judge in the Aarushi-Hemraj case.

A look at the headlines right now:

  1. Rahul Gandhi to take over as Congress president soon, Sonia Gandhi tells NDTV: Earlier, the Congress vice president had indicated that he was ready to take on the responsibility.   
  2. After Doklam standoff, Defence Ministry decides to speed up road construction along India-China border: During a conference of Indian Army commanders, it was decided that four mountain passes along the border will be connected on a priority basis by 2020. 
  3. Trial court judge acted like a ‘film director’, says Allahabad HC in Aarushi-Hemraj murder case: Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar, who were acquitted of murder charges, will not be released from Ghaziabad’s Dasna Jail on Friday, their lawyer Tanvir Mir said.   
  4. Reliance Industries reports 12.79% rise in year-on-year net profit for second-quarter of 2017: But the company’s telecom unit, Reliance Jio, posted a loss of Rs 271 crore for the July-September period. 
  5. In Dera Sacha Sauda case, Honeypreet Insan, accomplice sent to judicial custody till October 23: The Haryana Police told the Panchkula court that a mobile phone had been recovered from Ram Rahim Singh’s adopted daughter, but no laptop had been found. 
  6. Government saved $9 billion through Aadhaar, kept fraud under check, says Nandan Nilekani: The architect of the UIDAI programme said cashless transactions had brought down the costs for the government.   
  7. Do not deport any Rohingya refugee till the next hearing on November 21, Supreme Court tells Centre: The bench said the government needs to strike a balance between national security and protecting the human rights of the refugees.    
  8. Amit Shah defends son Jay Shah, says bring evidence to court: The BJP chief said Jay Shah’s companies had not engaged in any business with the government. 
  9. ‘Not even close to being out of this emergency,’ says official as California fires toll rises to 31: About 1,90,000 acres were damaged by Thursday afternoon.   
  10. Idea shareholders approve merger plan with Vodafone India: Over 99.9% of the shareholders voted in favour of the deal in a meeting on Thursday.   
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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.