Jharsuguda/Dhenkanal: Cash worth more than Rs 55 lakh was looted from two banks in Jharsuguda and Dhenkanal today.
In the first case, an armed gang decamped with around Rs 50 lakh from the Bank of India's Jharsuguda branch at Beheramal in the afternoon after holding the staff members at gunpoint.
"At least six persons carrying arms entered the bank in the afternoon. They first broke the gun of the security guard of the branch and then threatened the bank employees and customers with dire consequences if they dared to raise an alarm. They took all them bank staff and customers into a room and asked them to sit on the floor. There the bank staff and customers were kept confined during the entire operation," said a police officer.
"They also forcefully snatched the mobile phones of all the bank officials and customers and asked the branch manager to give them the key of the strong room. From there, they took out the cash and fled. They also broke the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in the bank and took away the hard disc before leaving the spot," the officer said.
The incident took place around 2pm. One of the robbers had his face covered. All of them were speaking in Hindi, said the officer.
"They intimidated all of us by flashing a gun and kept us confined to a room. There, they took our mobile phones and threatened us of dire consequence if we did not remain silent," said Nirmal Hati, a customer of the bank, who was present in the branch during the incident.
"The bank employees are yet to calculate the exact amount looted. However, we have sealed all the exit routes from Jharsuguda. A manhunt has been launched to nab the goons," said sub-divisional police officer of Jharsuguda B.K. Nanda.
In the second incident, three armed robbers entered a UCO Bank branch at Dholpur near Dhenkanal and decamped with Rs 6.13 lakh. Later, Rs 1 lakh was found lying outside the bank.
They also smashed the CCTV camera and computers in the bank and snatched the mobile phone of the bank manager before fleeing the spot. Sources said the goons entered the bank in the guise of customers.
None of the goons have been arrested as yet.