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Bihar trio in Bangalore heist

Bangalore, Nov. 20: Four youths from Bihar and Chhattisgarh have been arrested for a bank robbery during which one of them shot at a customer who died in hospital later.

Devesh Kumar Singh, the mastermind of the operation, Vikas Kumar Gupta, Imran (all from Bihar) and Prem Kumar Sahu from Chhattisgarh were arrested within hours of the incident yesterday.

A pistol used in carrying out the armed robbery and two magazines were recovered along with the entire sum of around Rs 15 lakh looted from Corporation Bank’s branch at Chikka Banavara, a locality in north Bangalore.

At a news conference today, Bangalore police commissioner Jyoti Prakash Mirji said all four were cornered within two hours of the robbery as sleuths swarmed city lodges and manned all exit points waiting to net them.

Devesh, 22, a native of Siwan in Bihar, was identified as a dropout from Acharya Polytechnic, located within a short distance of the bank. After enrolling for a diploma programme, he dropped out in 2010, police said.

Mirji said Devesh carried out the armed robbery and fired at 45-year-old Muralidhar, manager of a nearby petrol pump, who tried to overpower him.

The police chief said Devesh, dressed as a college student with a backpack and wearing a baseball cap, had entered the bank around 3.45pm. After assessing the situation, he covered his face with a cloth and whipped out a pistol in true filmi style.

He even ensured that every customer and staff member was pushed to a corner before forcing the cashier to fill his backpack. The bank later put the loot at around Rs 15 lakh, all of which has been recovered by the police.

Devesh escaped from the scene and landed up in the bustling Majestic area, near the city railway station, where he checked in to a lodge around 5.30pm.

Equipped with descriptions of the culprit sourced from those inside the bank, the police narrowed down on the lodges near the station.

The police later found Devesh walking out of the lodge. Commissioner Mirji said Devesh had a “bulky” bag but ran when he saw a police inspector. He was outpaced by the police team which nabbed him. His bag contained Rs 7 lakh of the total loot.

Devesh soon spilled the beans and led the police to the others, who too were ready to leave the city with the remaining money.