They chopped off ATM guard's hand and made away with empty cashbox

In a daylight robbery on Saturday, a gang member chopped off a bank security guard's hands to release his grip from what turned out to be an empty cashbox.

As he was clutching the box to his chest, Krishnamurthy (38), the State Bank of India guard, pleaded with the assailants saying the box was empty. But his pleas did not convince one frenzied member in the gang of four, who pulled out a chopper and hacked his hands off.

According to the police, Mr. Krishnamurthy and his colleague Chandramurthy (45) were walking toward the cash van at around 11.30 a.m. after depositing Rs. 10 lakh in the SBI's Byraveshwaranagar branch ATM near Chandra Layout.

They were suddenly accosted by a gang which arrived on the scene in two motorcycles. The gang members first lunged toward Mr. Chandramurthy, who was carrying a gun, and injured both his hands with choppers. They then turned their attention to Mr. Krishnamurthy, who was unarmed and in possession of the empty cashbox. When he resisted, one of the men hacked his hands off.

Despite the violence and threat to their lives, the guards did not reveal that there was Rs. 70 lakh in the cash van that was parked just a few yards away.

Mobile phone grabs telecast on news channels throughout the day showed that his hands had been completely separated. The footage also showed the duo being rushed off to a hospital.

Police officials later said that while the duo was expected to survive, what happens of their grievously injured limbs was uncertain.

The gang members were so brazen they did not bother to cover their faces. This might prove to be crucial in the ongoing manhunt, police sources said.