Loots prompt cop watch on bank security

Senior superintendent of police Vikas Vaibhav has instructed all station house officers to keep watch on the banks in areas under their jurisdiction when they open for business.

By Joy Sengupta
  • Published 2.12.15
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Senior superintendent of police Vikas Vaibhav has instructed all station house officers to keep watch on the banks in areas under their jurisdiction when they open for business.

Alarmed at the spate of bank loots reported in the state, the police have decided to stay alert at all times.

Last week, two banks were looted and on Tuesday, too, a couple more were robbed in Vaishali and East Champaran districts. To curb down on the increasing loots, officers in Patna have been directed to patrol periodically apart from the station house officers (SHOs) maintaining vigil at the banks in the morning.

Sources said the SHOs would be present near the most prominent banks in their area and separate teams would be formed to maintain vigil at the other banks in the area. The officers have also been directed to send their teams to the banks periodically through the day to look out for any suspicious activity.

"We are in no mood to delay the issue of banks' security. All the reports from the SHOs have to be sent to us by the second week of December," Vaibhav said.

He added: "The trend noticed from the recent bank loots reveal that the criminals are mostly striking when the banks open for business. In most cases, the guards are not present at the branches by then. So, the police station house officers have been asked to stay alert in the morning and send teams to ensure security."

The SHOs would have to report on the security arrangements at the branches and also details of the employees.

On November 27, three criminals had looted Rs 42 lakh from a nationalised bank in Sohsarai in Nalanda district. On November 30, Rs 15 lakh was looted from a bank on the Hajipur-Jandaha Road in Vaishali. On Tuesday, six criminals looted Rs 3.26 lakh at gunpoint from the Govindpur branch of the Uttar Bihar Gramin Bank in East Champaran and another gang stole Rs 2.77 lakh from the Piroi branch of North Bihar Regional Rural bank in Vaishali district after assaulting the manager, Shirish Kumar.

Police sources said in most of the cases, CCTV cameras of the banks have been found out of operation.

"On June 14, 2012, a man had entered the Patliputra branch of State Bank of India, and shot the cashier dead. In that case, the police took time to arrest the man as the CCTVs were not working. This is the case with most of the bank branches, located on the outskirts of Patna," an officer explained.

Vaibhav said once all the reports come in from the SHOs, the police would call the managers of all the banks for a meeting. "The meeting is likely to take place on December 15," he said.

As far as security at banks in the other districts are concerned, DGP P.K. Thakur said on Tuesday: "All SPs have been directed to constitute special teams for effective crime control."

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY R.N. SINHA