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Co-operation prod to banks

In the wake of multiple loot cases, district magistrate Anupam Kumar has directed top banking officials of north Bihar to order their juniors to co-operate with police in tackling such cases.

Senior superintendent of police Saurav Kumar had requested the district magistrate to take up the issue of negligence of banks, contributing to the law and order problems.

The district magistrate on Wednesday called an emergency meeting of zonal and regional managers of State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, United Bank of India, ICICI and others.

The branch managers should follow the police guidelines while giving out above Rs 2 lakh to customers, he said.

“The customers who are accompanied by three persons should only be allowed to go home with the money. Otherwise, they should be provided police escort. Police in the stations concerned are available for the purpose,” he said.

The bank officials should ask the customers, who want to withdraw a huge amount, to bring three persons.

“If the customers failed to do so, the bank officials should inform the police for escorting purpose,” Anupam said.

The district magistrate said the banks have failed to use CCTV cameras inside and outside the premises properly.

“Despite repeated reminders and efforts of the police, the bank authorities, particularly branch managers, remained negligent to abide by the directives, Anupam said.

The police find it difficult to trace the gangs robbing the bank customers owing to the non-installation and non-functional CCTV cameras.

This has been evident in the case when a foodgrain dealer Maheshwar Singh was robbed of Rs 9 lakh near Bara Jagannath Chowk on December 16, said the assistant superintendent of police (East) Ashish Bharti.

“Had the CCTV cameras been installed inside and outside the bank premises, the police would have been able to identify the gang,” Bharti said.

The district magistrate also made it clear that the credentials of private guards and security agencies hired by the bank should be verified.

“The banks hire private security agencies and guards without informing the police. Later, the guards and personnel of private security agencies allegedly hobnob with the criminals and execute loot plan,” said Saurav Kumar.