Malda, Jan. 7: An armed motorcycle-borne gang allegedly robbed two staff members of the United Bank of India off Rs 20 lakh that they were carrying to Bhutni island in Manikchak this afternoon.
Police said six men on two motorcycles carried out the operation near Kalitola Ghat around 2pm.
Bank staff Rajesh Saha and Parichay Mondol left the Englishbazar branch with the money around noon. They were travelling to Bhutni, 42km away, on a motorcycle.
When the duo reached Kalitola Ghat, the robbers allegedly fired at them and Mondol, who was driving the two-wheeler, lost control and both he and Saha fell off the vehicle. The robbers surrounded the duo and hit them on their heads with revolver butts.
The gang took away the bag that contained the cash that was to be deposited at the bank’s Bhutni branch.
Both Saha and Mondol have suffered head injuries and are under treatment at the Manikchak rural hospital.
The bank’s regional manager, Ranjit Kumar Das, said transporting cash without security personnel was a daily affair. “We have no security arrangements and there is no provision to provide it. Communication between the Malda and the Bhutni branch is very poor. The cash the staff carry is always insured. If the law and order situation is like this, we will be forced to shut down Bhutni branch.”
He added that a police complaint had been lodged.
Malda police chief Jayanta Pal said: “We are conducting raids. I had told the banks earlier to inform the police when large amount of cash was transported. It is not possible for the police to keep tabs on the movement of cash from one bank to another, it is not our job. An investigation is on.”