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Bank heist in Bokaro

Armed criminals cleaned out Rs 6 lakh in cash from the Chira Chas branch of State Bank of India, 2km away from Bokaro steel city, on Wednesday afternoon.

Around 2.30pm, when 16 customers and four bank staff were present, five men wielding revolvers and daggers barged in. Branch manager Amit Kumar Nag was away. The criminals — two of who wore masks — took head cashier Subal Datta, cashiers Gopal Das and Smita Anurag and junior branch manager Balister Singh into custody. They forced the four to hand over keys to cash boxes and amassed a booty of Rs 5.85 lakh.

Once done at the counters, the gang then turned on petrified customers, relieving them of Rs 15,000. The quintet even grabbed two plastic packets containing loose change in Re 1 and Rs 2 denominations.

An SBI customer, present at the bank during the daring midday heist, later said they did not resist because they were not sure how many more criminals were present outside the bank.

“They continuously threatened us with dire consequences. They had closed the main gate during the 30 minute operation. They abused the bank staff,” he said, adding that the criminals left around 3pm.

Bokaro SP Jitendra Singh, who inspected the bank, said they were examining the CCTV footage. “We shall identify and arrest the criminals soon,” he added.

Inspector of Chas circle Prem Kumar said intensive search to bust the gang had been launched and the district border had been sealed. “We have clues, but cannot divulge details now,” he added.