| The security guards who were in the van at the time of the loot. Picture by Lokesh Bihari |
Muzaffarpur, Dec. 10: Five criminals with sophisticated firearms today looted Rs 31 lakh from the cash van of United Bank of India at Rewa Ghat bridge on the Gandak river.
The incident occurred under the jurisdiction of Saraiya police station of the district around 1.30pm. Rewa Ghat bridge at Saraiya block is located around 70km northwest of Patna.
Police said the criminals, travelling in an SUV, intercepted the van and overpowered security men by brandishing firearms and indulging in indiscriminate firing.
The criminals shot at the driver and two security guards, and snatched their guns.
Mahesh Thakur, the driver and the two private security guards, Ajay Thakur and Nand Kishore Singh, tried to resist the loot attempt and suffered severe head and body injuries.
The criminals threw the snatched firearms, along with the driver’s cellphone and telephone diaries into the Gandak. The gang fled with the amount towards Chhapra.
The cash van was on its way to Muzaffarpur from Chhapra to deposit the money. Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Saurav Kumar rushed to the spot.
He said: “The criminals brandished pistols and looted Rs 31 lakh from the cash van of United Bank of India and injured the security guards.”
Singh, who suffered head injuries, has been admitted at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in a critical condition.
The SSP said the criminals had parked their SUV beside a truck near the bridge and intercepted the cash van giving little time to the driver to react.
When the cash van approached Rewa Ghat, the criminals startled the driver by firing.
The officer said the criminals beat up the driver after looting the money.
The SSP said divers had been pressed into service to fish out the security personnel’s guns from the river.
The SSP said he has requested his Chhapra counterpart to launch a hunt for the criminals. The station house officer of Saraiya police station, Sanjay Kumar, has been asked to interrogate the private security guards.
Saurav added that the station house officers of police stations in the western part of the district have been asked to nab the gang.